Clearing Three Bottlenecks for Dak Nong’s Breakthrough Development

9:48:45 AM | 3/4/2024

At the conference announcing the Dak Nong Provincial Planning for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang emphasized that Dak Nong province must address three critical “bottlenecks” to sustain future breakthrough development. These include enhancing traffic connectivity with the Southeast, adjusting the non-forest land quota, and refining mineral planning.

By 2030, Dak Nong is projected to become a developed province in the Central Highlands, a key trade hub linking the Central Highlands and Southeast region

According to the planning, by 2030, Dak Nong will become a relatively developed province in the Central Highlands, an important gateway for trade between the Central Highlands and the Southeast region; a national center of bauxite - alumina - aluminum industries and a regional center of renewable energy.

The province aims for an average gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth of 9.05% a year and the GRDP per capita (current price) of over VND130 million (US$5,600).

The planning defines three breakthrough fields of Dak Nong: Developing bauxite - alumina - aluminum industries; developing high-tech climate-resilient agriculture; and developing eco-tourism and resorts by promoting climate advantages, natural landscapes, unique culture and UNESCO Dak Nong global geopark.

Regarding the bauxite - alumina - aluminum industries, with the largest bauxite reserves in the country, the province will focus on completing and operating the Dak Nong aluminum electrolysis plant; and expand and increase the capacity of Nhan Co alumina plant from 1.2 million tons to 2 million tons of alumina a year.

At the same time, the province will call for the investment fund for such projects as Dak Nong 2 alumina factory, Dak Nong 3 alumina factory, Dak Nong 4 alumina factory and Dak Nong 5 alumina factory linked with local ore sites.

With respect to agriculture and forestry, Dak Nong province will focus on developing key industrial crops such as coffee, rubber, cashew and pepper by replanting crops, sustaining farming and applying modern technology and standards; appropriately restructure crops to grow potential ones such as macadamia, medicinal herbs, fruit trees, vegetables and flowers of high economic value.

By 2050, Dak Nong province will strive to become a developed province in the Central Highlands and a national center of aluminum and post-aluminum industries.

At the conference, leaders of Dak Nong province awarded investment certificates to four projects and handed over investment memorandums of four projects to investors.

Strong breakthrough following two decades of reestablishment

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang stated that after 20 years of provincial reestablishment (2004-2024), Dak Nong province has achieved very strong breakthrough development. Remarkably, in many years, the province secured its second highest growth rate in the Central Highlands. Its economic scale expanded 12 times, the industrial production value jumped 26 times, and the services sector soared 22 times.

The breakthrough development has also been expressed in many statistical indicators as compared to other localities such as the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index), the Digital Transformation Index (DTI) and the Poverty Reduction Index.

Dak Nong’s challenges: a universal experience

Deputy Prime Minister Quang asked the province to pay special attention to solving its difficulties and challenges as he felt that the province has so many difficulties that they can be seen in any other localities.

He explained that Dak Nong has so many individual and special characteristics that the general and universal legal framework of the country cannot provide the best conditions for its development, especially Vietnam’s mining planning, including the bauxite mining planning.

On the other hand, of its total natural land area (65,000 hectares), two-thirds is forest and mineral land while a third is for development, situated in the north of the province, bordered by Dak Lak, while the growth pole lies in the south - that is the Southeast region of Vietnam.

Although its poverty reduction pace was among the fastest in the country in 2023, Dak Nong province still had many poor people, most of whom are ethnic minorities who still have limited knowledge for income development, unsustainable livelihoods and backward customs and practices. Therefore, its upcoming poverty reduction tasks will be very hard, especially given its limited resources.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the qualifications of officials in Dak Nong are also uneven, especially ethnic minorities and officials working on ethnic affairs. He emphasized whether or not development potential and opportunities can be exploited “depends greatly on the capacity and attitude of officials.”

Dak Nong province is among the smallest budget collectors in the country, with just about VND3,200 billion in 2023. In the first three months of the year, it had the lowest budget revenue in five years. Deputy Prime Minister Quang said that Dak Nong must make efforts to improve this immediately.

Besides, Dak Nong is under competitive pressure from other localities in the region, which have similar natural conditions and products like macadamia, coffee, pepper and tourist products. He noted that, to develop tourism, the province must have “unique and exclusive” products.

Land of potential amidst three critical bottlenecks

Despite numerous difficulties and challenges, Dak Nong has a lot of potential for breakthrough development if it manages to remove bottlenecks: traffic connection with the Southeast, non-forest land quota and mineral planning, he remarked.

Regarding traffic connection with the Southeast region, Quang assessed that Dak Nong has unique advantages because it serves as a bridge between the Central Highlands and the Southeast region, which is witnessing strong development which will spread to Binh Duong and Binh Phuoc and later to Dak Nong. Thus, the province must actively prepare carefully to catch up with this trend.

After his visit to the exhibition within the framework of the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Quang realized very positive signs of the “agricultural economy”: The province utilizes the strengths of its own distinctive agricultural products, combines tourism with agriculture and develops agricultural production along the value chain.

He added that if legal obstacles for renewable energy and clean energy development projects can be resolved, Dak Nong province will become a powerful producer of renewable energy, helping the country to realize net zero emissions goal by 2050.

Leaders of Dak Nong province have always been eager, enthusiastic and acted decisively for local development, he said, emphasizing that this is a “great spiritual value” for local breakthrough in the future.

Key phrases for effective planning implementation

To effectively carry out the Provincial Planning, Deputy Prime Minister Quang said that the province needs to firmly grasp these keywords: “Compliance”, “flexibility”, “synchronization” and “understanding”.

Compliance is to make sure that the province does not lose track and achieves its set goals.

At the same time, the province must also be “flexible” in how things are done, even for goals without core values. The province may change or propose changes to competent authorities because it is difficult to tell things to happen for sure in six years and in 26 years, Quang shared.

The planning must be implemented in “synchronization” with broader national planning, regional planning and sectoral planning and a series of subordinate plans because if they are not synchronized with each other, there will be no legal foundation for anything else to be done.

Responsible people must “understand” the planning before carrying out it, he noted. Businesses and people must “understand” it to support and accompany the government and join with the government to detect problems in this planning for timely correction.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum