After more than 20 years of enforcing Resolution 10-NQ/TW dated January 18, 2002 of the 9th Politburo on “Socioeconomic development, national defense and security assurance in the Central Highlands in the 2001-2010 period” and 10 years of implementing Conclusion 12-KL/TW dated October 24, 2011 of the 11th Politburo on “Continued enforcement of Resolution 10-NQ/TW”, the Party, the government and people of Kon Tum province have made great efforts to overcome all difficulties and successfully achieve important goals and tasks in most fields. The economy has been increasingly developed; social security has been ensured and people's life quality has been increasingly enhanced. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Mr. Le Ngoc Tuan, Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Kon Tum province.
Kon Tum province and Attapeu province (Laos) sign a comprehensive cooperation agreement, October 2022
Could you please introduce the “sweet fruits” Kon Tum province reaped after more than 20 years of executing the Politburo’s Resolution 10-NQ/TW and 10 years of implementing the Politburo’s Conclusion 12-KL/TW? How will the province implement the resolution in the coming time?
The Central Highlands has an important strategic position in terms of economy, politics, national defense - security for the whole country. Kon Tum is the northernmost province of the region, strategically located at the confluence of Indochina with the border shared with Laos and Cambodia. On January 18, 2002, the Politburo issued Resolution 10-NQ/TW on “socioeconomic development and national defense and security assurance in the Central Highlands in the 2001-2010 period” and Conclusion 12-KL/TW dated October 24, 2011 on “continued enforcement of Resolution 10-NQ/TW on Central Highlands development in the 2011-2020 period”.
After more than 20 years of implementing Resolution 10-NQ/TW and 10 years of implementing Conclusion 12-KL/TW of the Politburo, Kon Tum province has achieved many important outcomes in most fields.
The province's economy grew high in the Central Highlands. Its economic scale in 2020 was 21 times more than that in 2002. The gross regional domestic product (GRDP) reached VND15,076 billion in 2020, a 16-times higher than that in 2002 (VND940 billion) and nearly twice as much as in 2011 (VND7,840 billion). The average annual GRDP growth was 10.18% in the 2002 - 2020 period. The economic structure was positively transformed to better unlock the potential and advantages of each industry, field and locality, based on market demands. Per capita income increased significantly, from VND2.86 million in 2001 to VND28.5 million in 2020. Budget revenue and expenditure expanded strongly. Total state budget revenue rose from VND162 billion to VND3,032 billion, an increase of 18.7 times. The average budget expenditure is augmented by 16.3% a year. Total social investment funds looked up year after year. In 2020, the value approximated VND16,500 billion, 17 times higher than in 2002, representing an average growth of 20.8% in the 2002 - 2020 period.
Some key industries, fields and products of the province were focused for development. High-tech agriculture covered nearly 8,000 ha. Ngoc Linh ginseng area grew to nearly 1,240 ha - a precious medicinal herb with specificities and comparative advantages on Ngoc Linh Mountain. Currently, the province is focusing on developing Ngoc Linh ginseng as well as other medicinal herbs to turn its medicinal herb area into an important national medicinal area and a major pharmaceutical production center of the country by 2025.
The tourism industry made positive changes. Visitor arrivals grew by an average of over 6% annually in the 2011-2020 phase. Export activity impressively expanded, rising from US$6.1 million in 2002 to US$285 million in 2020, or an increase of 47.6 times.
Urban appearance was given a facelift. Kon Tum City got facelifted. Mang Den town, Kon Plong district was established; Plei Kan town, Ngoc Hoi district met fourth grade urban area criteria; the administrative area of Ia H'Drai district was invested and formed; infrastructure facilities in administrative areas of districts, communes and residential areas were expanded, upgraded, and increasingly synchronized.
Together with economic development, sociocultural aspects also made much progress. Policies on social security, gratitude, poverty reduction, vocational training and job creation were implemented. The poverty rate fell from over 25% in 2002 to 10.26% in 2020. Party and political system construction was renovated. Political security, social order and safety, and national defense were maintained.
Recently, on October 6, 2022, the Politburo issued Resolution 23-NQ/TW on socioeconomic development, national defense and security assurance in the Central Highlands to 2030, with a vision to 2045” and the Government launched an action plan for implementation of Resolution 152/NQ-CP dated November 15, 2022. These are all important, visionary, long-term strategic approaches for Central Highlands provinces, including Kon Tum, to make efforts for implementation. In the coming time, Kon Tum authorities will soon concretize programs and plans and deploy tasks and solutions to achieve goals set in Resolution 23- NQ/TW of the Politburo.
Bo Y international border gate
To effectively unlock local potential advantages, the province has invested in building three dynamic economic zones: Bo Y International Border Gate Economic Zone (Ngoc Hoi district), Mang Den National Ecotourism Area (Kon Plong district) and Kon Tum City. How have the three economic zones progressed to date?
