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Strategic location

Geographical location:


Northern Vietnam is one of the country’s three major regions, namely the North, the Central and the South. It consists of 29 provinces and cities, from Ha Giang to Quang Binh and is divided in to 3 sub-regions as follows:



The Red River Delta:


The Red River Delta is a vast region located around the lower section of the Red River in North Viet Nam, consisting of 11 cities and provinces, namely Hanoi, Vinh Phuc, Bac Ninh, Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, Hai Phong, Hung Yen, Thai Binh, Ha Nam, Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh. The whole region has an area of 23,336 km2, representing 7.1% of the country’s  area.


Location: The region has an advantageous location for socio-economic development, linking the Northeast, Northwest and the North Central. It is also located in the centre of Northern Vietnam. In the key economic zone of the North, Hanoi is the centre of industry, administration and highest-level politics. The region has more than 400km of coastline and a gateway to  the sea through the port of Hai Phong which facilitates economic exchanges with other regions and countries.


Population: The Red River Delta is the most densely populated area of the country and is also one of the economic regions that has specially important role in labour distribution of the country. The population of the region was 20.2 million (according to the population census in 2012), accounting for 22.7% of the national population. This large population provides abundant qualified, experienced workforce and creates a huge purchasing-power market.


Transport Infrastructure:


The Red River Delta plays a role as the gateway to the north of the country. The  existing transportation system including roads, river, sea, air, rail, Hai Phong seaport and  Noi Bai International Airport (in Hanoi) are the linkages between the Red River Delta with other national economic zones and expand economic exchanges with countries in the region and the world.

- Road network includes: The trans-Vietnam Highway 1A; Highway 2 connecting Ha Noi to Ta Lung border gate, Cao Bang; Highway 5 from Ha Noi to Hai Phong; Highway 6 from Ha Noi to Dien Bien; Highway 10 from Ninh Binh to Hai Phong; Highway 18 linking Hanoi - Bac Ninh - Hai Duong - Quang Ninh; Highway 32 linking Ha Noi - Phu Tho - Yen Bai - Lai Chau…

- Rail network includes the North-South railroad which runs across many cities and provinces;

- Airport network includes: Noi Bai International Airport (in Hanoi), Cat Bi Airport (in Hai Phong) and Van Don International Airort (in Quang Ninh).

- There are major ports such as: Hai Phong Port, Cai Lan Port, Diem Dien Port, Ninh Co Port etc.

- The region has many national river routes included in the list of Vietnam’s river system such as: the Red River, Duong River, Thai Binh River, Cau River, Lach Tray River ,…


The northern midlands and mountainous region:


This region includes 14 provices, namely Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Tuyen Quang, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Lang Son, Phu Tho, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Son La, Hoa Binh, Thai Nguyen and Bac Giang. The whole region has an area of 95,272.3 km2, representing 28.8% of the country’s area. According to the  population census in 2012, the population of the region was 11.4 million, accounting for 12.8% of the national population.



The northern midlands and mountainous region has a favourable geographical position, bordering Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces of China to the north, Laos to the west, the Red River Delta and the North Central region to the south, and the Gulf of Tonkin to the east. Some of the major international border gates in the region are Huu Nghi, Mong Cai, Lao Cai,… This position has greatly facilitated economic exchanges  between the region and other local provinces and foreign countries.


Natural Resources:

The northern midlands and mountainous region has the most natural resources of Viet Nam, in which hydropower accounts for 56%, apatite minerals 100%, copper 70%, rare earth 100% of the country… This is a huge potential for the development of mining, mineral processing industries, contributing to the launch and deployment of industrialization and modernization process of the region and the country.

Particularly, the tropical, subtropical and temperate climate in the region helps to expand the agricultural sector with a variety of crops and domestic animals, including specialty crops of high economic value such as tea, anise, cinnamon, plum, apricot and many kinds of medicinal herbs. This is the region’s strengths to develop agricultural processing industry.

The area has many nationally-recognized historical monuments which create the potential for tourism development, such as: Dien Bien Phu area, Son La prison, Pac Po cave, Tan Trao banian tree, Nui Coc lake, Ba Be, Cam Son, Thac Ba, Sapa, Tamdao, etc.


Transportation Infrastructure:

In recent years, a number of major infrastructure facilities have been upgraded or are under construction such as National Roads #2, #3, #6, #32, #70, #12 and Ho Chi Minh Highway. Some other highways under construction are Ha Noi - Vinh Phuc - Phu Tho - Lao Cai Highway, Ha Noi - Thai Nguyen Highway, Hoa Lac - Hoa Binh Highway. The Lang Son - Bac Giang - Bac Ninh Highway is to be constructed in the near future.

The railway network has a total length of 700km, including Hanoi - Dong Dang route (163km in length), Hanoi - Thai Nguyen (79km) and Luu Xa - Kep - Ha Long (162km).

The region has several large rivers flowing through; however the river transportation is underdeveloped due to the complicated terrain with lots of high mountains. Currently, the waterway transportation route of Hai Phong - Pa Vinh hydroelectric Dam and the route from the National Road #6 connecting to Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant have been developed.

There is a river port (Ta Hoc port) of Hoa Binh lake, and another port is under construction in Muong La district, Son La province.

Currently, the region has only Na San and Dien Bien airports. In the development planning until 2020, Lao Cai and Lai Chau airports will be built.


The North Central region:


The North Central region of Viet Nam consists of 6 provinces, namely Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue, of which 4 provinces (Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh) are under the charge of IPCN in terms of investment promotion. The region has transition features between the north and the south economic regions. To the west of the region is the eastern side of Truong Son mountain range which shares a 1,294km-borderline with Laos People’s Democratic Republic with some border gates like Quan Hoa, Lang Chanh (Thanh Hoa), Ky Son (Nghe An), Huong Son (Ha Tinh), favourable for economic exchanges with Laos and other Asian countries. The Eastern side of the region borders the East Sea via a 700km- coastal road. Various seafood can be exploited in this water and there are some deep waters for  seaport development. The nation’s shortest horizontal distance (50km) is in Quang Binh province, on the trans-Vietnam transport route, which is an advantage for economic exchanges with other provinces in the north and south. The total area of the region is 41,686.2 km2, accounting for 12,6%  of the national area; the population of the region is 8,467 million, accounting for 9.5% of the national population.


Transportation Infrastructure:

The North Central economic region is located on the North – South main railway and roadway. There are some East-West roadways (National Roads #7, #8, #9, #29) connecting Laos to the East Sea.

Some airports (Vinh, Dong Hoi, Tho Xuan),

Harbours (Nghi Son, Vung Anh, Cua Lo, Cua Hoi, Cua Gianh, Nhat Le, Cua Viet, Thuan An etc.) which are favorable conditions to expand economic exchanges between provinces, regions and other countries, especially  Laos, the Northeastern region of Thailand, Myanmar, etc.


Natural Resources:

The mineral resources in the North Central region are diverse, accounting for 60% of the nation’s iron-ore, 80% of tin, 100% of Chromite and 40% of limestone. The region has some of valuable mineral mines such as Thach Khe iron mine (Ha Tinh), Co Dinh chromite mine (Thanh Hoa), Quy Hop tin mine (Nghe An). In terms of mineral reserves, rock is no.1, followed by iron, tin and kaolin. Petroleum and gas reserves are promising. This is the good base for the industry of mineral exploitation and metallurgy to turn the North Central into an industrial sector.