Ha Long-Hai Phong highway is open for traffic in early September. (Photo: VNA)

 

Quang Ninh (VNA) – The northeastern province of Quang Ninh inaugurated the Ha Long-Hai Phong highway in early September, which is expected to enhance economic connectivity between the province and Hai Phong city, which are the two pillars of the northern economic triangle.

Being neighbours, the connection between Quang Ninh and Hai Phong has existed for a long time and spanned many fields.

Both being coastal localities, Quang Ninh and Hai Phong have advantages that supplement each other. Hai Phong is traditionally a port city and has established ties with many partners. However, it lacks deep-water sea ports to meet the demand of sea transportation in the new development period. Quang Ninh can make up for the shortage with the Cai Lan system of deep-water ports and modern logistics infrastructure, which serve as the base for cargo to be transported to Hai Phong and from there to other localities. Thanks to their connection, the two localities have enjoyed the most dynamic growth of sea-based economy in the northern region.

Following the upgrade of the Cat Bi Airport, Hai Phong has become the second largest aviation gateway in the northern region, second only to Hanoi. Through Hai Phong, international visitors can reach famous destinations in Quang Ninh such as the Ha Long Bay, and other destinations along the northern coast.

Meanwhile, Quang Ninh is connected with the large market of China through a system of border gates.  

In addition, the World Natural Heritage site of Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh is adjacent to the Cat Ba World Biosphere Reserve in Hai Phong.  

Therefore, the two localities serve as a joint tourist destination and a transit point for cargo in the Vietnam-China economic corridor.

However, before the Ha Long-Hai Phong Highway is built, the two localities were connected by only Highway 10, which, with only two lanes, had been seriously overloaded with large traffic volume.

After the Hanoi-Hai Phong Highway was completed in December 2015, the volume of traffic surged suddenly on the route between Hanoi and Quang Ninh’s Ha Long city through Hai Phong, as Ha Long is only 25km from Hai Phong. Quang Ninh took the initiative in asking the Government for permission to mobilise investment to build the Hai Phong-Ha Long Highway, aiming to improve transit between the two localities.

Hai Phong actively coordinated with the neighbouring province in carrying out the Hai Phong-Ha Long Highway project, particularly in relocating residents to clear the ground for the highway.

This is the first highway project in Vietnam implemented by a province, using the provincial budget and capital mobilised from the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

Built at a cost of over 13.6 trillion VND (581 million USD), the 25.2 km long highway connects Highway 18 in Dai Yen ward of Quang Ninh province’s Ha Long city with the Hanoi-Hai Phong Highway in Hai An district of Hai Phong.

The Ha Long-Hai Phong Highway is expected to create breakthroughs in socio-economic development of the economic triangle covering Hanoi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh.

It will cut the distance between Hanoi and Ha Long from 180km to 130km, and the Ha Long-Hai Phong route from 75km to 25km.

Both Hai Phong and Quang Ninh have designed plans to optimize opportunities to be brought by the new route. Quang Ninh has given special priority to building the Dam Nha Mac industrial-service complex in Quang Yen town, which will house industries with demand for large sea cargo transportation. Hai Phong will assist the neighbouring province in developing sea ports and trade partners.

Over the past years, Quang Ninh has gained important achievements in socio-economic development.

Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) rose by 10.16 percent in the first half, and is expected to up over 11 percent this year. Per capita GRDP is 5,065 USD per person per year, with an annual growth of 9.1 percent.

The province enjoyed a year-on-year increase of 25 percent in the number of tourists in the first eight months of this year, or 9.2 million arrivals, including 3.2 foreigners.

Last year, Quang Ninh, for the first time ever, became the most competitive province in the country, topping Vietnam’s PCI 2017, with 70.7 out of 100 points. It also rose to the first place in the Public Administrative Reform (PAR) Index with 89.54 points.-VNA