The Central Highlands province of Dak Lak is determined to utilise international funding to drive local socio-economic development since foreign direct investments currently lag behind expectations.

Located in the heart of the Central Highlands, Dak Lak shares a 73km border with Cambodia’s Mondulkiri province, making the Vietnamese province a key part of the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Development Triangle.

According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, Dak Lak has only attracted 10 foreign direct investment projects with a total capital of 173.7 million USD since 2006, mainly in agricultural processing, animal feed processing, biofuel production, flower cultivation export, commerce and services.

Furthermore, only 29 official development assistance projects are being implemented in the province, mostly in agriculture, education and traffic. A majority of these projects focus on infrastructure, like roads, water supply and drainage facilities, which are unprofitable in the short term.

The former Director of the department, Nguyen Viet Tuong, the current Secretary of the Party Committee of Dak Lak’s capital city Buon Ma Thuot, said current investments did not exploit the province’s potential, especially in agriculture and forestry, as well as the provincial priority areas education, healthcare, culture and sports.

The number of projects in operation and on schedule is low, while many apply outdated technologies of limited added value, he added.

The Vice Standing Chairman of Dak Lak People’s Committee, Y Dham Enuol, said the province is about to announce an overall plan for socio-economic development until 2020 which will act as a call for investments.

The plan aims to upgrade the road network linking Dak Lak to other localities in the Central Highlands and the Development Triangle, he noted, adding that irrigation, water supply and drainage systems, and environmental and electricity facilities willl also be expanded.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director of the Planning and Investment Department, Vo Ngoc Tuyen, said local authorities were offering a number of favourable policies and streamlining administrative procedures so as to provide optimum conditions for investors.

The province is diversifying investment promotion efforts, including regular meetings and interactions with large domestic and international companies to introduce local potentials and Dak Lak’s investment climate.

Coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies, both at home and abroad, will also be improved so that Dak Lak can acquire up-to-date information on its partners, ultimately optimising the promotion of investments, Tuyen added.-VNA