Dien Bien aspires to develop

Update 30 - 01 - 2022

Dien Bien had achieved unexpected outcomes in socioeconomic development in the area by the end of 2021, despite being significantly afflicted by the Covid-19 epidemic. Typically, the GRDP growth rate is over 6%, which is more than twice the country's average growth rate. That has partly demonstrated the efforts to change from thinking to action of the Party committees, authorities at all levels and people of Dien Bien in promoting potentials and strengths and seeking and taking advantage of economic development opportunities in the new situation. Dien Bien has also made a breakthrough in vital infrastructure investment in 2021, bringing up a slew of new options for the future growth of the Dien Bien’s economy. In particular, the province still focuses on strengths in agriculture, forestry and tourism to exploit and invest on a larger scale and more scientifically.

Dien Bien, being a huge natural area with almost 1 million hectares, has a lot of land potential, especially land for agricultural and forestry development, which accounts for nearly 80% of the total. In addition to a large area of unused agricultural and forestry land, the climate and soil in Dien Bien is also rich and diverse, which is a favorable condition for the development of many types of agricultural and forestry products with economic value. Typically, the Muong Thanh field is often the largest in the Northwest region, producing the famously excellent Dien Bien rice specialty and providing a significant source of revenue for farmers. Nature also favors Dien Bien, providing fertile fields for the development of high-quality agricultural and forestry products.

Typically: corn and soybeans in Tuan Giao; Shan Tuyet tea in Tua Chua; pears, peaches, and plums in Muong Phang; Muong Ang coffee and so on. Dien Bien has a lot of land and grassland, thus it has a lot of potential for large-scale cattle raising in most of the province's districts. Dien Bien has also promoted its land advantages to develop multi-purpose trees such as rubber, macadamia, and fruit trees, as well as medicinal plants under the forest canopy, etc. Many sorts of agricultural and forestry products have proven their economic worth by greatly increasing people's income sources and continuing to draw investment from both within and outside the province.

The current Muong Thanh field in the Dien Bien basin is the local granary, covering approximately 140km2 and contributing for over half of the province's entire rice production. The Dien Bien rice brand, which is widely consumed in the national market and exported, was formed with a variety of flexible and delicious rice such as Bac Thom No. 7; Seng Cu... Many enterprises have also invested in producing high-quality rice in the Muong Thanh field, which has brought many benefits to the community in addition to ensuring food security for the locality.

Furthermore, strategies and programs to develop agro-forestry production have been adopted in a systematic manner in recent years in order to promote and maximize the potentials and advantages of local agricultural production development such as: Fruit tree development scheme; Project on sustainable development of grazing cattle (buffaloes, cows, goats) along the value chain associated with the product consumption market; Project on sustainable forestry economic development in Dien Bien province in the period of 2021-2025 with orientation to 2030.

Another feature in Dien Bien's agro-forestry growth is the development of crops on sloping land, which provides economic benefits to the inhabitants while also attracting investment. For example, on Muong Ang land, firms and individuals have engaged carefully in coffee production throughout the years, yielding remarkable results. Although there have been years of falling into a situation of good crops but losing prices, gaining prices but losing crops, coffee is still an important crop for Muong Ang to reduce poverty. At the same time, after many years of finding solutions to overcome difficulties, coffee trees in Muong Ang now and in the near future as well as in the distant future will be developed stably.

Dien Bien uses the land's potential to grow industrial crops and other multi-purpose crops including tea, rubber, macadamia, and medicinal plants in addition to coffee. These crops not only increase crop efficiency on the same amount of land as traditional crops, but they also play an essential role in influencing people's perceptions of economic development. The macadamia tree has shown to be the most effective of all the crops produced on Dien Bien's steep soil thus far. Because this is a multi-purpose plant, in addition to harvesting seeds with high economic value in the long run, macadamia can also green bare land, barren hills and can be used as protection forests with the ability to limit leaching and soil erosion. As a result, macadamia is a plant that contributes to the protection of the environment, has a good impact on people's lives and income, and helps to change the landscape. The province has planted almost 4,000 hectares of macadamia trees by the end of 2021, primarily in the districts of Dien Bien, Tuan Giao, Tua Chua, Nam Po, Muong Ang, and Dien Bien Phu City. The total area of income-producing trees is 84 hectares, with a total production of 68,000 kilograms of fresh fruit and an average yield of 810 kilograms per hectare. The province has also approved investment policies for 9 projects of growing macadamia trees with a total registered capital of 9,271 billion VND, the scale of concentrated planting approved for implementation is 52,915 ha in the areas of Dien Bien, Dien Bien Dong, Tuan Giao, Muong Ang, Tua Chua, Muong Nhe, Nam Po districts and Dien Bien Phu city. This is a new opportunity for agro-forestry development in Dien Bien both in the near future and in the distant future.

