Infrastructure development helps Quảng Ninh drive growth in north

November 26, 2022 - 09:05

Under the national master plan for the 2021-30 period for the Northern Key Economic Region, which includes seven provinces, Quảng Ninh is a core growth engine in the economic triangle of Hà Nội – Hải Phòng – Quảng Ninh.


An intersection of Hạ Long - Vân Đồn - Móng Cái expressway. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng

HÀ NỘI — In early September, Quảng Ninh officially opened the backbone expressway running through Hạ Long, Vân Đồn and Móng Cái.

Together with the Cái Lân deep water seaport and Vân Đồn International Airport, the expressway is a modern infrastructure system with large transport capacity, which will create breakthrough developments not only for the province’s economy but also for the Northern Key Economic Region.

Under the national master plan for the 2021-30 period for the Northern Key Economic Region, which includes seven provinces, Quảng Ninh is a core growth engine in the economic triangle of Hà Nội – Hải Phòng – Quảng Ninh.

Statistics of the provincial People’s Committee show that the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of Quảng Ninh expanded by 10.21 per cent in January – October, driven by the impressive recovery of tourism, industry, construction and agro-forestry-fishery sector as normal economic activities resumed after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quảng Ninh was forecast to register a two-digit growth this year, meaning that the northern province had been expanding at two-digit growth annually for eight consecutive years.

Besides administrative reform and human resource development, infrastructure was considered one of three strategic breakthroughs of Quảng Ninh for promoting socio-economic development.

Few localities have invested in infrastructure development as strongly as Quảng Ninh in recent years.

Several infrastructure projects worth trillions of Vietnamese đồng are being implemented, such as the Quảng Ninh LNG power project (worth VNĐ47 trillion) and Vạn Ninh deep water port complex’s first phase (worth $2.24 trillion).

This bucks the trend of the rest of the country, where few infrastructure projects have been invested in following public-private-partnership practices in the past five years. Instead, Quảng Ninh has successfully attracted private investment in large-scale projects.

For example, private investment contributed more than 70 per cent to building the 176-km long Hạ Long – Vân Đồn – Móng Cái expressway.

Many economic experts said that modern and synchronous infrastructure creates significant attraction for the province to draw investment and create long-term growth drivers, as well as turn Quảng Ninh into a driver of growth for the region and the country.

Dare to do

According to Vũ Kim Chi, Permanent Deputy Director of the provincial Investment Promotion Agency, five to seven years ago, infrastructure was a bottleneck to investment in Quảng Ninh as investors were concerned about traffic connectivity.

However, the province now successfully turned this bottleneck into an advantage. It now has a synchronous transport infrastructure system with highways, airports and seaports, which enables regional, inter-regional and international connectivity.

With efforts to hasten economic reforms, Quảng Ninh had created an open investment environment which, for five years straight, topped 63 provinces and cities across the country in terms of the provincial competitive index.

Quảng Ninh was also the province with the largest area of industrial and economic zones, a significant advantage for attracting investment, Chi said. 

“It can be said that it is the time for Quảng Ninh to converge all factors to attract investment. Many investors have been coming to Quảng Ninh to explore investment opportunities,” Chi said.

The province has attracted around US$10 billion worth of foreign direct investment. In the first nine months of this year, it attracted $200 million in FDI.

Vũ Tiến Lộc, a member of the National Assembly Economic Committee, said the success of Quảng Ninh was thanks to the “dare-to-do” spirit of the local government, coupled with the reform effort to create an open environment for investors, and the prime location of the province.

“Quảng Ninh is the international gateway of the northern and northeast regions, so the synchronous and modern investment in infrastructure in the province is meaningful to the province, the whole region, and the country,” Lộc said.

Green transition

More than a decade ago, Quảng Ninh was a province with an economy heavily dependent on coal mining.

In the 2011-25 period, the local authorities started an ambitious plan to move from a brown economy based on mining to a green economy, which was considered impossible.  

 A view of Hạ Long City, Quảng Ninh. — VNA/VNS Photo

With determination and consistency in action, Quảng Ninh made spectacular developments in tourism during the past decade, establishing a leading position and successfully transforming its economic model from brown to green. 

“Quảng Ninh should be considered a national development model,” Trần Đình Thiên, former Director of the Việt Nam Institute of Economics, said.

Thiên pointed out that the key to the success of Quảng Ninh was the harmonisation of benefits of the State and the private sector.

Thiên said that to move forward on the road of green transition, Quảng Ninh needs to focus on promoting high and clean technologies in industrial zones and building clean industry, which would play an important role in ensuring the environment for tourism – these are “must-dos” and “can-do”.

Quảng Ninh also set out a roadmap by 2025 that it would stop mining and close all quarries to preserve the environment.

According to the provincial People’s Committee, Quảng Ninh would continue to pursue an economic development strategy associated with environmental production, focusing on attracting projects with modern and environmentally friendly technologies.

By 2030, Quảng Ninh aims to become a dynamic and comprehensive development centre, international tourism centre, marine economic centre, a gateway of the Northern Key Economic Region, and the whole country with sustainable urban development adaptive to climate change.

Early in June, the provincial People’s Committee approved the project of comprehensive digital transformation across the province by 2025 with a vision to 2030, which stressed that the digital transformation would create impetus for growth and the shortage way to breakthrough development, improving productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy and promoting the role of Quảng Ninh as a dynamic and comprehensive development centre of the Northern region. — VNS