Located in the northwestern corner of , Yen Bai city is the political, economic, cultural, scientific and technological centre of Yen Bai province. With a natural area of 5,802 hectares, Yen Bai city is home to 81,214 people. The city is situated in the southeast of Yen Bai province, bordered with Yen Binh district in the east and northeast, Tran Yen district in the west and southwest. The city is located within the Lao Cai-Viet Tri-Hanoi route with roads to Lao Cai,
Yen Bai city has various minerals, including kaolin with a reserve of 900,000 tonnes, penspat with a reserve of 80,000 tonnes, and clay with a reserve of 5.6 million cubic metres. The city is located near material supply areas, such as Tran Yen district with a crystal mine, Yen Binh and Luc Yen districts with white limestone mines, Van Chan, Tran Yen and Van Yen district with iron mines. The city has around 4,001 hectares of land for agricultural production, 520 hectares under fruit trees, 397 hectares of gardens, 704 hectares under long-term crops, 266.7 hectares of natural forest and 2.014 hectares of planted forests.
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The city is a tourism centre with well-developed facilities, including hotels, restaurants, and sport and entertainment establishments. The city has concentrated on developing specific tourism products by developing ecological and cultural tourism, focusing on the exploitation of cultural and traditional sites. The city has developed tours in the Yen Hoa and Nam Cuong parks, Thac Ba lake, the Nguyen Thai Hoc tomb, the Don Cao area, the Ngoc Am pagoda, the Bach Lam temple and other historical sites in Nam Cuong commune to attract visitors.
Apart from favourable natural conditions, Yen Bai city has issued open economic mechanisms and policies to boost local economic development, with regulations on the credit guarantee and loans, and corporate income tax priorities. Recently, the city has planned the development of two concentrated industrial parks, Dam Hong and Dam In agricultural and forestry production, Yen Bai has focused on economic restructuring, providing technical and financial support. As a result, new tea varieties, Bat Do bamboo, ‘high-tech’ flowers and organic vegetables have been developed. Also, the city has promoted the development of industrial and semi-industrial animal husbandry.
Over the past five years, the city’s economy has seen a high growth rate of 12.74 per cent, on average. This has been driven by a growth rate of 16.5 per cent in industrial production, 10.8 per cent of services, 5.3 per cent of agricultural and forestry production. The city’s economic restructuring has been boosted with a gradual fall in the contribution of agriculture and forestry and an increase in the contribution of the industrial and service sectors. By the end of 2005, the contribution of the industrial and construction sectors will have reached 48 per cent. That figure will have been put at 48 per cent for services and four per cent for agriculture and forestry. Total budget revenues reached VND 239.37 billion, or VND 47.8 billion per year. The figure stood at VND 70.4 billion in 2004 and it may reach VND 85 billion in 2005. The figure is equal to 327 per cent of the target set by the city’s Party Committee at its 16th congress. Capital construction has increased by 15.8 per cent with a total investment of VND 1,085.56 billion, or VND 217.11 billion per year, on average. Alongside a rapid economic development, the local people’s living standard has been improved.
In the coming years, Yen Bai province will continue to offer investors favourable conditions. Accordingly, the local authorities will continue to promote economic restructuring to create new driving forces for economic development. The city will continue to offer land rent and corporate income tax incentives and provide more support in infrastructure, simplifying administrative procedures. Priorities will be given to the development of construction material production, wood and food processing, and garment making.
Furthermore, the city will continue to promote its investment in infrastructure development, building roads and waste treatment facilities.
In trade and services, the city will continue to pursue its open policies and mechanism, providing trade promotion and market expansion support. Markets, supermarkets and trade centres will be developed and upgraded to meet the development of urban areas and the local people’s demand. Economic sectors will be encouraged to build more supermarkets and trade centres.
The city will also promote its co-operation with Phu Tho and Lao Cai province to develop tourism, focusing on the development of cultural and ecological tourism. Investment will be concentrated to develop tours to Thac Ba, Yen Hoa and Nam Cuong parks. Also, other tourist sites will be upgraded. Yen Bai city will strive to become a destination within the Hanoi-Lao Cai-Kunming () tour.
During its development process, Yen Bai city needs support from central and provincial agencies, and domestic and foreign investors. The city hopes to develop as a driving force for the development of Yen Bai province and the northern mountainous provinces.