Challenges facing the sustainable development of the Central Highlands region were considered at a forum in the regional province of Kon Tum on January 8.

While participants discussed the many achievements made in the region - such as improved infrastructure, economic growth and poverty alleviation most of their time was dedicated to discussing an array of problems. These include natural resource exhaustion, unreasonable economic structure and risks of social disorder. Notably, there is still a gap between the development of local ethnic groups and migrated people.

Bui Quang Tuan from the Institute of Regional Sustainable Development said that the Central Highlands region needs to strictly manage the exploitation of natural resources and focus on providing a skilled workforce instead of a merely cheap one.

He also suggested developing the processing industry and prioritising the farming of coffee and rubber and the popularity of local cultural tourism.

Do Thanh Trung from the Ministry of Planning and Investment urged the region to enable ethnic people to engage in the process of devising sustainable development programmes.-VNA