The northern key economic region - 20 years of review
Established in 1997, the northern key economic region, which includes seven northern provinces, enjoys geographical and development advantages.
For 20 years, the zone has driven the growth not only of the Red River Delta but of the entire country.
The northern key economic region, which includes Hanoi, Haiphong, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Bac Ninh, and Vinh Phuc, is the center of Vietnamese politics, economics, culture, science, and technology.
This region leads Vietnam in international cooperation and foreign investment attraction. All the seven provinces have a high development ranking in Vietnam, especially the capital city of Hanoi.
The region’s infrastructure has received major investment, especially the transportation infrastructure, which includes several national highways, Noi Bai International Airport, Haiphong Sea Port, and Lach Huyen Deep Water Port.
The region, unsurprisingly, has an abundance of professionally trained personnel and Vietnam’s highest per-capita rate of students.
As chair of the economic region for the 2015-2016 term and a principal economic driver of the north, Hanoi has expanded and upgraded the core routes linking the capital with Halong City, Haiphong City, Noi Bai International Airport, and Cat Bi airport.
“Hanoi and provinces in the region should unite and propose more feasible solutions to make full use of cooperation, comprehensive development, potential, advantages, and opportunities of each locality and the whole northern key economic region”, said Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai at a recent conference on cooperation development in the northern key economic region.
After 20 years, the region has achieved a high growth rate but economists say that cooperative programs have mainly been for exchanging information and experience, and training assistance rather than projects aimed at creating strong breakthroughs.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung blames the lack of a clear coordination and connectivity mechanism.
“Each locality should take responsibility for itself and other member provinces and cities. We need to evaluate the implementation process and make necessary additions and adjustments to meet immediate needs and long-term requirements for regional growth. Each locality’s advantages should be fully exploited and leveraged through connectivity”, suggested Nguyen Xuan Binh, Vice Chairman of the Haiphong People’s Committee.
The region has set a target of achieving a per-capita GDP of US$5,500 by 2020.