Lao Cai, Viet Nam as an Investment Spotlight
The Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway is an integral section of the eastern link of the GMS Northern Economic Corridor, connecting Kunming in Yunnan province of the PRC with Hanoi, and Hai Phong and Cai Lan ports in Viet Nam. Photo by ADB.
Viet Nam’s Lao Cai province has become a ‘promising destination for foreign investments,’ according to a feature on the Viet Nam Briefing, with its strategic location on the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Northern Economic Corridor and its connectivity to the southwestern region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Key sectors of investment in Lao Cai include construction, tourism, and agriculture and forestry.
Transport connectivity in Lao Cai
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the GMS Economic Cooperation program, supported the Government of Viet Nam in building the Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway. This key highway is an integral section of the eastern link of the GMS Northern Economic Corridor, and connected Kunming in the PRC’s Yunnan province with Hanoi, Viet Nam, as well as to the Hai Phong and Cai Lan ports in Viet Nam. Through these highway expansion and upgrades, passenger and freight vehicle travel time was shortened between Lao Cai and Hanoi to three and a half hours from an initial seven hours.
Improved trade and travel along the corridor
Construction of the expressway, as well as power, communications, and toll booths to ease cross-border transit, led to an increase in trade and travel along the corridor. The road infrastructure created jobs and further increased trade between Viet Nam and the PRC. In Lao Cai, new hotels, cafes, and shops have sprang up.
Viet Nam Briefing, however, underscores Lao Cai needs to continue developing its infrastructure. Challenges also remain in accessibility of land, information access for businesses, human resource quality, and business support service quality.