The province has a large land area, many hills and abundant natural food sources, so Dien Bien soon took advantage of this advantage to develop cattle raising, especially in the districts: Dien Bien Dong, Muong Nhe, Muong Cha, Tuan Giao. The application of technological improvements has boosted the development of commodity-oriented livestock production in Dien Bien in recent years, resulting in amazing efficiency, greatly increasing people's income, and contributing to local agricultural economic prosperity. Dien Bien's livestock continues to expand; by the end of 2021, the whole herd of cattle, comprising buffaloes, cows, and pigs, will be about 531,260 heads, an increase of 0.4 percent over the previous year; this is also one of the strengths that the province is focusing on exploiting.

Develop production forests with rubber trees, pine trees, dalbergia hupeana trees, particle board materials, and pulp with a planned area of ​​hundreds of thousands of hectares. In particular, Muong Nhe Nature Reserve with a relatively large area of ​​primary forest with a variety of animals and plants is still a valuable resource for conservation, construction and formation of a national park in this area. These are advantages to exploit, develop forestry, create diverse and high-quality forest products associated with processing industry.

Currently, Dien Bien province has nearly 3,000 hectares of production plantations, of which nearly 2,000 hectares of production plantations have reached the age of exploitation (with the main plant species being Acacia mangium, Magnolia chevalieri, eucalyptus, and Chukrasia tabularis, Cleistocalyx operculatus, etc.), with a reserve of about 151 thousand m3 of wood. Besides, the area of ​​land planned for forestry, and the relatively large forest area are suitable for developing non-timber forest products (both under the forest canopy and on bare land) in the direction of concentration associated with processing, etc.

With the goal of developing concentrated raw material areas to attract investment in processing, the province has been continuing to pay attention to investing in forest development, and simultaneously facilitating to encourage localities and economic sectors (especially enterprises) to invest in the development of production plantations in the province.

When exploiting the strengths of agricultural and forestry development as the mainstay, Dien Bien also focuses on investing in tourism as an economic spearhead. Because Dien Bien is the center of the Arc of Northwest, it is the only province in the Northwest provinces that has an air route connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. From Dien Bien, it is convenient to travel to the Red River Delta provinces, the Southern provinces, the Upper Laos provinces and the link to ASEAN countries. On the other hand, Dien Bien is a land with a famous historical complex of five continents, known by a large number of domestic and foreign tourists with a wish to set foot in Dien Bien.

In addition to the advantage of historical tourism, Dien Bien can also thrive in community tourism, eco-tourism and cultural tourism. Because this place is rich in cultural identity, in which many villages that still retain traditional cultural values ​​are located adjacent to the center of the province, thus it is convenient for tourists to visit, learn and explore.

Dien Bien province has rich and diverse potential for tourism development, with its majestic natural landscapes, heroic history, and unique culture of 19 ethnic groups. The whole province currently has 27 ranked monuments, of which the most prominent is the Special National Historic Site, the Dien Bien Phu battlefield, 14 national-level relics, and 12 provincial-level relics. Especially, in 2021, Xoe Thai art will be included in the list of representative intangible cultural heritages of humanity and 12 national intangible cultural heritages by UNESCO. These are favorable conditions for attracting investment and development related to historical - spiritual tourism products; national cultural identity tourism, natural landscape exploration; resort tourism, entertainment, health care, etc.

Dien Bien province has a long history, associated with the birth and development of the ancient Vietnamese. Dien Bien is also known as Muong Then or Muong Thanh, meaning “Land of Heaven”, associated with “Mother gourd” (Quả bầu mẹ), a legend about the appearance of mankind. Located in an important strategic position, through many historical periods, it has left behind historical relics of great value such as Tam Van citadel, Ban Phu citadel - Hoang Cong Chat temple, Lai Chau prison and especially, the special national historical relic, the Dien Bien Phu battlefield, has particularly important values ​​in terms of history, culture - society, science.

