As a highland province rich in large-scaled agricultural projects and tourism strengths, the economy of Lam Dong has experienced long-lasting growth and has seen the development of famous agricultural trademarks. Da Lat is known as the principle city of Lam Dong – a well-known original tourism centre recognised worldwide for over 100 years. Nowadays, Lam Dong is inline with the general development trend of the country, more and more efficiently promoting its own potentials. Our correspondent Thi Oanh interviewed the Chairman of Lam Dong People's Committee, Huynh Duc Hoa, on the province’s remarkable achievements in recent times.
Could you please inform us of some of the distinguished socioeconomic achievements of Lam Dong in recent years?
Located in the South of the Central Highlands and within the key economic area of the Southeastern region, Lam Dong Party Committee and its people have unceasingly invested in production and enhanced tourism activities over the past years. Infrastructure has been invested and improved, satisfying the locality's development needs. In the first six months of 2004, total development investment capital reached as much as VND890 billion (US$56 million), an increase of 78 per cent over the same period last year. National roads running across the province and Lien Khuong airport have been upgraded, linking Lam Dong with local and international economic hubs, enabling the province to facilitate trading. All communes and wards have telephone lines, with an average coverage of 10 sets/100 people. One hundred per cent of its communes have roads for cars and 94 per cent of its residents have access to the national electricity network. The majority of the provincial communes have set up medical stations, 65 per cent of which have doctors. All villages have medical workers and primary schools. In general, the local people's living standards, especially ethnic minority groups inhabiting remote and isolated areas, have been greatly improved.
Concerning the economy, the provincial economic growth rate in the 2001-2003 period was 12.8 per cent. In the first half of 2004, gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 10 per cent. The agro-forestry and fisheries sector saw a growth of 7 per cent, industrial construction sector 14.7 per cent and services 10.7 per cent. Total export revenues stood at US$46.4 million, equal to 89.2 per cent of the target set for the whole year, representing an increase of 113.8 per cent against the same period in 2003.
Currently, Lam Dong is calling for investment sources for development. It plans to develop trademarks of particular products and provide more incentives to attract more investors.
We are fully aware that Lam Dong province is planning to realise six major programmes and six key projects, aiming to boost local socioeconomic growth. Would you please tell us of the measures that the province is undertaking to successfully fulfil the set targets?
During recent times, the provincial economy and society has experienced great changes. However, it is facing a wide range of challenges such as low levels of literacy, a significant gap in the enjoyment of spiritual culture among provincial localities, difficulties in infrastructure investment due to limited capital sources.
In the face of such difficulties, Lam Dong has outlined a number of feasible solutions, including the positive and sustainable economic restructuring for an increase in the proportion of industry and services. Six major programmes and six key projects have been formulated, capturing the attention of the entire society. They have been given different priorities in their implementation and are expected to help better the socioeconomic infrastructural system, facilitating the province of Lam Dong to attain further developments.