Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development

May 06, 2024 | 10:13
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This year is deemed essential for Haiphong to ramp up efforts towards successful implementation of goals set in the 16th Haiphong Party Congress Resolution for the 2020-2025 tenure.
Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development
Haiphong is looking to advance not only in city planning but also in tech, healthcare, infrastructure, and much more, Photo: Duy Thinh

In the socioeconomic picture in the first quarter, the regional GDP of Haiphong grew by 9.32 per cent, 1.65 times the national average.

With this result, the northern port city is firmly leading the nation. It is laying a crucial foundation for the city to reach 11.5-12 per cent growth in 2024, extending decades of achievements with a double-digit growth and continuing to assert its position.

At the Haiphong Party Committee conference in April, Le Tien Chau, Secretary of Haiphong Party Committee, noted that the results in 2023 have reaffirmed the directions of guidelines, decisions, and selection of key tasks and breakthroughs of the leadership in steering local socioeconomic development.

“At the same time, it shows the vision and determination of the city’s authorised agencies at all levels in building and implementing the city’s 16th Party Resolution; demonstrating innovative thinking and actions while striving to elevate Haiphong’s development,” Chau said.

As the economy is on the upswing, the city has significant additional resources to spend on development. This year, construction sites of key projects have been vibrant. Typical projects worth tens of millions US dollars are in the development pipeline, such as the convention and performance centre north of Cam River, Ben Rung bridge, Lai Xuan bridge, and a multi-level intersection at Ton Duc Thang, Mang Nuoc, and National Highway 5, to name but a few.

Some off-budget projects are also progressing quickly, such as ports 3-6 at Lach Huyen international gateway port, and social housing blocks in Trang Due and Trang Cat, among others.

Haiphong’s general planning to 2040, and city planning for this decade, are being rapidly implemented, laying an important fundament for specialised planning schemes as well as sub-zone and district planning. This is especially so in terms of upgrading Thuy Nguyen district to a city, and upgrading An Duong to a district.

The city’s foreign affairs activities have also taken place in a variety of ways. Haiphong has held many investment promotion missions abroad, with city leaders directly participating and carrying out activities to promote Haiphong’s investment environment in key markets such as the US, South Korea, and Japan, among others. This has resulted in many MoUs and investment commitments being signed between city leaders and large corporations.

Bold steps

Not only paying attention to economic development, Haiphong devotes appropriate investment to cultural and social fields.

The municipal People’s Council has passed many resolutions on education and health, notably the resolution on supporting training for human resources in the health sector in Haiphong for 2024-2030; and on tuition fees for public preschool and general education establishments, in which education, training, and healthcare are given top priority.

“2024 is identified as a breakthrough year with great significance to ensure successful implementation of the city’s socioeconomic plan for 2021-2025,” said Nguyen Van Tung, Chairman of Haiphong People’s Committee.

Last year saw many objective factors with detrimental impacts on the port city’s economic and social status, yet thanks to creative thinking, effective solutions, and efforts at all levels, Haiphong both completed and exceeded many targets.

Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development

Chairman Tung noted that 2023 was the ninth consecutive year the city had achieved double-digit growth, which enhanced the city’s position and reputation both domestically and internationally.

Haiphong ranked third in 2022 Provincial Competitiveness Index tally out of all localities nationwide, second in the 2023 Public Administration Reform Index, and fifth on the 2023 Satisfaction Index of Public Administrative Services. In terms of satisfaction index on policy formulation and implementation, the city came third among all localities last year nationwide.

Haiphong made a bold mark in foreign direct investment attraction, reaching $3.5 billion in 2023. This was 1.75 times higher than the projection and 1.4 times higher than in 2022, bringing the city closer to reaching the $12 billion target set for the 2020-2025 tenure.

Driving this investment attraction and strongly developing industrial zones (IZs), supporting industries, and high-tech fields attests to Haiphong’s commitment to realise the goal of growing into a leading locality in this decade and beyond.

The port city has been doing a smart job of ensuring economic growth is always in harmony with enhancing people’s living standards. More than two million people in Haiphong are enjoying a stable life with steadily improved living standards, while underprivileged families, revolutionary contributors, poor households, and vulnerable people are taken care of by the city.

This is mirrored in the recognition and gratitude of ordinary people.

