The Central Highlands province of Lam Dong holds great advantages of climate, land and proximity to the southern economic region to attract foreign investment in hi-tech agriculture.

In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Phan Van Dung said the locality boasts strength in developing agro-forestry and farm produce processing industry.

The favourable weather enables the province to grow industrial trees such as tea and coffee as well as vegetable and fruits, he said.

He noted that the province counts 106 valid investment projects worth 482 million USD. Most of the projects (61.3 percent) focus on agriculture and farm produce, while the remaining concentrates to trade and services (21.8 percent) and industry (16.9 percent).

Projects combing agricultural production with processing industry have increased the value of farm produce - the already strength of the province like vegetable, flowers, and tea and popularised their brand names in domestic and foreign markets.

Scores of businesses and farmers are expanding hi-tech agriculture production models to increase the value of farm produce, he said, adding that some foreign enterprises have helped the province to enhance its labour organisation and management.

However, he also noted that, the ineffective operation of some businesses due to domestic and global economic crisis, has resulted in slow implementation of projects in the 2011-2015 period.

To date, no projects in the province are delayed for too long or transferred to other businesses, he confirmed, saying local authorities have issued a document on the extension or withdrawal of projects that received investment licences ahead July 1, 2014.

He added that the province will continue improving the investment climate, increasing administrative reform towards the one-stop-shop model, and supporting small-and medium-sized enterprises.

Authorities pledged to implement effectively socio-economic development programmes with vicinities and Ho Chi Minh City , and provide interest rate policy to support businesses in hi-tech agriculture and farm produce processing as well as focus on land utilisation plan and rural modernisation.

The province also expects FDI in other fields such as tourism, services, and post-harvest preservation and processing, he added.-VNA