Lao Cai Economic Zone- Engine of Economic Development

10:05:53 PM | 30/9/2015

Lao Cai province has actively and effectively implemented policies and guidelines of the Government, and applied flexible and suitable solutions for the development of economic zones. Investment and business environment is improved; infrastructure systems in industrial zones and border gates are upgraded; and security is guaranteed. Every year, the province organises direct meetings with businesses, remove difficulties and obstacles in investment and business activities to promote the development of local economic zones and border gates, as well as overall socioeconomic development.
Industrial development is breakthrough spearhead
Currently, Lao Cai province has three industrial zones covering a total area of 1,285 ha, including Tang Loong, Dong Pho Moi and Bac Duyen Hai. These industrial zones have housed 140 investment projects with a combined investment capital of over VND21,000 billion, including 99 operational businesses, 23 projects under construction, and 17 projects now completing investment procedures. In the first eight months of 2015, the Lao Cai Industrial Zones Authority asked the Provincial People’s Committee to grant investment licences for eight new projects and allowed 10 projects to scale up their investment capital by VND1,000 billion. 99 tenants in industrial zones generated revenue of VND14,405.7 billion in the year to August 2015, up 30 percent year on year, and industrial production value of VND2,841.8 billion, up 150 percent on year. They paid nearly VND600 billion to the State Budget. They employ nearly 8,000 employees with average monthly individual income of VND7 million.
Major, well-performing projects include a steel and iron mill with the first-phase production output of 500,000 tonnes (costing US$186 million of investment capital) and the second phase production output of 1 million tonnes a year (US$350 million); US$230 million DAP fertiliser production project with an annual production output of 330,000 tonnes; and a US$50 million copper project with a yearly production output of 30,000 tonnes.
Border gate economy is economic growth engine
With a natural area of 6,000 square kilometres, Lao Cai province shares a 203-km road borderline and a 60-km river borderline with Yunnan province (China). Situated midway between Kunming and Hai Phong, Lao Cai is an important point in the “Kunming - Lao Cai - Hanoi - Hai Phong” Economic Corridor with six border gates. Border gate economy has had extremely important contributions to local socioeconomic development in the face of economic difficulties. Imports and exports increase year after year. The province’s key exports are ores, rice, sugar, rubber, litchi, cassava and banana, while imports are mainly chemicals, fertilisers, ore, gypsum, ceramics, machines, vegetables and fruits. Export and import turnover climbed from US$1.66 billion in 2011 to US$2 billion in 2014. Over 600 enterprises are engaged in import and export via Lao Cai border gates, and pay nearly VND2,000 billion to the State Budget (representing a third of the total budget revenue of the province).
In the coming time, to boost the development of economic zones, the authority advised the provincial government on measures to attract investment capital and create favourable conditions for enterprises like encouraging investors to invest in high intellectual content industries with advanced technologies. In addition, the province needs to focus on perfecting infrastructure to improve the investment climate, supporting businesses, and raising labour quality.
Minh Xuan