Tran Nhat Anh, living in Ngo Quyen district said, “Haiphong people all feel the strong development of the city. The streets are becoming more spacious and beautiful each year. As the economy grows, the city has built more impressive and modern educational, cultural, and entertainment works, creating a joyful and exciting atmosphere among people of all walks of life.”

The once small city of Haiphong is now wide and bright, reaching to the northern bank of the Cam River. All suburban communes have been recognised as new-style rural areas, and many communes and wards in Haiphong no longer have poor households at all.

Acceleration for breakthroughs

This year, Haiphong aims to expand economic space, leverage investment, consumption, and export, innovate growth models, and restructure the provincial economy through high-tech industry, seaports and logistics, and tourism and commerce.

The city shall promote site clearance and urge investors to speed up the construction of key infrastructure in IZs and clusters such as Tien Thanh IZ, Haiphong International Gateway Port IZ, and Xuan Cau Industrial and Non-Tariff Cluster.

It shall be more proactive in supporting businesses to carry out investment and planning procedures to soon establish new IZs in Nam Trang Cat, Thuy Nguyen, Trang Due’s phase 3, and Giang Bien 2.

Efforts gear towards enticing investors on building new logistics centres following planning schemes, and making efforts to soon complete the construction of container terminals 3-6 and start construction of container terminals 7 and 8 at Lach Huyen port.

The city will coordinate with the Ministry of Transport to research investment in the Lao Cai-Hanoi-Haiphong railway, connecting Lach Huyen International Gateway Port with the Dinh Vu and Nam Do Son port areas, along with effectively tapping into and improving tourism product quality.

Specifically, the city is set to accelerate the pace of tourism infrastructure projects on Cat Hai island such as Cat Hai-Phu Long cable car route, Xuan Dam golf course, and a port and associated tourism works at Cai Beo fishing village.

As of now, the main growth driver of the city, Dinh Vu-Cat Hai Economic Zone, has leased out nearly 80 per cent. The establishment of the Southern Coastal Economic Zone, including building a free trade zone and developing Nam Do Son Port and Tien Lang Airport, now proves imperative. Accordingly, the city strives to submit the plan to the central government this month and complete establishment this year.

Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development
Haiphong ensures continuity in investment attraction
Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development
Nguyen Van Tung, chairman Haiphong People’s Committee

Haiphong’s Party Committee and People’s Committee are highly focused, devoting attention to the coordination with relevant departments, ministries, and sectors to carry out the five-year review of implementing Resolution No.45 of the Politburo on building and developing Haiphong city to 2030, with a vision to 2045. This is along with the three-year review on the pilot of specific policies. This year is also crucial for the preparation and organisation of the Party Congress at all levels in the city.

The city continues to expand foreign relations and best avail of investment promotion opportunities, especially strengthening investment promotion in high-tech fields, and fields of top investment priority at present such as health and education.

The city urgently directs the construction and concretisation of mechanisms to support domestic businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, aiming to build up businesses capable of working with foreign investment units in processing and manufacturing. This includes in high and green technology such as electronics, semiconductors, and logistics industries. It will create conditions for local businesses to develop, striving to balance revenue streams between domestic and foreign businesses to complement internal strengths for the city.

Haiphong will accelerate the implementation of urgent and key tasks until the end of the 2020-2025 tenure, especially the missions as establishing a coastal economic zone south of the city, setting up a free trade zone, and studying and preparing documents for an airport in Tien Lang district, among others.

A charming Haiphong in both literature and art
Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development
Bui Nhu Lai, vice rector, Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema

As a person attached to Haiphong’s literature and arts, especially theatre, as well as observing the city’s development in recent years, I see that Haiphong has experienced very positive changes. The city leaders as well as leaders of the Department of Culture and Sports have been very active, motivating artists to do many things. This brings many benefits to Haiphong’s artists.

More importantly, Haiphong’s audiences have access to many great works with different staging and performance styles. It can be stated that this is an important premise and a solid foundation to shape the future cultural and artistic development of the city.

Haiphong has boldly invested in literature, art, and culture, both in direction and funding. This is valuable support for the development of culture and art, in parallel with the city’s economic development. I think Haiphong deserves to be the leader in the field of arts compared to other localities in the country today.

Haiphong urban area and its cultural institutions are increasingly modern. The transport infrastructure linking with other localities has been complete, making it very convenient for residents and tourists. Moving forward, Haiphong is not only about literature and arts, cuisine is also an attraction for visitors.

