The mountainous province of Lao Cai continues to prioritise tourism, cross-border trade, and economic integration in its bid to become the hub of the northwestern region.

The locality has been working to perfect facilities developing the Lao Cai Border Gate Economic Zone, which covers nearly 8,000 ha.

A total of 4 trillion VND (188 million USD) has been poured into key infrastructure projects such as Kim Thanh Bridge linking Lao Cai city and the Chinese district of Hekou, and the Kim Thanh Commercial and Industrial Centre.

Cross-border trade growth will be further boosted once the construction of the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway and the upgrade of the Hanoi-Lao Cai Railway are completed.

As part of the Kunming -Lao Cai-Hanoi-Hai Phong economic corridor, the province serves as a gateway connecting the domestic market with ASEAN and the southwestern region of China.

Last year, cross-border trade turnover with China reached 2 billion USD, including 1.338 trillion USD from exports, a year-on-year surge of 170 percent.

According to reports released by the management board of Lao Cai’s border gates, 521 businesses registered to fulfil customs formalities there. Key exports included minerals, agro-forestry products, footwear and furniture.

Lao Cai will continue to tap its favourable waterway, rail and road links in order to further enhance cross-border trade, turning it into an important driving force in the development of the northwestern region.-VNA