Mong Cai aims for international status

A new window to the world – this slogan is the main idea when we study the urban planning of Mong Cai that is a city full of potentials and different qualities- Salvador Perez Arroyo Chairman of Salvador
Perez Arroyo & Partners


Mong Cai is out to profit from its close proximity with China

Mong Cai in northern Quang Ninh province is aiming to be a modern international bordergate city by 2020.

It wanted to be a grade two city before 2015 and by 2020, an environmentally-friendly international bordergate city and a key open economic area, said Duong Van Co, the chairman of Mong Cai Municipal People’s Committee.

Mong Cai, located northeast of northern Quang Ninh province, has a strategic position in terms of politics, economics and national defense. It is also a gateway between Vietnam with China and ASEAN countries, which are in the process of forming a China-ASEAN free trade area and developing two economic corridors and one economic belt between Vietnam and China.
With 78 kilometres shared with China, Mong Cai is gradually becoming a large financial centre in economic transactions with China and is defined as a key gateway for Vietnam’s international economic integration process.

In addition, Mong Cai has big deepwater seaport potential such as Hai Ha-Mong Cai seaport complex, Van Gia and Dan Tien. When Bac Luan II bridge is built, a bilateral economic cooperative area will be set up under an agreement between Vietnam and China which was signed in November 2007. It will provide favourable conditions for trading goods between ASEAN-Vietnam-China.

Salvador Perez Arroyo, chairman of Salvador Perez Arroyo & Partners - which is consulting on Mong Cai’s socio-economic development plan, said: “A new window to the world – this slogan is the main idea when we study the urban planning of Mong Cai that is a city full of potentials and different qualities. The actual structure is characterised by low density and dispersion. But its position linkage with China is very special and beautiful landscapes makes Mong Cai one of the most interesting places for investments.”

Particularly, at an investment promotion conference organised in the province recently, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked “building Mong Cai to become a modern international bordergate city, playing an important role in developing the coastal economic belt which links Quang Ninh with Red River Delta provinces and connects Quang Ninh with Guangxi province of China, boosting trade, investment and tourism between Vietnam with China and ASEAN bloc to have mutual benefits and development.”

“Over recent years, Mong Cai has harvested good economic performances. Before 1998, the city was a poor district but now it has become a key economic, trade, tourism and service centre in Quang Ninh,” Co said.

He said the economic structure was shifting towards positive directions. Services account for 78 per cent of the local gross domestic product (GDP) and industry-construction makes up over 12 per cent, while agriculture stands at 10 per cent.

The city’s economic growth has expanded 14.35 per cent, per year while its per capita income reached more than $1,500, a 1.5-fold increase against 2005. During 2005-2010, the total value of goods traded via the border hit $15.9 billion, obtaining annual growth of 25.25 per cent, accounting for one-third of the bilateral trade between Vietnam and China. So far, Mong Cai is accommodating 1,000 businesses, including 300 operating in exports and imports, 12 bonded warehouses and four carparks capable of containing 800 container trucks.

“Mong Cai is currently planning important functional areas such as trade, tourism, seaport and bilateral cooperative economic areas with an aim to fully tapping on the city’s potential,” Co added.

In addition, the city is defined one of the two key tourism destinations in Quang Ninh province behind Halong city. Annually, tourists to Mong Cai hit two million, of which Chinese arrivals made up 70-80 per cent. Total tourism revenues stood at VND912.6 billion ($43.9 million) during 2005-2010 period, with an annual growth of 21.6 per cent.

Over the years, foreign direct investment (FDI) in the city has shown positive signs. During 2005-2010, Mong Cai lured 20 FDI projects, capitalised at $221 million, up $106 million as compared with 2001-2005 period. Of those projects, 12 ones were in the industrial sector with combined registered capital of over $37 million. Eighteen projects have been implemented with total disbursed capital of $140 million.

By 2020, Mong Cai targets to gain economic growth of 11-12 per cent per annum, of which services will grow 12-14 per cent per year, industry-construction 14-16 per cent and agro-forestry-fishery 5-6 per cent a year. Per capita income is expected to hit VND60-65 million ($2,884-3,125) by 2020.

Key projects calling for investment in Mong Cai
Halong–Mong Cai expressway
Bac Luan II bridge–Mong Cai city road
Mong Cai international fair-exhibition centre
Wastewater treatment plant and clean water supply system
Mong Cai international hospital
Wastewater treatment stations system in internal areas of the city
(one to five stations)
Cemetery park and crematorium Km 14
Building and upgrading Mong Cai 2 market
Building and upgrading Mong Cai 3 market
Expanding Mong Cai–Tra Co road
Sports complex
Road to Van Ninh port complex
Tra Co–Binh Ngoc–Vinh Thuc tourism site
Infrastructure of free trade area
Road from Van Ninh port complex to ports of Van Gia and ICD
Expanding Van Gia port
Trang Vinh lake eco-tourism complex

Kieu Linh (vir.com.vn)