4:51:32 PM | 16/10/2012
The natural area of 6,899.4 sq. km, an abundant workforce which accounts for 55 percent of local population, and a relatively convenient transport system create increasingly favourable conditions for Yen Bai to develop economic and commercial exchange with other provinces. With a view to improve its strengths, Yen Bai has been focusing its resources on the all-round development, striving to be a highlight in the North West region’s socio-economic picture.
Industry as a breakthrough
Yen Bai has lots of advantages over other localities in economic development, in general and in industrial development, in particular. The most impressive advantage lies in its gateway position to the North West region and location on the Kunming – Haiphong economic corridor. Notably, with the Hanoi – Lao Cai highway being implemented and the Government’s policy on renovating and upgrading the railway system from Hanoi to Lao Cai, the position of Yen Bai will be far different in the near future.
Mr Pham Duy Cuong, Chairman of Yen Bai Provincial People’s Committee, shares that with the guideline of taking industry as a breakthrough sector for economic development, the province has issued a lot of incentives to stimulate industrial production development, among which the construction of industrial parks (IPs) and complexes is prioritized.
Thanks to the sound and drastic instruction, the province has so far had five IPs on an area totalling 1,680 ha. In addition, Yen Bai has made plans for 19 industrial complexes in different districts on an area exceeding 1,000 ha, 12 of which have had detailed plans and seven of which are put into operation. The occupancy rate at these industrial complexes is higher than that of other localities, reaching 73 percent. With high determination of authorities at all levels and comprehensive resolutions, the industrial production value in 2011 reached VND3,361 billion, up 18 percent against that of the previous year. The province is now home to 7,380 industrial production establishments churning out products of high value, including: high quality white stone, MDF board, high quality black tea using CTC production method, green tea, paper and industrial alcohol.
However, despite certain achievements in industrial development, many limitations exist. The biggest problems concern quality of development plans, capacity to mobilise investment capital, the occupancy rate at IPs and industrial complexes, and volume and quality of industrial products. As such, Yen Bai identifies that during the construction process of IPs and industrial complexes, in addition to economic factors, it is crucial that environmental protection, HR training and comprehensive development of rural industry system and small-scaled industry, be given attention in order to guarantee rapid, green and sustainable development of the industry sector. The province should concentrate on investors being state-owned groups and corporations, since it has strengths in such areas as mineral production, hydropower production and processing industry which are also strengths of the latter. On the other hand, Yen Bai will accelerate mobilisation of support from ministries, industries, policies and investment capital while paying attention to construction of infrastructure system for IPs and industrial complexes in the province.
Tourism as a spearhead sector
Yen Bai is thought to have much potential for tourism development with diversified and unique tourism resources. The province is home to more than 30 ethnic groups whose indigenous cultures are still well maintained and preserved from generation to generation.
According to the project for tourism development of Yen Bai until 2015, the province is divided into three major tourism development areas: the city and along the Red River area; Thac Ba Lake area and the Western tourism area.
The technical infrastructure system in the city is now being invested in and constructed, including hotel area, parks and area for culture, entertainment, ecotourism and sports functions. The Western tourism area has Giang spring ecotourism site which is 1,400 m high, having cool climate all the year around. Notably, unique cultural traits of Mong people are still preserved here, which create favourable conditions for development of eco and community-based tourism. During recent years, ecotourism in Yen Bai has witnessed rapid development. Ecotourism areas such as Thac Ba lake, Giang spring and Vu Linh have received investment.
However, ecotourism products of Yen Bai have only stopped at natural tourism ones. If wishing to attract more tourists, Yen Bai needs to develop community-based tourism which is being successfully implemented in Ngoi Tu village (Vu Linh commune, Yen Binh district), the cultural tourism village in Nghia An commune, Nghia Lo town or the tourism village of La Pan commune, Mu Cang Chai district.
In order to have sustainable ecotourism development, good collaboration among authorities at all levels and sectors in exploitation and management is of extreme importance. At the same time, it is also crucial to have regulations on exploitation, instruction and examination of tourism sites which are going to be developed, and to be specific in planning and managing such sites and attach community benefits to tourism development.
Enhancement of cooperation and investment attraction
Being aware of the importance of investment activities, the Provincial Committee of the Party, People’s Council and People’s Committee of Yen Bai have always paid due attention to directing and implementing investment promotion activities. So far, good achievements have been reaped, which contribute to socio-economic development and improvement of living standards of local people.
Yen Bai is lucky to witness a year-on-year increase in its annual foreign investment capital, in terms of both quantity of projects and realised capital. The total realised capital was VND311.8 billion in the period of 1996 – 2000; VND567 billion in the period of 2001 – 2005 and VND836.7 billion since 2006. It is estimated that the total realised capital of ODA and NGO projects in the area in the period of 2011 – 2015 is VND2,500 billion, twice as much as that of the period of 2006 – 2010. Efforts will be made so that the export turnover will reach US$30 million by 2015 and US$130 million for the whole period of 2011 – 2015 (twice that of 2006 – 2010) and the total realised capital of FDI projects in 2011 – 2015 will reach VND600 billion (2.6 times that of 2006 – 2010). Simultaneously, existing relationships will be maintained and nurtured; plans developed to actively expand partnership with other provinces and cities with a view to meeting requirements on global integration and collaboration during the years to come.
To maximise support, Yen Bai always identifies the content and method of cooperation with each province and city to suit the practical situation. It also seeks opportunities for enterprises of the province to expand business and investment in foreign markets.
The Provincial Committee of the Party, People’s Council and People’s Committee of Yen Bai have always paid attention to providing instruction and implementation of investment promotion activities in public media means and created favourable conditions for its enterprises to approach investment opportunities within the province. Competent agencies of Yen Bai also exchange and provide information to investors on a regular basis, identifying potential investors according to specific area and project so as to extend maximum support to them to achieve the effective implementation of their projects.