Lao Cai (VNA) – The northern mountainous province of Lao Cai now has quite favorable infrastructure to become a "bridge" on the Kunming (China)-Lao Cai-Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh Economic Corridor.

Lao Cai set to become Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway shortens the travel time from Hanoi to Lao Cai province from 8 hours to over 3 hours. (Photo: VNA)

In 2019, Lao Cai maintained stable economic expansion, with an estimated growth rate of 10.32 percent, ranking second in the northern midland and mountainous region (after Bac Giang).

Encouraging numbers

By December 16, the domestic tax collection in the province reached over 5.5 trillion VND, equal to 107 percent of the plan assigned by the Government, of which 1.4 trillion VND came from tax collection from the non-state sector.

According to Trinh Xuan Truong, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, in 2019, the economic structure in Lao Cai province continued to have positive changes, reducing the proportion of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, while increasing that of industry – construction. The gross regional domestic product (GRDP) reached 70.6 million VND per person per year.

The import and export of goods through Lao Cai’s border gates are estimated at about 3.7 billion USD, up 22.9 percent compared to 2018. The tourism sector is also developing strongly, with 5.1 million visitors coming to Lao Cai during the year, an increase of 27.5 percent annually.

Other economic sectors such as industry and agriculture have been maintained and developed. Industrial production value hit 32.0 trillion VND, up 13.3 percent year on year. Total social investment capital was estimated at 38 trillion VND, a rise of 8.4 percent. As a result, the State budget revenue in Lao Cai in 2019 is estimated at about 9.4 trillion VND, surpassing the estimate by 4.4 percent.

In recent years, Lao Cai has focused on promoting institutional reforms and improving the business investment environment to attract domestic and foreign investment resources. Currently, the province is home to 668 valid investment projects with a total registered capital of over 108 trillion VND. Of which there are 20 FDI projects worth 534 million USD.

Close to 3,360 businesses are currently operating in Lao Cai, mainly in the construction industry (23.5 percent); commerce, hotels, restaurants, consulting services, transportation and other service activities (57.8 percent); and the remaining in the fields of industry, agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

Policies for the poor

Over the past years, Lao Cai province has always paid attention to the effective implementation of social policy credit programmes and achieved very encouraging results.

Currently, the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VPSP)’s provincial branch is carrying out 14 preferential credit programmes for poor households and other policy beneficiaries, actively contributing to reducing poverty, generating jobs, developing human resources and building new-style rural areas.

From the preferential loans, many poor households in Bao Yen district have escaped from poverty and become rich, contributing to the local socio-economic development.

The VPSP’s provincial branch aims to help all poor and near-poor households and other policy beneficiaries have access to preferential loans and existing products and services of the bank by 2020.

The average annual outstanding loan growth is expected to reach about 10 percent, hitting over 3.3 trillion VND, thus contributing to reducing the poverty rate in the locality by 5-8 percent and creating jobs from 2,000-5,000 workers.

Lao Cai set to become Vehicles carrying dragon fruit go through the Kim Thanh border gate (Lao Cai) on October 24. (Photo: VNA)

Development goals set to 2025

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has just signed a decision approving the task of making the planning of Lao Cai province for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050.

The goal is to build Lao Cai into a bridge connecting economic-trade and external relations between Vietnam and ASEAN countries with the southwestern markets of China.

Lao Cai is expected to become a key area of tourism, services, border gates, metallurgical industry and clean agricultural production to supply the region and the whole country with a synchronous and modern socio-economic infrastructure system; and a center for researching, preserving and promoting the national identities and cultural beauties of ethnic groups in the northwestern region.

Lao Cai will strive to become a developed province of the northern midland and mountainous region by 2025 and a fairly developed province of the country five years later.

By 2050, Lao Cai is expected to be a service and high-tech industry province, with comprehensive development.

Along with the government's planning, Lao Cai province has set its own goals to 2025. Accordingly, the total GRDP per capita is expected to reach 5,800-6,000 USD. The economic structure will shift in a more positive direction towards gradually reducing the proportion of agriculture and forestry (9.6 percent), gradually increasing the proportion of industry - construction (41.4 percent) and services (49 percent).

The province also targets over 20 trillion VND in State budget revenue, over 15 billion USD in import-export of goods through the border gates in the province, and over 12 million visitors./.