Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The northern mountainous province of Cao Bang is mobilising resources to invest in improving infrastructure and build policies to promote border economic development, with the hope of creating breakthroughs in the trade and service sectors.

These efforts are aimed at helping Cao Bang tap its potential and utilize strengths, increasing the local budget revenue, creating more jobs, and raising the incomes of the local population.

Along with cash crop cultivation and tourism, border economy has been determined as one of the three key economic sectors of Cao Bang. Local authorities have put forward many policies to promote infrastructure development and attract investors to the region.

Border trade has also significantly contributed to the new-style rural area development in the province.

A series of infrastructure projects have been implemented in the locality in recent times, including the road connecting to the border gate at Duc Long commune of Thach An district, with a total investment of more than 41 billion VND (1.78 million USD); a project to upgrade the road connecting Dong Khe town and Na Lan open path, with a total cost of 117 billion VND (nearly 5.1 million USD); and a transformer station project to ensure power supply for warehouse businesses.

The Na Lan open path is often bustling with import and export activities, with a turnover hitting nearly 36 million USD in the first seven months of 2018, and the total value of goods temporarily imported for re-export reaching nearly 146 million USD.

As much as 22 billion VND (955,801 USD) was collected during the period in fees for usage of infrastructure and service facilities, greatly contributing to the district’s budget.

Officials from Duc Long commune said that import-export activities have promoted trade and service development and generated jobs for locals. The average per capita income of the commune reaches 26 million VND per year, meeting the income criterion set out in the national target programme on new rural development.

At the border economic zone in Tra Linh district, infrastructure construction has had much promotion under the aim of forming a Tra Linh (Vietnam) - Long Bang (China) border economic cooperation area, which will serve as a hub for goods from China to enter ASEAN member countries through Hai Phong port and vice versa.

Head of the management board of Tra Linh border gate economic zone Nong Son Binh said projects to build parks and extend main roads are underway, aiming to provide top infrastructure facilities for export-import enterprises operating in the locality.

In addition to investment from the State budget, the Tra Linh border economic zone has attracted another six investors which have registered to implement warehousing, trade, and service projects with a total registered capital of 3.67 trillion VND. By now, three warehouses for import-export activities goods have been put into operation.      

During the last five years, Cao Bang’s border economic development recorded positive results. The locality has so far invested in 26 infrastructure projects worth 963 billion VND (41.83 million USD).

To date, the locality has attracted 60 investment projects with a total registered capital of over 413 million USD, including 10 foreign-invested projects valued at 48.96 million USD. Of the number, 26 projects have become operational, making it easier for import and export activities.  

According to Deputy General Director of the provincial Department of Customs Le Viet Phong, the sector has enhanced its dialogues with local enterprises and listened to their opinions and proposals, towards rolling out measures to facilitate import-export business operations.

He noted, however, that Cao Bang has no industrial parks, concentrated agricultural, nor forestry production areas for export, so it serves only as an area for goods transit.

The management board of the Cao Bang economic zone has been working hard recently on administrative reform in order to create favourable conditions for the clearance of goods at customs.

Head of the management board Nguyen Kien Cuong proposed that relevant ministries and sectors approve a master plan on building the Vietnam-China cross-border economic cooperation area; clarify policies on investment incentives and encouragement in the locality; and support Cao Bang in building and effectively implementing the Tra Linh-Long Bang cross-border economic cooperation area project.

In the 2013-2018 period, the import-export turnover of goods through Cao Bang province reached 9.48 billion USD. The revenue from border economic activities top 2.24 trillion VND per year, making up to around 30-50 percent of the locality’s total budget. –VNA