|Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng (centre) greets an elderly member of an ethnic minority community in Kon Rơ Bàng 2 Village, Kon Tum Province, yesterday. – VNA/VNS Photo Trí Dũng|
KON TUM — Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng yesterday urged Kon Tum Province to capitalise on its border location and natural resources to grow faster and lift itself out of poverty.
Trọng, who’s touring the Central Highlands region, also lauded Kon Tum for ensuring the defence, security, social order and safety of the nation, fighting crime and dealing strictly with deforestation.
However, it remained a poor province with untapped development potential, modest economic growth and per capita income, limited human resources quality, and underdeveloped infrastructure, he said.
He advised the province to invest more in high-quality and large scale agriculture, focusing on some of its specialties.
Kon Tum should expand cultivation and processing of the indigenous Ngọc Linh ginseng, he said, adding that the provinces should applying advanced technology to process the root and undertake market surveys to ensure sales.
"Clean vegetables and sugarcane are also suitable crops here," Trọng said.
He told local officials to boost border gate economic activities to capitalise on the advantage of its geographic location, which favours trade with Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar.
Kon Tum shares more than 280km of border with Laos and Cambodia. More than 53 per cent of its population belong to ethnic minority communities.
In 2016, its gross domestic product topped VNĐ11 trillion (US$485.1 million), up 8.06 per cent from the previous year. Annual per capita income reached VNĐ32 million (over $1,400), and more than VNĐ1.9 trillion (nearly $83.8 million) was collected for the State budget last year.
Kon Tum has set up a 150ha hi-tech agricultural area called Măng Đen, along with some zones specialising in industrial trees (rubber, coffee) and herbal plants (such as Ngọc Linh ginseng). Industrial production value increased year-on-year by 14 per cent while export revenues hit $113 million in 2016. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, the province earned $57 million from exports, up more than 300 per cent over a year earlier.
Poverty alleviation efforts have been stepped up, reducing the number of poor households from 26.11 per cent in 2015 to 23.03 per cent in 2016. — VNS