According to Resolution 02-NQ/TU dated April 2, 2007 of Kon Tum Provincial Party Committee on investment and development of dynamic economic zones in the province in the 2007 - 2020 period, three dynamic economic zones were planned and developed in the direction: Kon Tum City was linked to Hoa Binh and Sao Mai industrial parks and new urban areas; Ngoc Hoi district is associated with Bo Y International Border Gate Economic Zone and Plei Kan Town; and Kon Plong district is combined with Mang Den Ecotourism Area.
After 14 years of implementation, these dynamic economic zones were formed, basically meeting major targets set in Resolution 02-NQ/TU and making important contributions to socioeconomic development. Kon Tum City, established in 2009, currently meets all second-grade city criteria. Hoa Binh Industrial Park (phase 1) has been basically filled up. Sao Mai Industrial Park now has relatively complete infrastructure (roads, power grid. wastewater treatment system). Expanded Plei Kan Town, Ngoc Hoi district was recognized to satisfy the fourth-grade urban standard in 2015. Bo Y International Border Gate Economic Zone was established and linked with the development triangle of Vietnam - Laos - Cambodia. Currently, the province is developing the general planning project for Ngoc Hoi Urban Area (expanded Plei Kan Town), the plan for the formation of Ngoc Hoi Town from the current Ngoc Hoi district and the project on establishment of wards in prospective Ngoc Hoi Town. The administrative center of Kon Plong district was formed and developed, essential infrastructure was gradually invested. Mang Den town was founded in 2019. The master plan on the construction of Mang Den National Ecotourism Area and the master plan for Kon Plong Urban Area were approved by the Prime Minister.
In addition, the economic growth rate in the dynamic regions is stable and high. The appearance of urban and rural areas has been gradually upgraded and socioeconomic infrastructure in poor communes has been improved. People's living standards have been raised.
Based on its achievements, the fourth conference of the Executive Board of the Provincial Party Committee (16th term) adopted Resolution 04-NQ/TU dated September 20, 2021 on construction and development investment of dynamic economic zones of Kon Tum province to 2025 and further to 2030 where Kon Tum City and Kon Plong district were made driving economic regions of the province. With the best efforts of all levels and branches of authority, the province’s dynamic economic regions will be certainly developed more strongly in the coming time and continue to make important contributions to socioeconomic development.
Mang Den - an attractive eco-tourism destination in Kon Tum province
Kon Tum has an important strategic position in national defense and security and is an important ecological environment protection area of the country. In order to create a solid foundation for Kon Tum to grow to become a new development center of the Central Highlands and the Central Coast, how has the province focused on improving the transport infrastructure system?
Up to now, the transport infrastructure system of the province has been constructed more synchronously and more sufficiently. The transport network has connected Kon Tum province with Central Highlands and Central Coast provinces and trade with Laos, Cambodia and Northeast provinces of Thailand. Since 2002, a series of important arterial roads have been invested, upgraded, restored and constructed, including Ho Chi Minh Road; a beltway in Kon Tum City; National Highways 24, 14C and 40B; Provincial Roads 671, 675, 677 and 678; a road to the resettlement area for Plei Krong hydropower plant; Sa Thay - YaLy - Tam An (Sa Son commune) - Ya Mo - Re Village (Mo Rai) Road in Sa Thay district (Provincial Road 674); the bypass road for Van Roi Pass; Ngoc Hoang - Mang But - Tu Mo Rong - Ngoc Linh Road. These are premises for boosting socioeconomic development, raising livelihoods for ethnic minorities in the province and increasingly strengthening security and defense in the Central Highlands, including Kon Tum province.
In the coming time, in addition to upgrading the transport system, Kon Tum province will propose the central government for prioritized investment in Bo Y - Ngoc Hoi - Kon Tum - Gia Lai Expressway and Bo Y - Dak Glei - Thanh My Expressway (Quang Nam province), part of Bo Y - Thanh My - Da Nang Expressway; and invest in remaining sections of National Highway 24 to enhance connectivity between Kon Tum and Quang Ngai provinces.
In September 2022, Kon Tum province sent a document to the Prime Minister proposing to add Mang Den Airport to the master plan on national airport development in the 2021 - 2030 period, with a vision to 2050. Can you tell us more specifically about Mang Den Airport, the role and the importance of the project?
Mang Den Airport will be a 4E airport, with a designed capacity of 3-5 million passengers a year. Covering 350 ha, the airport is estimated to cost VND4,000 billion for construction in 2023 - 2027.
This is a big and important approach that expresses Kon Tum's aspirations for stronger socioeconomic development; helps connect with provinces in key economic centers and regions of the country as well as countries in the region and the world. At the same time, it is an important driving project of the province that needs investment in the 2021 - 2025 period.
Besides, according to the idea for the provincial planning framework in the 2021 - 2030 period, with a vision to 2050, Kon Tum province is expected to focus on investing in tourism development in Mang Den town, Kon Plong district. Currently, the Prime Minister has agreed on the master plan for construction of Mang Den tourist area, Kon Plong district (replacing the revised master plan for the construction of Mang Den eco-tourism area). With a mild climate, a beautiful natural landscape, if properly invested, Mang Den will become an international destination. This place will also need an airport to promote tourism development and meet the travel needs of tourists.
Thank you very much!
By Cong Luan, Vietnam Business Forum