Central coastal provinces are, to a certain extent, trapped by underdevelopment and poverty as well as poor infrastructure and economic connections, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said.

At the Central Region Economic Forum in Da Nang city on August 16, he said the central coastal region has plenty of potential to boost socio-economic development, but its infrastructure system, including road, airports and sea port, are in poor condition.

"The region could be a key zone for the country by expanding its tourism, marine economy, oil and gas industry and economic zones," Phuc said.

The deputy PM also said poverty in the region is still higher than the country's average rate, citing the fact that the number of poor household account for 17 percent of the population and 25 of the 62 districts are still classified as poverty-stricken situation.

He noted that the forum was a chance for leaders of nine regional provinces to seek ways to boost the entire region’s advantages, restructure its economy and complete a master plan for its prosperity.

Head of the central region's Development Consultancy Council, Tran Du Lich said the region's GDP, about 310 trillion VND (15 billion USD), accounted for only 9.56 percent of the country’s total.

The region has an average of 10 percent growth of GDP, higher than the country's average GDP growth (5.96 percent).

However, investment capital for development was just 13.47 percent of the national average, while export turnover was just 3.89 percent.

Meanwhile, Head of the Viet Nam Economic Institute, Tran Dinh Thien said that the coastal central region should play a key role for the country's socio-economic development.

He said the fishing industry would play a key role in the region's advancement.

The coastal central region has six airports, 13 seaports, six coastal economic zones, a high-tech park, and 14 national roads and rail roads.

At the forum in 2013, the region granted investment licences to nine projects worth nearly 200 million USD.

Regional industrial parks have attracted 943 projects, including 775 foreign direct investment one, with a total capital of over 1.3 billion USD./.