Bac Ninh: Promoting New Advantages to Create Momentum for Sustainable Development

10:27:17 AM | 12/5/2023

Lying at the northern gateway of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, with its geographical position, favorable natural conditions and appropriate development approaches and strategies, Bac Ninh province is developing strongly, becoming one of the growth pillars of the greater Hanoi region and a growth engine of the Red River Delta. In the new development context, the province focuses on green and sustainable development and creates its own values based on new foundations such as reform, innovation and digital economy among others.

A downtown corner of Bac Ninh City

Transformational changes

Compared with other provinces and cities, Bac Ninh possesses a lot of comparative locational advantages: Lying in the Red River Delta, lying in Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh Economic Triangle, being the northeast gateway to Hanoi, and lying near major economic centers. The province has a convenient transport system as it is near Noi Bai International Airport and Hai Phong seaport, thus providing good opportunities for economic exchanges and goods distribution.

Additionally, Bac Ninh is naturally endowed with good soil and a favorable climate for developing industrial and agricultural production. Especially, being home to long-standing culture, revolutionary tradition, cultural heritages and famous cottage industries, Bac Ninh has great potential for tourism development with a variety of attractive tourism forms like spiritual tourism and handicraft village sightseeing.

Over the past time, the province's social and economic infrastructure system has been planned, invested and developed quite synchronously to enhance high connectivity. Industrial, urban and service infrastructure, especially logistics and warehousing services, are also focused on strong development to promote advantages as a hub of trade, transportation and warehousing for the greater Hanoi region and the northern midland and mountainous region.

By making good use of these potential advantages, in recent years, Bac Ninh province has achieved rapid and comprehensive development in all fields. From a purely agricultural province with poor infrastructure, Bac Ninh has now become a modern industrial province. The economy continued to grow high (on average rising 13.9% annually in the 1997-2021 period). In 2022, the province's GRDP reached VND142,289 billion (US$6.2 billion), up 7.39% over 2021, and ranked ninth in the country and fourth in the Red River Delta.

The industry has made breakthrough development; agriculture has increasingly asserted its position in both domestic and foreign markets; and investment attraction has continuously topped the nation, especially FDI investment, boosted by glossal projects invested by giant firms in the world like Samsung, Canon, Amkor and Goertek. Economic structure and labor structure have shifted in a positive direction. The face of urban and rural areas has changed markedly. In particular, rapid industrial expansion has made Bac Ninh an electronics and high-tech center of the country.

Ms. Nguyen Huong Giang, Chairwoman of Bac Ninh Provincial People's Committee, said, upholding its previous development achievements, Bac Ninh will actively shift to high-quality, in-depth growth, ensure sustainability and link growth with people's welfare and social justice in the 2021-2030 period. The province will strive to become one of the development pillars of the Red River Delta, one of the leading economies in the country, and soon become a first-grade centrally governed city and a smart and innovative city, preserve and promote cultural identities and high life quality. These are also advantages and resources for Bac Ninh to extend its development.

Bac Ninh province is honored with the PCI trophy and certificate of recognition as one of the top 10 performers in the 2022 PCI rankings

Creating new advantages for sustainable development

Currently, Bac Ninh province is focusing on completing its master plan for the period of 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, to direct and prepare conditions for future development. The province determines that it will continue to focus on synchronous development in all three fields of industry, agriculture and services towards fast and sustainable development. In particular, industry is taken as a main driving force for growth, aimed to make Bac Ninh a center of high-tech industry and services, a smart production center of Vietnam and Southeast Asia, and a logistics center of the region.

To achieve these goals, besides the existing potential, Bac Ninh province constantly creates new advantages, especially "soft advantages". Accordingly, to create "dynamic" comparative advantages and increase investment competitiveness, the province focuses on reforming administrative procedures, removing difficulties and obstacles for investors and creating the most favorable environment for investors. Administrative reform, with a focus on administrative procedure reform, has been drastically and thoroughly launched by the provincial government at all levels and sectors.

Besides universal incentives applied nationwide, Bac Ninh province also has its own mechanisms and policies: Legal support for businesses according to the approved annual plan; building a business consultant model and establishing a working group for business support; establishing the Public Administration Center; and introducing the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI Bac Ninh).

Thanks to the above efforts, its Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) has continuously stood among the best performers in the country. Its PCI 2022 ranked 7th out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide with 69.08 points. Six PCI sub-indices rose over 2021: Market Entry, Time Costs, Transparency, Unbiased Competitive Environment, Labor Training Policies and Legal Institutions. Bac Ninh was a Top 3 performer of the Provincial Green Index (PGI).

Not only accelerating administrative reform and supporting businesses, the Bac Ninh Provincial Party Committee also issued Resolution 71-NQ/TU on building and developing Bac Ninh culture and people to 2030 to meet sustainable development requirements. Accordingly, the province will concentrate on building and developing the inclusive culture and people of Bac Ninh, imbued with national spirit and identity. It will build a cultural environment in every family, locality, residence, agency and enterprise. It will give investment resources and form an enabling legal corridor for Bac Ninh culture and people to develop inclusively to become a goal, motivation and endogenous strength to promote sustainable socio-economic development so as to turn Bac Ninh into a centrally governed city.

The province has defined seven priority sectors for the 2021-2030 period and to 2050: Electronic equipment manufacturing, high-tech manufacturing, tourism, logistics, trade, information technology services and pharmaceutical production. The province will focus on sustainable development and green growth driven by new foundations like innovation and the digital economy with smart energy-efficient factories, industrial park development, eco-oriented urban development, and high tech. The province will align investment attraction with the knowledge economy, high-tech production and sustainable development by selecting projects with priority given to capital intensiveness, high economic efficiency, high budget payment and high technological content.

“The Party, government and people of Bac Ninh province believe that the coming years will be a good opportunity to create breakthrough socioeconomic development and affirm its position as one of the major economic centers and growth engines in the northern region," she said.

Ngoc Tung (Vietnam Business Forum)