Endowed with a long coastline, abundant fishing resources and natural diversification, in particular Ha Long Bay – one of the World’s Seven New Natural Wonder, Quang Ninh province is at an advantage when it comes to sustainable economic development.

In addition, Quang Ninh is at the apex of the Vietnam-China economic cooperation project - “Two corridors and One economic belt” – an important part of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, said Nguyen Van Doc, Chairman of the Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee.

“A further significant factor is that Quang Ninh plays the role of economic gateway to the sea for the whole country in the north and to the world for the whole region as well,” Doc noted.

In the sphere of economic development planning, Quang Ninh is both key to the northern economy and northern coastal area, but also to Vietnam as the country’s main coal producer.

In addition to the world heritage site Ha Long Bay and the Mong Cai international border gate, Quang Ninh is by far the country’s most urbanised province with four cities, namely Ha Long, Mong Cai, Uong Bi and Cam Pha, and Quang Yen township.

In recent years, the province has seen high, stable economic growth with an average annual GDP of 12.7 percent. Its economic structure has been changed positively with the industrial and service sector accounting for 94.4 percent, and agriculture - 5.6 percent.

In 2011, Quang Ninh registered a growth rate of over 12 percent, doubling the country’s figure. GDP per capita reached 2,200 USD.

It is also a tourist destination welcoming 6 million tourists a year, including 2.4 million foreigners.

Although it has a high economic growth rate, the quality is not sustainable and the province’s economic development does not match its potential and advantages without a balance and harmony between sectors and fields, said Doc said.

Therefore, to effectively promote its potential and advantages and build it into a modern industrial province, Quang Ninh should mobilise all domestic and foreign sources for infrastructure development. Priorities should be given to strategically significant projects such as Noi Bai-Ha Long, Ha Long Mong Cai and Hai Ha-Mong Cai land routes, road linking Ha Long to Hanoi-Hai Phong highway, and Thanh Hoa-Quang Ninh coastal road, he said.

Quang Ninh should actively integrate with the world to fully exploit its potential and advantages, while finding suitable solutions and plans to utilise the Vietnam-China economic cooperation programme “Two corridors and One economic belt”.

The province is striving to reach an economic growth rate of 14 percent a year from now until 2020, with GDP per capita of 4,000 USD by 2015 and over 8,000 USD by 2020.

By 2020 services are expected to account for over 51 percent, industry – below 45 percent, and agriculture - 4 percent.

To realise the targets, Quang Ninh will need to evolve from a natural resource-based economy into a green, environment-friendly economy.

Recently, the Quang Ninh Provincial Party Committee submitted to the Political Bureau a 2020 socio-economic development plan and visions for 2030, in which they apply for a special regime for development in order to build Quang Ninh into a modern, industrial province that will be among economic engines in the north.

The plan also proposes to build, on a trial basis, two special administrative-economic zones - Van Don and Mong Cai cities, creating a foundation for Quang Ninh to develop comprehensively after 2020 and become a special administrative-economic area directly under the Central Government by 2030.

If approved by the Politburo, Quang Ninh will build Van Don an outstanding city, an eco-tourist resort, entertainment centre and an international trading gateway. Mong Cai will be transformed into a modern international border gate and play a role as an important cooperation gateway between Vietnam , ASEAN and China .

With its geographical position, a province straddling the two economic corridors of Lao Cai-Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh and Naning ( China )-Lang Son-Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh, as well as mineral, maritime and tourism potential and advantages, the plan is expected to be the beginning of a new stage in the province’s sustainable socio-economic development.

Furthermore, widened transport routes will help Quang Ninh become one of the leading economic development provinces of the north.-VNA