Speaking at an online meeting between relevant ministries and 25 border provinces, Dien suggested border localities build strategies and plans for industrial and commercial development in the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2045; study, propose policies or promulgate local policies to attract investment in socio-economic infrastructure; and prioritize investment in infrastructure in the fields of transportation, electricity, water, telecommunications, trade and services.
Localities should take initiative in proposing the upgrading and opening of new pairs of border gates, gradually eliminate trading through unofficial channels, and build mechanisms and policies to attract large domestic and foreign industrial enterprises.
The minister also proposed applying regular communication between the Ministry of Industry and Trade and 25 border provinces to promptly report any arising problem to the Government for timely settlement.
Le Hoang Oanh, Director of the Asia-Africa Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, border provinces have been able to ensure both defense security and pandemic prevention and control, while maintaining economic development.
In 2020, 15 out of 25 border provinces reported growth rates higher than the national average, and the number rose to 20 in the first six months of 2021. Cross-border relations are well maintained and several infrastructure works serving industrial and commercial development here have been formed.
However, the border areas still face many difficulties in economic development due to the low starting point. Border trade turnover only reached US$30 billion in 2020, accounting for only 5.5 percent of the country’s total trade turnover.