Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has tasked authorities in a northern province home to three major production plants of South Korean tech giant Samsung with becoming Asia’s hub of electronics production.
The premier set the goal during a visit to Bac Ninh to attend a ceremony to mark the province’s 20th anniversary of reestablishment on Sunday.
Bac Ninh was first established in November 1831, before being merged with its neighbor, Bac Giang, to form the erstwhile Ha Bac province in 1962.
In 1996, Ha Bac was divided into Bac Ninh and Bac Giang again, marking the reestablishment of each of the provinces.
Over the last 20 years, Bac Ninh has thrived in terms of socio-economic development, becoming the locality with the second-highest Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) per capita in Vietnam.
Speaking with provincial leaders on Sunday, PM Phuc underlined that from these initial achievements, Bac Ninh should “continue evolving into the symbol of Vietnam’s vibrant development in the fields of electronics and hi-tech.”
“Bac Ninh should exert concerted efforts to be able to emerge as Asia’s electronics production base in the next ten years,” the premier said.
PM Phuc also approved of the province’s master plan to meet all criteria to join Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, and Can Tho as a centrally administered metropolis by 2022.
The Vietnamese head of government has every reason to set such a goal for Bac Ninh, given the recent economic results released on its 20th reestablishment anniversary.
Impressive economic performance
Though being the smallest locality by area among 63 Vietnamese cities and provinces, Bac Ninh last year reported a GRDP per capita of US$4,847, only behind Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2016, Bac Ninh also ranked second in terms of industrial production output, topping VND765.62 trillion ($34.18 billion), and export turnover that hit $22.8 billion.
In the last two decades, Quang Ninh has attracted 935 foreign direct investment projects, worth a combined $12.3 billion, with such major names among its investors as Samsung, Microsoft, Canon and PepsiCo.
Samsung currently has six plants in Vietnam, three of which are in Bac Ninh. The South Korean electronics behemoth is expected to finish disbursing a total of $4 billion in registered investment in Bac Ninh by the end of this year, and has plans to increase its investment by $2.5 billion.
The total registered investment of six Samsung facilities in Vietnam is $15 billion, with $10 billion already disbursed.
Samsung Vietnam, employing some 136,700 local workers, posted $40 billion in export revenue in 2016, accounting for 22 percent of the total figure.
As part of his working agenda in Bac Ninh on Sunday, PM Phuc also visited the Samsung plant in Yen Phong Industrial Park.
The Vietnamese premier hailed Samsung’s contribution in generating jobs for nearly 140,000 local workers and attracting 198 businesses to join its supply chain in the country.
PM Phuc underscored that Bac Ninh authorities and the Vietnamese government will continue supporting Samsung so the company will be able to meet its $50 billion export revenue target for 2017.