Coffee - main industrial tree in Central Highlands (Source: VNA)
Dak Lak (VNA) – Despite the negative impacts of prolonged drought, the Central Highlands region still saw positive socio-economic development in 2015, with its gross domestic product (GDP) valued at nearly 140 trillion VND (6.16 billion USD), up 7.06 percent from the previous year.

According to the Steering Committee for the Central Highlands Region, investment mobilisation for social development reached approximately 74 trillion VND (3.25 billion USD) in 2015, a year-on-year increase of 13.17 percent, while credit activities were stepped up, contributing to production, developing infrastructure and improving living conditions in disadvantaged and border communes.

The completion of the Ho Chi Minh Highway running through the region, the upgrade of airports and the implementation of numerous transport projects also helped promote the region’s economic growth.

Last year, regional enterprises made optimistic progress. The number of newly-established companies rose, while the number of businesses that had to dissolve or stop operating decreased remarkably.

Over the year, 2,417 new enterprises were registered with a total capital of 10.2 trillion VND (448.8 million USD). It also attracted 131 investment projects totaling 19.3 trillion VND (849.2 million USD), including 13 foreign-invested businesses.

Many socio-economic development targets such as the industrial production index and total retail sales of consumer goods and services were reached, and per capita income reached 36.15 million VND (1,668 USD), up 12 percent year-on-year.

The value of agro-fishery and forestry products rose by nearly 6 percent from 2014.

In 2015, Central Highlands provinces spent a total of 88.4 trillion VND (3.89 billion USD) on building new-style rural areas.

They also provided vocational training for 85,800 locals, and jobs for 101,000 labourers.

A total of 35,000 households received assistance to successfully escape from poverty, and as a result the region’s poverty rate dropped to 8.5 percent.

According to the Steering Committee for the Central Highlands Region, in 2016, the region will strive to maintain socio-political stability, strengthen national unity, accelerate economic growth and speed up economic restructuring in order to fulfil its socio-economic development targets.-VNA