Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong meets residents in Kon Ro Bang 2 hamlet of Vinh Quang commune, Kon Tum city, on April 13 (Photo: VNA)

Kon Tum (VNA) – Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has suggested the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum focus on developing high-quality agriculture and border gate economy and making use of forest advantages to attain faster and sustainable growth.

At a working session with provincial officials on April 14, he applauded the province’s efforts to brave difficulties to develop.

Kon Tum shares more than 280km of borderline with Laos and Cambodia. More than 53 percent of the local population are ethnic minority people while 42 percent are religious followers.

In 2016, its gross domestic product exceeded 11 trillion VND (485.1 million USD), up 8.06 percent from the previous year. While annual per capita income reached 32 million VND (over 1,400 USD), more than 1.9 trillion VND (nearly 83.8 million USD) was collected for the State budget last year.

Kon Tum has set up Mang Den – a 150-hectare agricultural area using high technology – along with some zones specialising in industrial trees (such as rubber, coffee) and herbal plants (such as Ngoc Linh ginseng).

Industrial production value increased by 14 percent while export revenue hit 113 million USD in 2016. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, the province earned 57 million USD from exports, shooting up more than 300 percent from a year earlier.

Poverty reduction has been stepped up, reducing the household poverty rate from 26.11 percent in 2015 to 23.03 percent in 2016 according to the multidimensional poverty measurement.

The Party leader, who is touring the Central Highlands, lauded Kon Tum’s performance in ensuring defence, security, social order and safety, fighting crimes, and strictly handling deforestation cases.

However, it remains a poor province with untapped development potential, modest economic growth and per capita income, limited human resources quality, and underdeveloped infrastructure, he noted.

Suggesting several fields that Kon Tum should pay heed to, General Secretary Trong said the province should invest more in high-quality and large scale agriculture. 

He took Ngoc Linh ginseng as an example, saying that Kon Tum should expand the cultivation and processing of this indigenous species while applying technology in processing and surveying the market to ensure the sale of ginseng products. Clean vegetable and sugar canes are also suitable for farming here, he added.

He told local officials to boost border gate economic activities to capitalise on the province’s location, which is favourable for trade with Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar.

It is also necessary to protect forests and optimise forest advantages to improve local living standards and conserve the environment, the leader said, stressing the must for keeping political security and social order and safety, doing a good job of external activities, and maintaining peace and stability for development.

On April 13, the Party chief visited Kon Ro Bang 2 hamlet of Vinh Quang commune and the Kon Tum Sugar Joint Stock Company in Kon Tum city.-VNA