The Prime Minister has passed a development plan for the Northern Midland and Mountainous Area by 2030 which was tailored to emphasise the region’s important role in socio-economic growth, national defence, security, diplomacy and ecological environment.

The Northern Midland and Mountainous Area consists of 14 provinces namely Lang Son, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Bac Giang, Thai Nguyen, Bac Kan, Tuyen Quang, Phu Tho, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh and western districts of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces.

The region is 115,153.4 square metres in land acreage, accounting for 35 percent of the country’s total area.

It will be converted into a synthetic economic region that embarks on hydro-electricity generation and border gate economy, mining, agro-forestry and tourism.

By 2020, the region is expected to have a population of around 15.11 million, of which around 5.195 million people (34.4 percent) will live in urban areas. By 2030, the rate of urbanisation will touch 39.8 percent.

According to the Vietnam Government Portal (VGP), under the plan, the Vietnam- China border area, including Lang Son, Cao Bang, Ha Giang and Lai Chau provinces, will be set out to develop border economy, mining industry, cultural and historical tourism. It will act to preserve natural ecosystems, water and forest resources.

The Vietnam-Laos border area covering Dien Bien, Son La provinces and western districts of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces will develop forestry, protect riverhead forests and biodiversity; mining industry, hydro-electricity, agro-forestry processing, and tourism.

The midland region consisting of Bac Giang, Thai Nguyen, Bac Kan , Tuyen Quang, Yen Bai, Phu Tho and Hoa Binh provinces will connect the lowland area with the mountainous area. The region will set up urban and economic centres, industrial complexes and develop social infrastructure in cooperation with the capital city of Hanoi.-VNA