The Ministry of Construction has announced a detailed plan for the construction of infrastructure and the upgrade of industrial clusters in the northern midland and mountainous region by 2030, giving a boost to its socio-economic development.

The region covers 115,153 square kilometres, accounting for 35 percent of the country’s total area. It is expected to have a population of more than 15 million by 2020, of which around 5 million (34.4 percent) will live in urban areas. By 2030, the rate of urbanisation will reach 39.8 percent.

Under the plan presented at a ceremony in Yen Bai province on April 3, the region consists of three sub-regions, including the Vietnam- China border area (Lang Son, Cao Bang, Ha Giang and Lai Chau provinces), the Vietnam-Laos border area (Dien Bien, Son La provinces and western districts of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An), and the midland region (Bac Giang, Thai Nguyen, Bac Kan, Tuyen Quang, Yen Bai, Phu Tho and Hoa Binh provinces).

Efforts will be exerted to complete the construction of the region’s highway road and waterway transport systems and express railway network by 2020.

The region will also focus on upgrading urban areas in Lao Cai, Lang Son, Viet Tri city (Phu Tho province) and Bac Giang as well as industrial parks and clusters, continuing the resettlement programmes in the border areas and places near the Son La and Lai Chau hydropower plants.

At the ceremony, representatives from the provinces emphasised the region’s important role in socio-economic growth, national defence and security.

They suggested that ministries and agencies put forth and work out key investment projects in some provinces to create a boost to the whole region’s economic development.

The ministry asked the localities in the region to promptly publicise the planning, develop urban areas in accordance with each province’s cultural identities, and protect and preserve natural resources.-VNA