Investment Attraction in Dak Lak: Taking Advantage of all Potential

8:41:10 AM | 5/6/2006

Dak Lak has become famous as home to coffee, rubber, black pepper, forest and magnificent waterfalls, which can be found in legends and epics of the Central Highlands.
Advantages of Dak Lak
Natural conditions
Located 350 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City, 190 kilometres from Da Lat city and 180 kilometres from Nha Trang, Dak Lak is considered as the centre of the Central Highlands. With an area of 13,085 square kilometres, Dak Lak has favourable natural conditions with fertile soil, especially 324,700 hectares of bazan soil for farming industrial and agricultural crops of high economic value.
Dak Lak province has concentrated on farming various industrial crops on large areas, such as coffee with 187,000 hectares, rubber trees with 23,500 hectares, black pepper with 2,900 hectares, cotton with 6,000 hectares, and maize with 105,000 hectares. The province’s yearly food output reached 720,000 tonnes. Also, Dak Lak has large grazing areas of 1,200 hectares for raising great cattle. The province has great potential for developing the processing industry.
Dak Lak has 618,000 hectares of forest with coverage of 46.7 per cent, which is home to precious wood. The province has a large area planned for developing material forests, meeting the demand for the processing industry.
The province has various minerals, which have not been exploited yet. These include gemstone, coal and pensfat. The province has received huge investment capital for developing the energy industry with the hydro-electric power plants of Buon Kuop, Krong H’Nang, Buon Tua Srah, Serepok III and Krong K’ma.
Dak Lak has great potential for tourism development with many landscapes and historical sites alongside cultural values and traditions of the minority ethnic groups, such as the Lak lake, Buon Don and Ea Kao.
Social conditions:
Dak Lak has a population of 1.8 million people, with 797,000 are at the working age. Dak Lak is a meeting place of people from localities nationwide. The province is now home to people of 44 ethnic groups. This has added various features to the development of industries in the province, thus making a contribution to its socio-economic development.
The gong festival, which was recently recognised by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage, is invaluable asset for Dak Lak province, which is also an advantage for the province to develop cultural tourism.
Socio-economic achievements
After 20 years’ implementation of the renovation policies, Dak Lak province has seen great socio-economic changes for the better. Its average economic growth rate was registered at 8.05 per cent per annum. Per capital of the province is VND 4.55 million (about US$300) per year. The contribution of agriculture to the province’s GDP fell from 77.5 per cent in 2000 ton 64.3 per cent in 2005. Investment capital for the province’s economy witnessed a high year-on-year increase, 10.78 per cent per annum. Total amount in five years reached VND 9,376 billion, equal to 31.4 per cent of the province’s GDP. A change has been seen in investment structure with a focus given to industry, construction and services.
The processing industry has developed rapidly and accounted for a high rate, between 82 and 84 per cent, basically having met the requirements of the local agricultural sector on finding outlets for its products. Some products of the province have found a foothold in the market. Some of them, such as Buon Ma Thuot coffee, have even been exported.
Industrial parks and complexes have been planned and are due to be built. These include the industrial parks and complexes of Hoa Phu, Buon Ma Thuot, the Ea Dar (Ea Kar), Buon Ho (Krong Buk). Many investors have registered for land rent.
The province has concentrated its investment in local hospital system with facilities and human resources qualified for meeting the requirement for medical check-up and treatment of the local people and investors. Dak Lak has also invested in developing facilities for universities and colleges, so they can contribute to developing high quality human resources for enterprises.
Basic changes in infrastructure development have been seen with 100 per cent of local communes having electricity in their centres. Eighty per cent of households have electricity. Dak Lak has promoted its investment in local road system. Accordingly, the Buon Ma Thuot airport, an important airport in the Central Highlands, will be upgraded and a direct air route from the airport to Hanoi will opened. The road systems of 14, 26 and 27 have been upgraded, facilitating communication with major cities and seaports in Central Vietnam, the Central Highlands and the south. In the future, there will be a railway route linking Dak Lak and Phu Yen to facilitate the transportation of goods to the Vung Ro seaport.
The services of telecommunication, trade, tourism, finance, banking, insurance, electricity and water supply, have been developed to meet the increased demand of local people and investors. Total export turnover of the 1996-2005 period reached US$1.164 billion while import value was put at US$64.6 million. The communication network has seen rapid development with modern technologies. So far, 100 per cent of communes have telephones with every a hundred people having 8.6 telephones, on average. The local hotel system has been upgraded, providing better services for customers. As a result, more local and foreign holidaymakers have visited Dak Lak.