Clearly defining the important role and significance of the special national site, the Dien Bien Phu Battlefield, over the years, Dien Bien province has always paid attention to investing in embellishing and repairing many items to serve tourists. Especially, since Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum was completed and put into operation, artifacts have been continuously added; The re-enactment of the campaign is also taken care of to better serve the sightseeing and learning needs of domestic and foreign tourists. The latest highlight is the panorama of Dien Bien Phu Campaign located in the 2nd floor space of the Museum, which is being completed. The panorama painting is painted with oil painting material, considered the largest monument in Asia. The painting clearly describes and depicts “Fifty-six days and nights of drilling mountains, sleeping in the basement, pouring rain, squeezed rice” of the army and Vietnamese people to make a victory that shakes the earth.

With a large natural area, diverse terrain and rich vegetation, there is a lot of natural potential for the development of various types of eco-tourism, sightseeing, adventure sports, medical convalescence, entertainment. The scenic spots such as Pa Khoang lake, Huoi Pha lake, Pa Thom cave, Kho Chua La cave, Pe Rang Ky cave, Muong Nhe Nature Reserve, hot mineral water spots such as UVa and Hua Pe, the landscape of Son La hydroelectric power lake bed, Pha Din pass, one of the four great famous and attractive peaks of the Northwest region, Tua Chua rock plateau, A Pa Chai, a border junction of Vietnam, the westernmost point of the country, etc. Dien Bien Phu - Pa Khoang tourist area is defined as a national historical and cultural thematic tourist area being invested and exploited. These are the potentials that Dien Bien is focusing on exploiting and inviting investors and large big corporations to research, survey and invest.

As a province with a long history, it is home to 19 ethnic groups with many different cultural identities. The ethnic minorities’ festivals such as Ban Phu citadel festival; New Rice Festival; Celebration of growing bamboo shoots; Xen Ban Festival; Hamlet worshiping ceremony of the Cong ethnic people; Traditional craft villages, traditional dishes of ethnic groups, etc.

Especially Ban Flowers Festival, an annual activity held by Dien Bien province in the middle of March, associated with the event of March 13, 1954, the day our army fired the first shot to open the Dien Bien Phu campaign. Contribute to promoting the introduction and promotion of cultural and tourism features of Dien Bien province to domestic and international friends; facilitating a cooperation in the field of culture in association with promoting tourism development, enhancing connection of tours and routes, and attracting tourists. Connect with provinces and cities to cooperate in investment and trade promotion, contributing to local socio-economic development in the coming time, contributing to the successful completion of the goal of turning tourism into a spearhead economic sector.

Over the years, thanks to the attention and leadership of the Party and State of Vietnam, the coordination and support of the Central Committees, Ministries and branches, the active participation of all levels of Party committees, authorities and enterprise communities, Dien Bien province’s tourism industry has achieved positive results. State management of tourism is strengthened; awareness of Party committees, authorities at all levels, branches, businesses and People have changed positively; tourism development space is expanded; a number of new tourism products have been put into operation, attracting visitors to learn and experience; the work of propaganda, advertising and promotion of tourism is developed in rich and various forms, etc. In the 2016-2020 period, Dien Bien province welcomes 3 million arrivals of tourists; total revenue from tourism activities reached VND 4,800 billion, the added value of the tourism service industry accounted for 5.78% of the province’s GRDP; contributing to creating jobs for 14,000 employees, including 6,000 direct workers.

In the past year, Dien Bien province has received close attention and direction from the Party and Government leaders, leaders of the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and People’s Committee in order to call on big corporations with their economic potential and investment experience in the field of tourism such as Sun Group, FLC Group, Flamingo Group Joint Stock Company, etc. with their complex projects of luxury golf courses, resorts and entertainment, mountain train route, hot mineral water resort, 6-star standard hotel and commercial center. In 2021, the Prime Minister of the Government adopted Decision No. 470/QD-TTg on approving the investment policy of the Dien Bien Airport expansion, construction and investment project. These are very important motivations serving exploiting the inherent potentials and strengths of Dien Bien tourism, continuing to promote the province’s economic development, contributing to turning tourism into a spearhead economic sector.

Dien Bien is clearly showing flexibility and creativity in exploiting potentials and advantages for economic development. Simultaneously, the Party committees, authorities at all levels, collectives and individuals in the province also actively approach new economic development solutions of localities in the country and apply them in accordance with the conditions of Dien Bien. In which, the top priority solution is to promote investment attraction and increase production by the method of association, production according to the value chain. Simultaneously, strengthen advertising, trade promotion and develop product brand to create a breakthrough in all forms of economic development, from key economic to economic spearhead./.

Nguyen Hoa - Tuyet Anh