The 300-kilometer National Highway 18 that runs through Quang Ninh used to be called “the road of misery”. (Photo: vov.vn)
Natural resource-based economy will be greener
A decade ago, it took 3 to 4 hours to reach Quang Ninh from Hanoi. The 300-kilometer National Highway 18 running through Quang Ninh province was called “the road of misery” because it was dusty on sunny days and muddy when it rained.
Industry comprises approximately 60% of Quang Ninh’s economy.
| Coal and ore mining dumps hundreds of millions of tons of soil, rocks, and wastewater into the environment. (Photo: vov.vn)
The coal industry contributes 60% of the local revenue, but 240 coal and ore mines have dumped hundreds of millions of tons of soil, rocks, and wastewater into the environment.
Thermal power plants, and cement and shipbuilding factories, concentrated near Ha Long and Bai Tu Long Bay are undermining tourism development and damaging resources.
Eyeing green growth
Quang Ninh’s changes in recent years surprise visitors. The Ha Long-Hai Phong Expressway which connects National Highway 18 in Ha Long City with the Hanoi–Hai Phong expressway in Hai Phong City has cut travel time from Hanoi to one and a half hours.
Van Don International Airport, Ha Long-Van Don Expressway, and Ha Long International Cruise Port - Vietnam’s first specialized international passenger ship port - have created a breakthrough in Quang Ninh’s infrastructure.
Tourism has become a spearhead sector for Quang Ninh. Last year the province received 14 million visitors, more than 40% of them foreigners.
|Quang Ninh has put on a new face in recent years. (Photo: vov.vn)
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, Quang Ninh is now focused on domestic tourism, hoping to attract 3 million visitors in the remaining months of this year.
Nguyen The Hue, Vice Chairman of the provincial Tourism Association, said, “Tourism companies have designed more attractive tours and offered them at reduced prices. Tour boats and hotels have been eager to participate in programs to revive the tourism sector. Discount programs are a big part of the tourism stimulus campaign. We have worked with agencies to create promotions and trade fairs to lure more visitors to Quang Ninh.”
The coal industry has used newer technology, greater mechanization in the pits, and more automation and computerization to improve mining efficiency, reduce pollution, and create “greener, more modern mines, with fewer people".
Nguyen Xuan Ky, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said that one of the highlights of the just concluded Party Committee’s tenure was developing urban residential areas and industrial and economic zones like the Mong Cai Border Gate Economic Zone, the Van Don Economic Zone, and the new Quang Yen Coastal Economic Zone to make urban centers greener and smarter.
Quang Ninh is attracting more and more high-tech projects in processing, manufacturing, service infrastructure construction, seaports, and logistics. Thanks to its development orientation, Quang Ninh has maintained a stable economic growth rate of 10.7% for the last 5 years.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told Quang Ninh authorities in May, "Quang Ninh’s recent growth has been due as much to the tourism potential of its clean beaches as to its coal reserves. Quang Ninh has become a role model for economic transformation.