Viet Nam News
LẠNG SƠN — President Trần Đại Quang has urged the northern mountainous province of Lạng Sơn to fully tap its potential and strengths to develop border trade, services, tourism, agro-forestry and its rural economy.
Addressing a ceremony to mark the 185th anniversary of the province’s establishment (November 4, 1831-2016) in Lạng Sơn city on November 4, the State leader suggested the locality should apply science and technology in production, protecting the environment, and minimising negative impacts caused by natural disasters and climate change.
While congratulating Lạng Sơn on its recent achievements, President Quang asked local authorities to focus on developing the Đồng Đăng-Lạng Sơn Border Gate Economic Zone to turn the province into a service centre in the northeast region.
"Lạng Sơn should work harder to realise its poverty reduction goals and ensure social security sooner, while safeguarding national sovereignty and border security," he said.
Located in the nation’s northern gateway, Lạng Sơn enjoys a long history and culture. Its name “Lạng Sơn” first appeared in a royal ordinance issued by King Minh Menh of the Nguyễn Dynasty on November 4, 1831. It holds a strategic position in socioeconomic development, security-defence, and the nation’s foreign affairs.
The province is targetting economic growth of 8-9 per cent and an average per capita income of VNĐ35-36 million (US$1,569-1,614) this year.
According to the province’s report, the local economy grew 3.64 per cent in the first half of 2016.
’Build express railway soon’
The People’s Committee of Lạng Sơn has proposed the Government instruct the Ministry of Transport to construct an express railway connecting the province to China soon.
Under the project which is aimed at providing passenger and cargo services between Việt Nam and China, a high speed rail route will run between the capital city of Hà Nội and Lạng Sơn’s Đồng Đăng town, linking it with China’s Nanning-Pingxiang high speed railway.
According to the province’s People’s Committee, the current rail route allows trains to travel at an average speed of 50 km per hour, which is slow compared with trains in China.
The railway is expected to boost trade between Việt Nam and China, ease the pressure on road, and reduce traffic accidents, it said.
The committee suggested the project be carried out in 2016-2020 with Đồng Đăng station built to international standards.
Previously, Hải Phòng and Lào Cai proposed building an express railway to connect with China, said deputy Minister of Transport Nguyễn Ngọc Đông.
But demand for cargo transport from Hà Nội to Nanning City (China) via Lạng Sơn was not high, Đông told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
Demand is also reported to be low between Nanning to Hà Nội’s Gia Lâm District.
Most cargo transport operates on the Hải Phòng-Hà Nội-Lào Cai route to the Chinese province of Yunnan.
"The feasibility of the project should be studied carefully, as constructing an express railway involves technology, capital, and operating capacity," he said.
In related news, Đông said the government has asked the ministry of transport to complete a report on the feasibility of the North-South express railway to submit to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc for approval in 2017, before submission to the National Assembly in 2018.
But priority would be given to constructing sections with high transport demand, instead of building the whole project at once, he said. — VNS