Central Highlands needs to develop border economic zones

Processing of export macadamia in Lâm Đồng, a Central Highlands province. — VNA/VNS Photo

DAK LAK (Vietnam): Border gate economic zones need to be developed in the Central Highlands region for promoting trade in goods.

Vu Ba Phu, director of the Trade Promotion Agency at the Industry and Trade Ministry (MoIT) made this statement at a conference on trade promotion and import-export development in the Central Highlands region held on April 26 in Dak Lak.

This event was jointly held by MoIT’s Trade Promotion Agency and Dak Lak’s Industry and Trade Department .

Phu said it is necessary to focus on improving institutions and policies to remove bottlenecks and use resources effectively in this region for improving its competitiveness.

To more effectively exploit the potential and advantages of the Central Highland region, it needs solutions on promoting science, technology and links to production chains to enhance product value, and regional connection to increase trade promotion and import-export activity, he said.

Phu also said he expects representatives of local governments in the region, relevant industry associations and businesses at the conference to put forward solutions to increasing efficiency of regional trade-promotion activity and enhancing connection to national trade promotion activity.

In addition, the Central Highlands region needs support in finding export markets for its products and services in the current landscape of global uncertainty and inflation at home.

On Nov 15, 2022, the government issued a resolution on socio-economic development and ensuring national defence and security in the Central Highlands by 2030, the agency reported.

Accordingly, the region will strive for quick and sustainable development by accelerating regional economic growth with a focus on developing the agriculture, forestry and processing sectors.

According to the Trade Promotion Agency, the Central Highlands region, covering the five provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong, is an important strategic area in the Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia development triangle area.

This region has many rare resources and minerals, with over one million hectares of basalt red soil, and is home to about a third of the country’s forest area and about 90% of the country’s bauxite reserves.

As such, the Central Highlands has a great potential for forestry-based economic development, agricultural-product processing, and mineral exploitation and processing.

Now, the region has become an area producing a number of key agricultural products on a large scale, especially industrial crops and fruit trees.

Some of Vietnam’s export products ranked top or second in the region as well as the world come from the Central Highlands, such as coffee, pepper, passion fruit, cashews, macadamia and rubber.

There are many planting areas for precious medicinal herbs, such as Ngoc Linh ginseng, red lingzhi mushroom, and polyscias fruticosa already developed in the Central Highlands.

However, the export value of the Central Highlands region remains very modest compared to the whole country.

During the recovery process after the Covid-19 pandemic, the region’s export value reached US$3.8bil in 2022 and US$3.7bil in 2023, just about more than 1% of the country’s total export value. — Viet Nam News/ANN

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