Da Lat city in Lam Dong province (Source: VNA)

Phu Yen (VNA) – A conference held in Tuy Hoa city in Phu Yen province on July 12 looked into the industry and trade sectors of 15 localities in the central and Central Highlands regions, urging them to strengthen their connectivity to tap into the local market and boost development.

Statistics showed that the regions’ industrial production value exceeded 198 trillion VND (8.58 billion USD) between January and June this year, up 11 percent from the same period in 2017.

The localities have paid attention to developing economic zones, and industrial parks and clusters, thus creating better conditions for attracting investment and creating jobs. There are now 13 economic zones in the regions. As of June 2018, 1,558 projects worth 150.5 trillion VND (6.52 billion USD) had become operational there.

The regions were also busy with trading activities in the first half of the year. While total retail sales of consumer goods and services reached 341.46 trillion VND (14.79 billion USD), import turnover was estimated at 2.14 billion USD, up 14.7 percent and 16.9 percent year-on-year, respectively.

Despite vibrant industrial and trading activities, officials at the conference pointed out the shortcomings in regional connectivity, noting that asynchronous infrastructure has hampered the development of trade and logistics services. The abundance of individual small- and medium-sized enterprises has also challenged efforts to expand the market.

An official of the Binh Dinh provincial Department of Industry and Trade said that in order to address these problems, it is necessary to better connect the supply and demand of goods so that businesses can seek cooperation chances to form value chains in the region and serve exports. The localities also need to enhance trading connectivity to capitalise on the consumer market in the region, as well as the whole country.

Vice Chairman of the Phu Yen provincial People’s Committee Tran Huu The also underlined the importance of locality-to-locality connectivity. 

He said Phu Yen is a gateway to the sea for the Central Highlands provinces, featuring many types of transport infrastructure such as seaports, roads, and railways for the development of logistics services. If regional localities team up with one another, they will successfully attract investors and facilitate trading activities.

At the conference, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung asked central and Central Highlands localities to pay more heed to the domestic market while producing goods with high value typical for each province and city.

Aside from promoting industrial and inter-region trading, he also called on them to step up administrative reforms to improve the investment climate, popularising new policies and free trade agreements among enterprises.

For the remaining months, the 15 localities aim to achieve an industrial production value of 278.19 trillion VND (12 billion USD) and export turnover of 4.2 billion USD, raising the respective total figures to 485.2 trillion VND (21 billion USD) and 8.29 billion USD this year. They also target over 357 trillion VND (15.46 billion USD) in total retail sales of consumer goods and services in the latter half of 2018. -VNA