The Central Highland province of Dak Lak strives to build on its previous socio-economic achievements in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Buon Ma Thuot victory and the provincial liberation day (March 10, 1975).

After national reunification in 1975, Dak Lak had a population of only 130,000 people and extremely limited technical and economic infrastructure. Since, the locality has reaped momentous achievements in economics, culture, social affairs, defence, security and Party building thanks to the Party’s Doi Moi (reform) policy.

Covering 13,125 square kilometres of land in the heart of the Central Highlands, Dak Lak now has a population of over 1.8 million from 47 ethnic groups.

In 2014, the provincial gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at over 17.1 trillion VND (1.1 billion USD), an annual rise of 8.4 percent, and per capita income reached 31.4 million VND (1,475 USD).

All provincial communes are accessible by cars, and 95 percent of hamlets are connected to the national power grid.

The economic structure is shifting along the direction of industrialisation and modernisation, with agro-forestry-fishery accounting for 45 percent; industry and construction 16.7 percent; and services 38.3 percent.

Agriculture plays an important role as the driving force for the province’s economic growth. Dak Lak is the largest coffee producer in Vietnam, boasting a coffee-growing area of 204,390 hectares and producing 450,000 tonnes of coffee annually. The locality harvests more than 1.25 million tonnes of rice from nearly 95,000 ha of water rice each year, ensuring its own food security.

It has also expanded high economic efficiency breeding and cultivating models. The province currently has two communes satisfying all criteria of the national programme on building new-style rural areas, thanks to contributions by local ethnic groups valued at over 1 trillion VND (46.5 million USD) to carry out the programme.

Local authorities also focused on the development of industry, having built a number of modern farm produce processing plants, an industrial park and 13 industrial clusters.

The rate of poor households has been reduced to 12.75 percent in 2014 from 14.85 percent in the previous year.

Social services made remarkable improvements, with all communes having at least one medical station and a doctor.

As the political, economic, cultural and social centre of Dak Lak, Buon Ma Thuot City boasts great development potential.

In 2014, the city recorded a 13 percent economic growth rate and a per capita income of 47.6 million VND (2,261 USD). The rate of people living below the poverty line is currently 1.4 percent.

The city is increasing its investment in social and economic infrastructure while adjusting development strategies to turn it into an urban centre of the Central Highlands in 2020.-VNA