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Province targets tourists, clean energy

Central Ninh Thuan province has been told to make the best of its potential for clean energy and tourism to attract investment and serve as a connector between the Northern and Central Highlands regions.

One of central Ninh Thuan Province’s attractive bays which authorities hope will become tourist attractions. The province was the first to hire international consultants to help plan its socio-economic development for the next five years. — VNS File Photo

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at a conference on Saturday on the master plan for socio-economic development that the province had a lot going for it but it needed to focus on wind and solar energy, tourism and industrial salt production.

Ninh Thuan is 3,360sq km in area with a population of 600,000. It lies near the tourism cities of Phan Thiet, Nha Trang and Da Lat and is 50km from the international Cam Ranh Airport in neighbouring Khanh Hoa Province.

The province has the highest average wind speed of 7.5m per second compared to the nation-wide average of 4.6m/sec and sunshine throughout the year.

PM Dung said that in the country’s marine strategy, the province could be an economic hub of the Central Highlands and the northern region.

“Ninh Thuan has been selected for the construction of two nuclear power plants and this is a great chance for breakthroughs in development,” he said.

“The province is determined to develop its economy in six key areas,” said Nguyen Chi Dung, secretary of the local Party Committee, “clean energy, tourism, agriculture-aquaculture and forestry, manufacturing, education and training, and real estate and construction.”

Secretary Dung said the selection was made based on planning results between the local government and the US planning consultant Monitor Group.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, chairman of Ninh Thuan Province People’s Committee, said the province expected the sectors would contribute 91 per cent of the province’s GDP and create jobs for 85 per cent of local population by 2020.

Clean energy would focus on the two nuclear power plants with a capacity of 4,000MW each. The province planned to develop wind power turbines at 14 spots around the province with a scale of 1,500-2,000MW each plant.

The development of tourism relied on 1,005km of coastline, the scenic bays of Vinh Hy and Ninh Chu and a rich local culture.

The sectors of agriculture-aquaculture and forestry, manufacturing and construction would grow with a base of high technology and sustainable development. The province was the only locality in the country which could grow grapes and raise sheep, the conference heard.

Meanwhile, education would make use of clean energy development to set up education institutes on clean energy and its supporting industries.

According to planning consultant Monitor Group, Ninh Thuan has a clear path to prosperity. Renewable energy, market connectivity and nuclear energy would serve as a 3-step process for switching its current traditional agricultural economy to a prosperous modern one in the near future.

Chris Malone of Monitor Group said local governments should begin promptly to help achieve the goals laid down in the master plan.

Malone said the nuclear power plants were made secure by advanced technology and expertise, thus they would create great impetus to attract investors to the province.

A report by the Ministry of Planning and Investment revealed the province would have successfully attracted 200 investment projects, of a total VND137 trillion (US$6.52 billion) by the end of this year.

“The province ranks 6th in attracting direct foreign investment, behind HCM City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ha Noi, Dong Nai and Binh Duong,” said Dang Huy Dong, deputy Minister of Planning and Investment.

Chairman Thanh said the achievement was thanks to strategic work to increase the provincial competitiveness index, improve traffic infrastructure and develop human resources.

PM Dung praised the growth rate of 11 per cent this year and great changes in poverty and hunger reduction, cultural and health management of the province.

However, he reminded local authorities to set up appropriate detailed plans for every item in the master plan.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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