Cao Bang Awakes Industrial Potential

9:36:42 AM | 21/2/2006

Cao Bang is a northern mountainous province with three border gates to China and abundant natural resources. This is potential for the province to develop its industrial production.
Development strategy and initial achievements
Having been aware of the province’s advantages with abundant minerals, including iron, bauxite, tin and limestone, and industrial crops, such as bamboo, anise, and textured wood, the Cao Bang industrial sector has developed plans to increase its contribution to the province’s economy. Local authorities consider it a strategic development and a solution for the province to achieve its socio-economic development and a change in its economic structure.
At present, Cao Bang has 1,646 State-owned and private industrial enterprises, which alongside its rapidly developing handicrafts sector, have created jobs for over 9,000 people. The province’s industrial production value in the 2001-2004 period increased by around 19 per cent per annum, thus driving its economic structure with an increase in the contribution of the industrial sector. The contribution of the sector to Cao Bang’s GDP rose from over 7.5 per cent in 2000 to 9.2 per cent in 2004 and around 18.5 per cent in 2005. Total output of Cao Bang’s industrial sector was valued at VND 416 billion, up by 16 per cent against 2004. The province’s products, including iron, cement, bricks and tiles, tin, and handicrafts, have a high economic value.
Cao Bang has focused on exploiting advantages to develop mineral processing industries. Exemplary projects in iron processing, and construction material production are valued at around VND 100 billion. At the same time, Cao Bang has potential for developing hydro-electric power with such projects as the Na Hoa hydro-electric power plant in Phuc Hoa district and the Ban Hoang plant in Ha Quang district.
Challenges and long-term orientations
However, due to its geographic features, Cao Bang province still faces many difficulties in communication, which have hampered the development of the province’s economy, and the industrial sector in particular. Also, the province has yet to tap fully its advantages and potential for industrial development because industrial and handicraft establishments mainly concentrate in Cao Bang town and districts nearby, such as Quang Uyen, Hoa An, Trung Khanh and Phuc Hoa. In the meantime, local workers have not been trained, so the province lacks skilled and qualified engineers and workers.
Therefore, authorities of the province’s industrial sector have focused on finding solutions, especially solutions for attracting special capital from foreign countries. In addition, efforts have been made in the study of markets, especially the local market. Commodity-based industrial production has been encouraged to improve the living standard of local farmers. At the same time, the province will encourage the development of industrial and service complexes. Market information will be given to enterprises to help them find their markets. In addition, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises will be boosted to take advantage of capital and modern technology for manufacturing various products for export. In particular, the renewal of technology and equipment, and market management has been promoted for a development of the processing industries. For a successful industrialisation and modernisation, Cao Bang should promote its investment in the training of enterprise owners, workers and staff members of State agencies.
In its development orientations in the 2006-2010 period and throughout 2020, the province’s target is to boost industrialisation and modernisation to gain an economic growth rate of 16 per cent and a capita income of US$600 in the 2006-2010 period and US$1,700 in the 2010-2020 period. The province’s economic structure will change with the increased contribution of the trade, tourism and handicrafts sectors to the province’s economy. Accordingly, the industrial and construction sector’s contribution will increase to 30 per cent in the 2006-2010 period and 40 per cent in the 2010-2020 period. Total production value is estimated at VND 1,600 billion in 2010 and VND 6,000 billion in 2020.
To create a foundation for these targets, the industrial sector of Cao Bang has developed projects on mineral processing, with a 100,000 tonne-per-annum ingot plant, farm-produce processing, small and medium-sized hydro-electric power plants. The province will expand the scale of existing enterprises, including the Cement Joint stock Company, the Water Supply Company, the Construction Material Company and the sugar plant. In the 200-6-2010 period, the province will build the Lang Son-Cao Bang 110 kilovolt station, a 16MVA 110/35/10 kilovolt transformer station in Quang Uyen, and implement projects on electricity supply for rural areas to have all communes in the province accessing to the national electric grid. Apart from projects on restoring and developing traditional craft villages, the province has planned the investment in upgrading national and provincial roads.
Cao Bang’s industry faces many difficulties and challenges. It needs the boost that a more open investment environment and policies would provide in order to develop in accordance with its potential.
Nong Huy Dao
Director of Cao Bang Department of Industry