Lang Son Province Focuses on Developing Border Trade

1:35:39 PM | 12/7/2006

Chairman of Lang Son People’s CommitteeDoan Ba Nhien has a talk with Vietnam Business Forum reporter Tung Mai on recent achievements and future developments of the province.
What are the potentials and advantages of Lang Son in terms of its socio-economic development?
Lang Son is a border province with important an border gate, geo-politic and economic location, and bridge head of economic exchanges between China and ASEAN. The province also has an ancient civilisation and strong national cultural identity with historic and cultural landscapes such as Nhi Thanh, Tam Thanh, Mac Citadel, Chi Lang, and Mau Son,
Lang Son is strong in forestry development with processing industry for export including the production of anise, tobacco, tea, pulp materials and several kinds of fruit. It is also rich in mineral resources namely tin, iron, manganese, copper, gold, brown coal, and lime-stone. With great industrial potentials, the province has decided to mobilise all the resources for the production of commodities for domestic consumption and export.
What are the achievements of the province in recent years ?
Since 2003, Lang Son has continued year-on-year growth. In 2005, the GDP growth rate was 10.26 per cent, the highest in the past four years. The economic structure is changing in favour of industry-construction and trade-tourism. While agriculture-forestry continue the application of science and technology in producing cash crops. The industrial production is marked by the operation of two generators, 100MW each, in Na Duong thermal power station, contributing to the national power grid. Meanwhile, construction has been started in important cement plants of Hong Phong and Dong Banh.
Trade-service-tourism sector is continuing its development and has become a driving force of the economy. The domestic market has been boosted with increasing competitiveness and turnover. The border economic zones are bridge heads for trade and service activities. The import-export turnover increased 25.4 per cent. In 2005, Lang Son received over 780,000 tourists including 110,000 foreign tourists. Big progresses have also been recorded in attracting investments, developing urban infrastructure and economic zones and budget management.
The province has also improved the living conditions of the people, developing cultural and social activities at all levels, expanding television and radio networks and developing human resources.
What about the investment orientation of the province in coming years?
With existing potentials and advantages, Lang Son can have more favourable conditions for socio-economic development. Trade and service have an important role and a long-term strategy has been developed for investment and expansion of markets at home and abroad.
Regarding the border gate economy: investors will enjoy preferential treatment and administrative formalities will be simplified. For import-export activities : assistance will be accorded to export items of high value and big volume, local businesses will be encouraged to expand new export markets. Customs activities will be reformed. Commercial centres will be developed in Lang Son city and border gate economic zones. Rural markets will be promoted. Trade and service sector will be upgraded into a spearheaded economic sector and Lang Son will be a commercial and tourist centre of Vietnam.
To this end, Lang Son trade and service sector needs the support of related authorities in the development of infrastructure such as banking, transport, telecommunication, power and water supply, trade and service projects. Policies on preferential treatment and attracting local and foreign investments should be developed and implemented.
As a bridge head for economic exchanges between Vietnam-China and China-ASEAN, how is the province preparing for WTO accession ?
In preparation for the economic integration, great efforts have been made to turn Lang Son from a poor into a province of all-sided development and high growth rate in Northern mountainous region. Improvement in taxation and customs formalities at border gates of Tan Thanh, Dong Dang, Huu Nghi and bordering communes has a positive bearing on trade, service and tourism in Lang Son, Vietnam and even in relation with China.