Economic Engine of Lang Son Province

10:08:17 AM | 30/5/2018

Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Gate Economic Zone, founded in 2008, has attained important achievements, created the underlying foundation and motivations to accelerate local economic development.

The economic zone was established under the Prime Minister’s Decision 138/2008/QD-TTg dated October 14, 2008. Covering 394 square kilometres, it has two main border gates (Huu Nghi International Border Gate and Dong Dang Railway International Border Gate) and three secondary border gates (Tan Thanh, Coc Nam and Po Nhung). To attract investors into Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Gate Economic Zone, Lang Son province adopted many investor support policies like preparing clean ground for them, investing in infrastructure and supporting worker training.

The economic growth of the economic zone in the 2009 - 2017 period was 11.26 per cent, higher than the province’s average of 8.52 per cent. Per capita income increased from VND23.3 million in 2009 to VND70.5 million in 2017. The economic structure shifted towards a desirable pattern, with the share of services rising from 54.57 per cent in 2009 to 63.5 per cent in 2017, the share of industry and construction falling from 37.44 per cent to 31.7 per cent, and the share of agriculture sliding from 8 per cent to 4.8 per cent.

The State budget revenue totalled VND15,841 billion from 2009 to 2017, accounting for 85 per cent of the province's total. Of the sum, port and yard fees brought in VND2,261.4 billion, accounting for 72.9 per cent of the province’s total. Trade value increased from US$1.52 billion in 2009 to US$4.329 billion in 2017.

All economic sectors positively invested in the economic zone. In 2017 alone, it licensed eight new projects with a total registered investment capital of VND3,470.2 billion, totalling 109 domestic projects with VND12,879 billion of investment capital, accounting for 30.7 per cent of projects and 34.6 per cent of investment capital in the province. The economic zone has 18 FDI projects with US$174 million, accounting for 68.3 per cent of projects and 75.9 per cent of value in the province. In 2017, it saw 260 business startups with a registered capital of VND2,022 billion. At present, about 1,600 enterprises with VND11 trillion of investment capital are active in the economic zone, accounting for 58.5 per cent of total enterprises and 62 per cent of total investment capital in the province.

In nine years (2009 - 2017), the government invested VND4,776.1 billion in infrastructure construction, including VND1,060.5 billion of central budget, VND569.7 billion of official development assistance (ODA), and the rest made up by local budget. The fund was used to build technical and social infrastructure, important projects and key economic sectors in order to create motivations for other sectors to develop. Over 350 infrastructure works worth more than VND4,250 billion have been completed and put into use to accelerate socioeconomic development and improve spiritual and material life of people.

However, Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Gate Economic Zone still faced a lot of hardships such as insufficient resources to have comprehensive development a result of large area, unstable trade performance due to China’s frequent changes in cross-border trade policies (changing customs hours and delivery locations, etc.) and lack of incentive policies on investment, finance, exit and entry.

To tackle the above-mentioned shortcomings, Lang Son province is currently reviewing and drafting adjustments to the scope of Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Gate Economic Zone for better performance, which covers 21 border communes and towns. Thus, the economic zone expects central authorities will soon approve them. Besides, it requested the Government to treat Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Gate Economic Zone as nine key border gate economic zones in the country in State-funded infrastructure development investment.

Phan Hong Tien
Director of Dong Dang - Lang Son Border Gate Economic Zone Authority