|T’Nung Lake (Gia Lai province) in the dawn__Photo: VNA|
Located in the north of the Central Highlands, Gia Lai mountainous province borders Kon Tum province to the north, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces to the east, Dak Lak province to the south and Cambodia’s Ratanakiri province to the west with a borderline of 90 kilometers. It has a strategic geographical location in terms of economy, national defense and security as the center of the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Development Triangle Area.
Gia Lai province is now accessible by road and air. The Pleiku airport serves domestic flights from the province to Hanoi, Da Nang city and Ho Chi Minh City. The province is also connected to other Central Highlands provinces, Quang Nam province, Da Nang city, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong River delta by national highway 14; Quy Nhon seaport in Binh Dinh province by national highway 19; and Phu Yen province and the Central Coast by national highway 25. Once national highway 19 is completely upgraded, it will help promote the province’s socio-economic development and boost logistics and transport along the east-west corridor from the Central Highlands to the Central Coast.
Gia Lai boasts 845,000 hectares of fertile red basalt soil and a mild climate ideal for poultry and cattle breeding and growing of industrial crops. Therefore, it is prestigious for immense coffee and rubber plantations and green tea hills. It has 98,700 hectares of coffee, almost 88,000 hectares of rubber trees, 29,000 hectares of fruit trees, 23,300 hectares of cashew trees, 79,300 hectares of cassava, 76,000 hectares of wet rice, nearly 37,000 hectares of sugarcane, and 690 hectares of tea plantations.
Renewable energy and hi-tech agriculture potential
The province is now a hotspot for renewable energy projects. It has so far attracted five foreign direct investment (FDI) projects specialized in wind power and five others in cashew nut and coffee processing1.
According to Deputy Director of the Gia Lai Planning and Investment Department (PID) Nguyen Huu Nguyen, foreign investors’ participation in various sectors and fields, particularly processing, manufacturing and renewable energy industries, has helped accelerate the province’s modernity-oriented economic restructuring based on its strengths.
Japanese and Republic of Korea (RoK) investors’ recent interest in hi-tech agriculture, processing industry and tourism can be attributed to the effective implementation of the Government’s and province’s investment attraction policies and the improvement of the local business and investment environment, he added.
The province has been calling for investment in hi-tech agriculture projects and construction of synchronous infrastructure facilities, particularly those of industrial parks (IPs), cottage industry clusters and tourist sites.
“In the coming time, the province will attract selective investment prioritizing hi-tech, environmentally friendly projects, and promote investment in projects using locally available materials and cutting-edge technologies, and foreign-invested enterprises to manufacture products for export and import substitutes,” said Director of the Gia Lai Investment Promotion Center Le Tien Anh.
To facilitate the province’s FDI attraction, the provincial People’s Committee has assigned the PID and the Gia Lai Economic Zone Authority to review projects that falling behind the schedule or inefficient projects to recover land for new projects. The PID and the Gia Lai Economic Zone Authority will be responsible for reviewing projects that fail to put land into use or put land into use behind the schedule, and proposing land recovery in accordance with the land law.
The PID is also assigned to formulate annual plans to improve the province’s competitiveness index and develop flexible investment promotion packages to attract large investment projects with spill-over effects.
In addition, the provincial administration will review overlapping provisions of the land and housing laws and the law on management and use of public assets, then propose revisions thereof to the Government.
Regarding to the FDI attraction to IPs and the Le Thanh international border-gate economic zone, the provincial authorities has offered investors with special incentives. They are entitled to the corporate income tax rate of 10 percent in 15 years and corporate income tax exemption for four years and 50-percent reduction for subsequent nine years. Particularly, investors in the southern Pleiku IP and Le Thanh international border-gate economic zone will be exempted from import duty on goods imported to create fixed assets.
A green tourism potential
Gia Lai province boasts rich and diverse tourism resources with many breathtaking landscapes. It is an ideal destination for tourists who want to explore the wild nature and the largest gong collection among the five Central Highlands provinces. At present, the province has some 5,600 sets of gongs, including 930 rare sets, and around 900 gong artisans. The gong culture in the Central Highlands was recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity in 2005.
The province is witnessing the formation of three types of tourism - green tourism, sports tourism and recreational tourism, with green tourism strongly promoted in Pleiku city. This type of tourism not only helps protect the ecological environment and preserve the culture and life of indigenous people but also provides tourists with positive experiences, according to President Nguyen Tan Thanh of the Gia Lai Tourism Association. Pleiku city is being turned into a green plateau for health with more and more community-based tourism villages, farmstays and homestays.
This year, the hospitality sector plans to welcome 1.1 million foreign holiday makers and rake in VND 700 billion.
To achieve the target, the province will continue to develop quality and diverse tourism products to cater market demands. Apart from tapping the advantages of indigenous culture and traditional craft villages, the province will cooperate with neighboring localities in developing “sea-forests” tourism products.
The province will organize a series of cultural, sports and tourism events to entertain visitors, including the Chu Dang Ya wild sunflower-volcano festival from November 8-14; Gia Lai city trail 2023 marathon from November 17-19; the gong cultural festival themed “Gia Lai - Colors of Culture” on November 11 and 12; and a trade fair from November 15-19. In addition, gong performances will be held every Saturday night in the Great Unity Square of Pleiku city and every Sunday morning in front of the provincial museum.-