Quang Nam province’s first 20 years

After 20 years of re-establishment, the central province of Quang Nam has built its position, becoming a key driving force for the development of the central region. Quang Nam is now ready to come into the global integration era, writes Ha Linh.

After 20 years of re-establishment, the central province of Quang Nam has attained comprehensive achievements across the board.

From a province posting just VND100 billion ($4.5 million) in the budget collection annually 20 years ago, the total now comes to approximately VND20 trillion ($909 million), a 163 per cent increase – putting Quang Nam among localities that contribute the most to the state budget.

Quang Nam has succeeded in building a seamless infrastructure network, with seaports, airports, helping to facilitate the provincial socio-economic development. The province also saw a strong pace in local economic restructuring, gearing towards industrial and service sectors.

The growth pace of Quang Nam’s social welfare has become proportional – people in mountainous areas and those from ethnic minority groups have received due attention and assistance to improve their living conditions.

In that spirit, I would like to congratulate Quang Nam for its fantastic accomplishments, particularly those in 2016. I expect local authorities will be more committed, and introduce more effective action plans in the forthcoming years to successfully fulfil all assigned tasks.

To achieve this goal, the province needs to have in place an innovative regulatory system and development policies, and competent personnel to handle these new tasks. The provincial Party Committee and government must focus more on staff training to be more attentive when dealing with people’s proposals, to bring forth the sense of creativeness, and to be able to present concrete and practical action plans and solutions, helping businesses to weather difficulties and challenges to enable Quang Nam to develop more sustainably in the future.

Excerpt from the speech of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc when visiting Quang Nam province on the occasion of the Lunar New Year 2017

Bouncing back from hardship

In 1997, Quang Nam-Danang province was separated, forming two independent localities. This event was a new chapter in the development of Quang Nam and its inhabitants.

In the first days of re-establishment, Quang Nam faced many difficulties. At that time, Quang Nam was an agricultural province with underdeveloped socio-economic infrastructure, lacking basic utilities such as schools and hospitals.

Determined to reverse the situation, Quang Nam authorities devised new policies and plans, leveraging existing resources and advantages as well as the government’s support and international funds, along with the support of local people. As a result, 20 years after re-establishment, there have been a great number of improvements in the provincial socio-economic development, bringing huge potential for sustainable future success.

In order to reconstruct and develop the provincial economy, the Quang Nam Party Committee has focused on three breakthrough missions, including building an improved infrastructure network, creating a favourable investment climate, and developing a high quality workforce to meet the demands of industrialisation, modernisation, and international integration.

In the province, building consistent socio-economic infrastructure has been considered a top priority. Presently, Quang Nam is bracing for opportunities of international integration thanks to the establishment of Chu Lai International Airport, Ky Ha Port, and Tam Hiep Port, bringing “made in Chu Lai” products to regional and worldwide markets. Furthermore, the expansion of National Road 1A and upcoming inauguration of Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway also boosts the regional integration of Quang Nam.

The transport network has been expanded with the opening of a border gate, connecting Quang Nam and Laos. Roads connecting mountainous areas of Quang Nam with surrounding localities have also been upgraded, thus boosting the province’s socio-economic development. In order to attract overseas investment funds and build industrial clusters and zones, Quang Nam has developed Chu Lai Open Economic Zone following the governmental approval, while expanding the development to the west and east of the province.

Industrialisation and modernisation – especially in agriculture – has been accelerated as well.

After 20 years of re-establishment, Quang Nam is considering applying modern city planning to Tam Ky
Tam Ky - 20 years after Quang Nam’s re-establishment

A rising industrial and tourism hub

Along with developing industrial zones, the province has paid attention to conducting the “New Rural Development Programme” as well as to urban development. This has contributed to changing the setting of Quang Nam.

The urbanisation rate has gone up with the urban population, accounting for 14 per cent in 1997, and up by 24.2 per cent per year in 2016. Quang Nam now has two localities which qualify as cities in terms of population – Tam Ky and the ancient city of Hoi An, which is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Dien Ban district has been on the rise and has lately qualified as a town in official designations. And other towns and villages have been preparing for growth, building thousands of kilometres of rural roads.

Twenty years of efforts by Quang Nam have helped the province maintain a healthy growth rate of local GDP year-on-year, up 10.9 per cent annually in the period (14.7 per cent in 2016). Compared to 1997, Quang Nam’s GDP per capita has climbed around 20-fold.

In addition, the economic structure has been transformed, with the share of agriculture in the province’s GDP dropping from 48 per cent in 1997 to approximately 11.9 per cent in 2016. Meanwhile the construction, industry and service sectors grew from 52 per cent in 1997 to 88.1 per cent in 2016.

Quang Nam used to be an underdeveloped province and among the poorest localities throughout the country, relying mostly on state subsidies. However, after 20 years of development, the province has achieved considerable goals, including raising the budget collection to VND20 trillion ($909 million). Presently, Quang Nam is on the list of fast-growing localities of the region and the country as well.

The service sector has gone through great breakthroughs, especially when the ancient town of Hoi An and the My Son relic site were recognised as World Heritage Sites by

UNESCO, and Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) became a global Biosphere Reserve, drawing a great number of domestic and foreign visitors to the province. In 2016, Quang Nam received 4.4 million visitors, of which 2.3 million were international arrivals.

In terms of industry, the establishment of Chu Lai-Truong Hai automobile complex has helped Quang Nam to shine on the automobile map of the region, the country, and the world. The complex has produced hundreds of thousands of high-quality passenger cars, buses, and trucks, contributing considerably to the state budget.

Recently, the $20 billion gas and power project, invested by US firm ExxonMobil and Vietnam’s oil and gas group PetroVietnam, has been approved by the prime minister. It is a chance for Quang Nam to attract a large sum of foreign direct investment, contributing to the province’s economic reform.

With local authorities’ strong commitments, as well as the great support of local people and local businesses, Quang Nam has been taking firm steps in the international integration era, ready to expand its stature in the world.