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industrial zones

/ Northern Highland

General information

- Geographic location: Bounded by Gulf of Tonkin to the East, by Chinese Southern provinces to the North and the North- East, by upper Laos to the West and by the Red River Delta provinces to the South.

- Area: more than 1,029,000 km2.

- Topographic features: the region is characterized by features of both mountainous and midland areas
- Administrative units: There are 15 provinces which are divided into 2 regions: North-East and North-West. The North-East includes provinces: Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Thai Nguyen, Lang Son, Bac Giang and Quang Ninh. The North-West includes provinces: Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Son La, Hoa Binh

- Population: approx. 11,075,826 (Year 2004).he region’s strong points

- Hydroelectricity and mineral exploitation and production

The Midland and the Northern Highland has the largest mineral and hydroelectricity reserves. The soil here is rich in coal, iron-ore, mangan, copper, lead, zinc, rare earth, aptit, etc. Coal mines are mainly found in the North East (Quang Ninh, Thai Nguyen Provinces). The North East also has metal mines of which the largest are iron mine in Yen Bai Province, tin and boxit in Cao Bang, lead-zinc in Cho Dien, Bac Kan Province, gold-copper in Lao Cai; Non-metal minerals include apatit in Lao Cai Province. Approx. 600,000 ton of ore are exploited for phosphate production annually in this economic region

The Red River system’s hydroelectricity reserves of 11 million kW accounts for one third of the country’s hydroelectricity capacity. Da River’s reserves are 6 million kW (Da River is in the Red River system). These reserves are well exploited with Thac Ba Hydroelectricity Plant in Cha river having designed capacity of 110,000 kW; Hoa Binh Hydroelectricity Plant in Da river having designed capacity of 1.9 million kW. Several big hydroelectricity plants such as Son La Hydroelectricity Plant in Da River with the capacity of 3.6 million kW, Dai Thi Hydroelectricity Plant in Gam River with the capacity of 250 kW are currently being bult by The Government.

- Industrial, medical trees and sub-tropical, temperate vegetable & fruits

The majority of soils in the Northern Highland and Midland are feralit in schist, limestone and other mother-stone and ancient alluvial soil in the Midland as well. It has humid temperate, monsoon with cold winter. It is characterized by strong influence of mountainous topographic features. Therefore, this is very good place for developing industrial trees of subtropical and temperate origin. This is the largest green tea tree growing place of the country with famous tea brands of Phu Tho, Thai Nguyen, Yen Bai, Ha Giang and Son La provinces

The mountainous and bordering areas (with China) in Cao Bang and Lang Son provinces or Hoang Lien Son mountainous area are good places for growing valuable medical plants such as false ginseng (a type of bulbous aralia), ashweed, anise, cardamom, etc and fruits such as peach, plum, pear. Sapa district in Lao Cai Province is good place for growing winter vegetables and producing seeds annually.

Cattle breeding: There are many meadows in the Mountainous Highland and the Midland, mainly in 600-700m highlands. The meadows are normally not large. However they are good place for developing cow, buffalo breeding (for meat and milk), horse and goat breeding as well. Milk cow are mainly bred in Moc Chau Plateau of Son La province.

- Sea exploitation: this has been developed more in the open door economy. The sea in Quang Ninh province is of great potentiality. This is a very dynamic province. The fishing and fishery, especially offshore fishing are strongly developed here. Sea-island tours are also developed with Ha Long bay ranked as one of the World’s natural heritages. Cai Lan port (deep water port) is being built and upgraded to support the formation of Cai Lan Industrial Zone.

Economic situations

- Growth rate: Northern Highland and Midland implementing Decision No. 186/2001/QĐ-TTg made by the Prime Minister, have enjoyed high social-economic growth rate, exceeding set targets during the period 2001-2005. The region’s average total number of products increase by approx. 12.5% yearly in which industry increased by 18.6%, agriculture-forestry increased by 7.38%, service increased by 14.9% yearly. GDP per head of 2005 was 4,070,000 VND/person/year.

- Economic structure: changing in a positive way in which the proportion of agriculture-forestry, fishery has been reduced and the proportion of industry and service have been strongly increased. vlopment Plan up to the Year 2010 (*)

- Several targets up to the Year 2010:

Faster economic development; reaching GDP per person of 460-530 USD; changed economic structure in which GDP of agriculture-forestry and fishery are planned to account for 28,7-29,7%, industry and construction to account for 27.4-27.8% and service to account for 43-43.5%; Increased number of trained employees by 25-30%; Less number of poor households from 44% in 2005 to 24% in the North-West, from 33% in 2005 to 18% in North-East (the percentage is calculated based on the newly issued Poverty Standards).

- Tasks and solutions for developing several sectors/areas:

- Agriculture: continue with the transfer of plants and domestic animals to ensure full exploitation of the economy’s potentiality. Develop growing of industrial trees, medical trees, flavouring trees, fruits, vegetables serving the domestic and foreign markets, develop breeding in suitable areas (with suitable climate and natural conditions) especially buffalo, cow breeding with modern technology. Protect natural forests, protective forests, increase the area of forests to ensure good protection for large hydroelectricity, develop afforestation for paper making material as per planning. Complete land, forest assignment and agriculture and home settlement, ensure long term stability of resident and agriculture land.

- Industry: Speed up the construction of Son La Hydroelectricity Plant, others in Da, Lo rivers; develop small and medium size hydroelectricity plants and thermoelectricity plants (operated with coals); Exploit and process effectively local mineral mines; build construction material, chemical production factories; build paper, pulp factories (in line with planning for material development region)

Develop processing of tea, milk, etc; further develop local industrial zones and clusters; develop small scale industry and traditional village trades.

- Service: Priority given to exploit spots of interest such as Dien Bien Phu, historical monuments of Pac Bo, Tan Trao, Dinh Hoa, Den Hung (Hung kings temple), Sapa, Ba Be lake, Coc mountain lake, the lake in Da river, etc with various kinds of tourism, especially ecotourism, convalesce, visiting historical and cultural monuments to ensure the combination of tourism development and conservation of cultural values and natural resources, contributing to hunger elimination, poverty reduction, especially in ethnic minority areas.

Develop borderline economic zones, increase cross-border exchanges, construct infrastructure in these zones, establish and develop service sector of finance, banking, export-import, transportation, telecommunication and information technology, etc.

Develop the system of mountainous markets, agricultural product markets; encourage the contracted consumption of agricultural, forestry product for export.
(Extracted from 5 year socio-economic development plan (2006-2010) concretizing the Resolutions of the Party’s 10th Congress)

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