More than 30 socio-economic investment projects will be carried out in the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, and Lam Dong, under commitments made a conference held in Lam Dong on May 17.

The third conference on investment promotion and social welfare in the Central Highlands was jointly held by the Steering Committee for the Central Highlands, the State Bank of Vietnam, and the Lam Dong provincial People’s Committee.

Head of the steering committee Tran Dai Quang said despite vast potential for development, the Central Highlands so far has remained underdeveloped, accounting for only about 4.5 percent of the total country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The region needs huge investments for development, which the State budget only cannot meet, he said, emphasing that capital should be mobilised from both domestic and foreign sources such as official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI).

Apart from this, the Central Highlands itself should continue to reform policies and administrative procedures, create favourable investment environment, and improve infrastructure and human resources in order to attract investors, he suggested.

At the conference, five Central Highlands provinces granted investment licences to 13 outstanding projects worth over 16.6 trillion VND (768 million USD), mainly in agriculture, animal husbandry, serves and energy.

Kon Tum attracted the biggest share of investment with 7.7 trillion VND (over 357 million USD) while Gia Lai welcomed the largest number of projects.

At the same time, 15 cooperative projects and three MoUs were signed in hydroelectricity, transports, and agriculture production, with commercial banks pledging to lend 15 trillion VND ( 694 million USD) to their implementation.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, between 2011 and 2015, the Central Highlands received over 30 trillion VND (1.4 billion USD) from the State budget and Government bonds to upgrade highways; and mobilised over 28.4 trillion VND (1.3 million USD) to improve roads in the respective localities.

In the 2011-2014 period, the region lured 410 million USD in ODA.

From 2011 to April 2015, it secured 38 FDI projects worth 122 million USD. Lam Dong led localities with 29 projects worth nearly 75 million USD, accounting for 61.5 percent of the region’s total investment.-VNA