Investment attraction orientations for 2006-2010 period:
Orientations on investment attraction
In agricultural and forestry production, the province will concentrate on calling for projects on agricultural and forestry processing in combination with the development of material supply areas. Concretely, the province will promote the attraction of investment capital to reforestation and the production of paper materials, high quality chipboards, finished rubber products, cooking oil, maize starch, animal feed, coffee and fruit, as well as cow and cattle raising.
In urban and infrastructure development, Dak Lak province will boost the calling for projects on building new urban areas, trade centres, supermarkets, sports complexes, and developing infrastructure for the Phu Hoa industrial park and other industrial complexes, which have been planned.
In potential exploitation and infrastructure development for tourism, the province will promote co-operation with partners to build tourist sites, such as the Lak Lake, Buon Don, Ea Kao and Krong K’ma sites.
Construction material exploitation and production: The province will boost the production of tiles, light concrete, granite and ceramic tiles, and the exploitation of fenspat for ceramic tile production.
Places of investment concentration include Buon Ma Thuot city, concentrated industrial parks and some districts, such as Krong Pach, Lak, Buon Don, M’Drak, Krong Bong and Ea H’Leo.
Solutions for foreign investment attraction in the 2006-2010 period
In terms of the legal environment, Dak Lak province will organise training courses on the Investment Law and the Enterprise Law, and other legal documents on investment. This is to issue suitable policies and regulations on land, tax, import and export activities, labour and vocational training.
As a healthy financial and monetary environment and stable prices are important to all economic activities in the market mechanism, especially in foreign investment, so the banking, post and telecommunication and insurance sectors should continue to upgrade their services in a convenient and modern manner at reasonable costs.
The province will perfect and promote administrative reform by simplifying procedures and providing free information about investment encouragement policies.
Dak Lak will promote the development and implementation of investment encouragement policies, especially in industry and farm-produce processing for export, mineral mining and processing. More support will be given to foreign-invested enterprises, thus encouraging them to get involved in vocational training, in particular the training of skilled workers. Also, enterprises will receive support for their transportation costs.
The province will promote the investment in socio-economic infrastructure, accelerating the building of infrastructure facilities of Buon Ma Thuot city and turning it into an economic and cultural centre, attractive to investors. In addition, the implementation of projects on building inter-provincial roads and the Dak Lak-Phu Yen railway route will be promoted.
Infrastructure facilities, such as roads, water and electricity supply and telecommunication for the Hoa Phu industrial park and the industrial complexes of Buon Ho, Ea Dar in Ea Kar district and Buon Ma Thuot city, will be developed alongside efforts to promote investment, thus attracting more Vietnamese and foreign investors.
Improving investment promotion and seeking partners
The province will focus on researching and learning about partners, giving special care to multi-national groups and companies, so as to issue policies and approaches suitable with each partner. Investment promotion programmes with ASEAN, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, France, Finland, Germany and Thailand will be implemented.
The province will help local enterprises to become strong partners, quickly building plans on supporting private enterprises, developing personnel activities in foreign-invested enterprises, and providing support for small and medium-sized enterprises within a programme sponsored by Germany.
Dak Lak province will ensure to have adequate investment capital for investment promotion activities, which consists of costs for document preparation, information dissemination, partner inspection and contact making.
Favourable conditions will be created for overseas Vietnamese to return and make their contribution to the development of their homeland. Overseas Vietnamese will be encouraged to invest in or introduce investors to the province.
Improving State management on foreign direct investment
The province will continue to build its management apparatus in a simple and effective manner, promoting the inspection and examination to prevent and fight corruption, thus making the local investment environment healthier and more favourable.

Dak Lak will concentrate on unifying the operation of the provincial People’s Committee. In addition, the Department of Planning and Investment will promote its role as a consultant to the local People’s Committee on foreign direct investment. Agencies at all levels should be assigned and promote their co-operation in addressing issues emerging during the attraction and management of foreign investment, thus helping create a healthy and reliable investment environment. More open mechanisms will be developed for economic development targets, ensuring national defence and security tasks.

Quoc Tuan