Provinces in the Central Highlands should continue their socio-economic development as outlined in the 2020 governmental master plan, and consolidate the nation’s great unity and political system to ensure national defence and security in 2013.

General Tran Dai Quang, Politburo member, Minister of Public Security cum head of the Central Highlands Steering Committee, made the statement at a year-end meeting in Dak Lak on January 14.

Quang recommended prioritising the upgrade of the Ho Chi Minh Highway that passes through the Central Highlands and the reduction of poor households in ethnic minority groups.

Other important tasks include allocating residential and farming land to ethnic minorities, he added.

Regarding policies on forestry development, Quang said that it is necessary to review forest planning and temporarily halt the construction of new hydroelectric facilities in order to divert investment to transport infrastructure, support the sustainable development of coffee plantations, and protect the environment and natural resources.

The official stressed that provinces in the region should better implement the great unity of people, build a comprehensive and strong political system that is closely linked with the lives of local residents, and strive to have in every village and hamlet a political party, and its members, by the end of 2013.

In 2012, despite numerous difficulties, the region’s economy achieved encouraging results. Its GDP increased by 11.8 percent, the average income in the area was 26.9 million VND (1,287 USD), and export revenue recorded a year-on-year increase of 11 percent.-VNA