Signs of Collaboration Between Dak Lak Province and South Korean Firm

In recent months, several cooperative endeavors between organizations and localities from the Dak Lak province in Vietnam and the Republic of Korea have culminated in tangible foreign and socio-economic benefits.

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Imprints of Partnership Between Dak Lak Province And RoK

Buon Ho town water supply project sponsored by KOICA.

Practical projects

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Dak Lak has three official development assistance (ODA) projects funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

The water supply project in Buon Ho town, completed in 2013 with a capacity of 5,600 m3/day and night, has a total investment of VND87.8 billion (US$3.6 million), with VND62.5 billion (US$2.5 million) as non-refundable aid capital and the remaining as counterpart capital from the Government of Vietnam. This project provides domestic water supply for 56,000 households in Buon Ho town.

In 2017, KOICA supported Dak Lak province with the “Project to improve the efficiency of Buon Ho town water supply project”, investing VND19.6 billion (US$813 thousand) to construct nearly 39 km of pipelines and supply water to 2,400 households. Additionally, the “Project to support Vocational College for Central Highlands Ethnic Minority” has a total investment of VND126.5 billion (US$5.2 million), with ODA capital being more than VND105.4 billion (US$4.3 million). This project includes the construction of student dormitories, factories, lecture halls, and language classrooms, as well as the provision of equipment and facilities for vocational training at the school.

The beneficiary of these ODA projects, the Buon Ho Town People’s Committee, stated that the projects operate effectively, providing a hygienic water supply for the people and contributing to the improvement of the environment and urban infrastructure. However, the town currently lacks wastewater treatment infrastructure, resulting in the discharge of domestic wastewater into septic tanks, drainage systems, or directly into the environment. The town proposed KOICA to sponsor the implementation of the “Buon Ho town urban drainage and wastewater treatment system project.”

In addition to ODA and FDI projects, Dak Lak province received 18 humanitarian aids (NGO) with a total value of more than US$558,000 (more than VND12.8 billion) in the fields of health, culture, education, and social protection from four organizations and two Korean individuals. Korean sponsors have also organized volunteer activities and cultural exchanges with the localities.

Strengthening local cooperation

Dak Lak province has a prominent cooperation with the Republic of Korea (RoK) through the bilateral relationship between the People’s Committee of Dak Lak province and the government of Jeollabuk province. Both provinces signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2017. Cooperation activities have been implemented in various fields, including high-level delegation exchanges, promoting cultural and tourism potential, and connecting businesses through fairs and exhibitions held in both localities.

Imprints of Partnership Between Dak Lak Province And RoK

The Vietnam-Korea Friendship Association in Dak Lak province aims to expand relations with people’s organizations in Jeollabuk province to further strengthen their relationship. This contributes to promoting the image of the locality and attracting humanitarian aid and development for disadvantaged areas within the province. Representatives of Goyang City, Gyeonggi province (RoK), have also expressed interest in cooperation with Dak Lak province, particularly in the fields of tourism, services, automobile engineering, and agricultural engineering. They proposed cooperation in processing, importing, and exporting coffee, organizing exhibitions and trade conferences on coffee products and processing technology. Dak Lak province, on the other hand, aims to increase its export output of coffee, pepper, and cashews to the RoK market.

Dak Lak province also seeks to attract investment in high-tech agriculture, forestry, fishery products, renewable energy, supporting industries, and gain access to ODA and concessional loans from Korean donors.

Rosie Nguyen