Dak Lak Province: Shoulder to Shoulder with Investors

10:07:17 AM | 26/5/2010

Dak Lak province, located in the heart of the Central Highlands region, is home to 44 ethnic minority groups and has a population of nearly 1.8 million. The province has 15 administrative units, including Buon Ma Thuot City, a town and 13 districts. With its geographical location, Dak Lak plays a strategic role in the regional and national economy, politics, defence and security. Therefore, in recent years, the Party and the State have always given priority policies, mechanisms and resources for socio-economic development in the Central Highlands and Dak Lak province in particular.
In more than 20 years of implementing the doi moi (renovation) policy, the socioeconomic development situation of Dak Lak province has changed for the better. In recent years, average annual GDP growth exceeded 10 percent, of which agriculture and forestry expanded 4.8 percent, industry and construction climbed 14.7 percent services increased 23.9 percent. Per capita GDP reached VND10.98 million a year.
Social programs have also received special attention. The rate of poverty is being reduced and education quality is enhanced. Local people receive regular medical check-ups and their living standards are improving. Culture, information, science, technology and sports have been growing strongly. Infrastructure is being developed for sustainable socioeconomic development. In 2009, the province mobilised VND7,200 billion (US$389 million) for social investment development; export revenues totalled over US$600 million and State Budget collection reached VND2,100 billion.
In recent years, under the close direction of the Provincial Party Committee and the effective supervision of the Provincial People's Council, the local investment environment has improved. With its open policies and investment incentives, Dak Lak province has attracted over 300 investment projects, with total registered investment capital of over VND30 trillion since the Investment Law took effect. The investments are mainly in hydropower projects, processing industry, trade and services.
Four FDI projects have a total value of US$17.7 million. The investment environment continues improving; administrative procedures have been regularly reviewed and adjusted to ensure the highest convenience for investors and enterprises, especially procedures related to land, investment licensing and preference. The Provincial People’s Committee receives enterprises every Thursday and hosts general business meetings twice a year to help address any problems. Its provincial competitiveness index ranked only 48th out of 64 provinces and cities in 2007; but it made a great jump to 33rd place in 2008, topping the five Central Highlands provinces.
Despite its progress in investment, the achievements are still shy of the potential. There are many causes for this, but here are two most important ones. First, Dak Lak needs to make more efforts to improve the investment environment. Second, it needs to improve understanding about the people and culture of Dak Lak, and the potential strength of this land.
To provide medium and long term development orientation, on June 17, 2009 the Prime Minister issued Decision No 87/2009/QD-TTg to approve the master socio-economic development plan for Dak Lak until 2020. Accordingly, Dak Lak will be developed into an economic, cultural and social centre of the Central Highlands and a development model of the Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia Development Triangle, with the main objectives as follows:
GDP in 2010 will increase 1.7 times compared with 2005, and by 2020 will treble from 2010. Per capita GDP will reach over VND10 million in 2010 and approximately VND42 - 43.3 million in 2020. Annual GDP growth will average 12 - 12.5 percent in 2011 - 2015 and 12.5 - 13 percent in 2016 - 2020.
In economic structure, the province will strive to restructure its economy to increase the proportion of service, industry and construction while reducing the agriculture and forestry sectors. By 2020, the service sector will make up for 40-41 percent of GDP, the industry and construction sector will account for 34-35 percent and the agriculture and forestry sector will contribute 25-26 percent.
Total social investment will reach VND62 - 63 trillion in 2011 - 2015 and VND148 - 149 trillion in 2016 - 2020. Investment capital will grow from 19 percent to 22 percent annually from now to 2020.
To achieve these goals, apart from the efforts of the authorities and the people, Dak Lak has to mobilise all possible resources to unlock its potential and promote its strengths. These resources have been gradually realised by domestic and foreign investors.
Regarding potential, Dak Lak has a natural area of 13,125 square kilometres, including over 300,000 ha of basaltic soil, on 628,000 ha of forestland and over 500,000 ha of water surface in lakes, rivers and waterfalls. With natural endowments, Dak Lak has rich potential to develop agriculture, forestry, processing industry, mining industry, hydroelectricity, cultural tourism and ecological tourism, among others. This enormous potential promises to bring opportunities and benefits to investors as well as prosperity to this land.
Coming to Dak Lak, investors will be guided, supported and served wholeheartedly and professionally by the Trade and Investment Promotion Centre. The province is committed to working side by side with investors and enterprises, to completing mechanisms and policies and to reforming administrative procedures to create an ideal investment environment consistent with international practices for investors to feel secure when they do business in Dak Lak province.
Mr Lu Ngoc Cu, Chairman of Dak Lak People’s Committee