Developing Haiphong into a major cultural centre
Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development
Tran Thi Hoang Mai, director, Haiphong Department of Culture and Sports

Haiphong has become an important port city and is also one of two development hubs of the northern key economic region.

Following plans to build and develop advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with distinct national identities, Haiphong has paid due heed to ensuring cultural development in a comprehensive way, constantly improving the material and spiritual life of local people.

The city has enacted a master planning on the development of Haiphong’s culture, sports, and tourism to 2025, with a vision to 2030. To implement the project, the city’s Department of Culture and Information proposed continued implementation of innovative programmes such as Lighting up the City Theatre, creating videos to promote the city’s historical relics.

This helps build a healthy, civilised, and modern cultural environment, while preserving and promoting the cultural identity of Haiphong people, striving to reach the goal of building and developing Haiphong into a major cultural centre with a distinct identity.

An Duong district shall be a growth pole for the west of Haiphong
Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development
Tran Thi Quynh Trang, secretary, An Duong District Party Committee

An Duong is the western gateway of Haiphong, encompassing many important traffic routes and a complex system of industrial, agricultural, and service zones. The district’s economic structure is diverse, and the local infrastructure system was built on a large scale and synchronously, creating a modern urban space.

With all public schools meeting national standards and two large hospitals, the project to turn An Duong into an urban district administrative unit is an inevitable trend, meeting the objective requirements of economic, population, and labour restructuring amid the modernisation process of the city.

Pursuant to the 2023 approval of Haiphong’s revised general planning to 2040, with a vision to 2050, as an urban district, An Duong would become one of the six important development areas of Haiphong in the future, expanding the urban area to the west of the city.

An Duong is home to large-scale industrial zones and clusters, such as Trang Due and An Duong , which are deemed important premises for the development of major logistics and industrial centres of the city. The strong operation and development of such zones and clusters has created a stable source of employment and enticed labour from neighbouring areas, as well as foreign experts, to live and work in the district.

Any future development must be sustainable
Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development
Bruno Jaspaert, CEO, DEEP C Industrial Zones

Haiphong has a strategic geographical location at the end of the supply chain, so all goods circulating to and from northern Vietnam have to go through Haiphong.

The port city plays a role model for sustainable development. If Haiphong can demonstrate the efficiency of sustainability and the city can grow sustainably, then it would be able to perform much more effectively than other localities.

That means it needs to set new standards, and I’m happy that the new economic zone that Haiphong is aiming for in Do Son is an example of new idea application to create the difference.

We pursue sustainable development as we believe it is the right direction, and we believe foreign investors will only come to Vietnam to invest in the future if they can prove to shareholders that this is a sustainable investment destination.

In recent years, DEEP C has become clear evidence that transitioning towards a sustainable investment location is a meaningful strategic direction. I believe this direction can be applied to the whole of Vietnam.

Five years ago, DEEP C had to prove that Vietnam was an investment destination. To date, we don’t need to prove it any more. We keep alluring more and more investors because our decisions are sustainable.

Let’s invest in Haiphong’s tourism
Breakthroughs within reach for Haiphong’s development
Trinh Ba Dung, chairman Cat Ba Fine Arts

As a professional tour operator and an investor, I realise that Haiphong has many valuable tourism resources. If Haiphong performs smartly in tourism planning, the city would increasingly develop. I grew up in Ho Chi Minh City and have led diverse successful ventures in scenic locations in Vietnam such as Dalat and Nha Trang. Currently, I have a venture on Cat Ba archipelago. During my research on Haiphong tourism, I have conceived a model called the diamond triangle.

The first triangle vertex is Thuy Nguyen. The district should be invested into becoming a historical, cultural, religious, and spiritual centre. Spiritual, historical, and cultural tourism plays a crucial role in sustainability and connection.

The second vertex of the triangle is the Do Son tourism area. Here, we should strive for a night economy. Halong and even Hanoi are not that far away, and Do Son is already considered a brand.

And the last triangle vertex is Cat Ba island, which should be a high-class community eco resort model. Here we can do everything selectively and make it premium. If we can create this diamond triangle, no other city can be our opponent. It’s time for Vietnamese people to step out of their safety zone and show the world that travelling to Vietnam is a worthy experience.

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By Thanh Son

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