Vietnam determinedly improving traffic congestion in Central Highlands

Compared to the time adopting Resolution No. 10-NQ/TW by the Politburo on January 18, 2022 on maintaining the stability of political security in the border areas, Resolution No.23 of the Government this time leans more on attracting investments for economic growth of the Central Highlands. This is the comment of Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong in the interview conducted by Sai Gon Giai Phong (SGGP) Newspaper.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong

Talking about the potential strengths of the Central Highlands that have not been properly exploited, Deputy Minister Tran Duy Dong said that the most prominent advantage of the area is suitable climate and basalt red soil for the large-scale growth of staple produce, especially industrial crops, fruit trees, and medicine plants. A good exploitation of this strength can attract investors for large-scale agricultural development via advanced technologies to establish global brand names. Ngoc Linh ginseng is an excellent example.

The next advantage is the potential for the harnessing of renewable energy. The Central Highlands has various appropriate locations from mountainous areas to immense lakes to launch solar or wind power projects.

Another advantage is the huge volume of minerals here, especially bauxite, which is spotted in Dak Nong Province. This is a wonderful factor to attract investments from manufacturers of aluminum using high technologies for environment protection and sustainable development.

Lastly, the magnificent natural landscapes of the Central Highlands, along with rich indigenous cultural treasures, are the foundation for the growth of the tourism sector to welcome both domestic and foreign tourists.

However, the Deputy Minister also mentioned problems that this region is facing, the most serious of which is traffic congestion. Resolution No.23-NQ/TW clearly stipulates the pathways to carry out the 9 major traffic projects in this region. In particular, by 2030, the five expressways of Quy Nhon – Pleiku, Khanh Hoa – Buon Ma Thuot, Gia Nghia – Chon Thanh, Tan Phu – Bao Loc, and Bao Loc – Lien Khuong must by completed to link to key seaports of the Central key economic zones as well as the huge market in the Southeast region.

A few of the above expressway projects have identified their capital sources. Khanh Hoa – Buon Ma Thuot will fully use the state budget, while Tan Phu – Bao Loc Expressway and Bao Loc – Lien Khuong Expressway will follow the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model. The 3 airport construction or expansion projects of Lien Khuong, Pleiku, and Buon Ma Thuot will be launched. Thap Cham – Da Lat Railway will be restored to serve tourism purposes.

When being asked about the time to complete the planning for the Central Highlands to become the legal basis for investment projects, Deputy Minister Dong said that his Ministry is working on it and will finish next year.

In general, the Central Highlands is divided into three areas with their own special features and development measures, yet still maintain a close inter-area connection.

_North Central Highland region: (Gia Lai Province and Kon Tum Province) maintaining the current hydropower industry, developing renewable energy, growing medicine plant, forming eco-tourism sites around national parks and natural reserves. The development space is through National Ways No.14, 19, and 24 that connect to the Central Coastal areas.

_Middle Central Highlands: (Dak Lak Province) focusing on renewable energy, producing processing industry (especially coffee), establishing centers for services and trading as well as goods transport hubs. The development space is through the link to the provinces of Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen via National Ways No.26, 29, and Buon Ma Thuot – Khanh Hoa Expressway.

_South Central Highlands: (Lam Dong Province, Dak Nong Province) developing high-quality tourism services, boosting hi-tech agriculture and exploitation, processing of aluminum thanks to a high volume of bauxite and alumin here. The development space is through the link to the Southeast region.