Dien Bien Industry and Trade: From Vision to Action

5:02:33 PM | 5/10/2011

Though starting from a low base, Dien Bien industry has developed with diversity, attracting participation across economic sectors. The success is due to correct planning and promotion programmes encouraging development of main products, efficient investments and technology transfer.
By the end of 2010, Dien Bien had nearly 700 enterprises, 41 branches and 4 foreign representative offices operating in the province. In addition, there are 7,661 household businesses and 117 cooperatives. The diversification of businesses and development of industry and trade have increased industrial value in 2006-2010 to VND2,076 billion and average growth rate to 14.66 percent a year. In 2010, industrial value was VND546,814 million, almost double that of 2005.
In the same period, many new industrial projects were invested and started operating such as Dien Bien cement plant, Thac Trang hydro power station, and Na Hai brick factory. Investors have great interest in developing hydro power. In the past five years, the province has granted investment licenses for 10 hydro power projects with total investment capital of VND4,421 billion and designed capacity of 176.4MW. So far, seven hydro power stations are operating, with total capacity of 20.9MW, and some others are under construction, like Nam Muc and Nam He.
 In 2011-2015, with policies encouraging investment, the province will increase the ratio of industry to 20 percent of GDP. Industry and trade will be developed with upgraded infrastructure, increasing the competitiveness of the province’s products and services, transforming the economic structure and meeting the demand for industrialization, modernization and international integration.
In spite of disadvantages of a mountainous region, unfavourable for investments and industrial development, the industrial and trade service has submitted to Dien Bien People’s Committee a master plan to 2020 to develop tourism, market network, fuel distribution, industry, hydro power, mineral exploitation and processing. In addition, administrative reform has been stepped up, ensuring the transparency and schedule of project implementation.
Breakthrough in agricultural production and brand
Though being a poor and remote province, Dien Bien has developed its agriculture with important successes. From a province planting a single rice crop a year and relying on food supply from the central government, Dien Bien has developed irrigation networks and new rice strains, applied new technology and increased to two crops a year, in some cases three crops (two rice crops and a subsidiary crop), making a breakthrough in food production.
Today, Dien Bien is not only self-sufficient in food supply, but also exports its famous “Dien Bien brand rice.”
With natural conditions, Dien Bien can now focus on planting special strain of rice No. 1 and IR64 with high yield and quality.
 However, difficulties with disease have decreased output. Therefore, in the coming years, the province should apply science and technology, upgrade infrastructure, especially the road network, transport means and irrigation to further develop agricultural production.
Tourism to be spearhead sector
Recognizing the importance of tourism, Dien Bien authorities have decided to develop tourism into an important economic sector. The province will develop its advantages in natural conditions, ecology, cultural traditions and historic relics and make the best use of cooperation at home and abroad to make tourism a spearhead economic sector. Dien Bien will become an important tourist centre of the North Western part of Vietnam, a famous destination on the national tourist map.          
 To this end, Dien Bien authorities will focus on developing policy and mechanisms to encourage tourism investment in the province.
At the same time, the tourist sector must increase promotion, improve the image of the province and expand markets. It must also diversify tourist products, especially in cultural traditions, historic relics, and eco-tourism and community tourism. It must also continue traditional festivals to maintain cultural values and promote the people’s awareness of sustainable tourism development.
Furthermore, the tourist sector must upgrade its professionalism, participate in seminars on tourism development, and encourage local and foreign travel agencies to conduct surveys and connect Dien Bien with other tours.