Lao Cai Province


Lao Cai Province – A unique blend of cultural richness

Located in the northwestern region of Vietnam, Lao Cai province is a captivating destination known for its stunning natural landscapes and diverse ethnic cultures. Situated on the border with China, the province offers a unique blend of cultural richness, picturesque mountains, and vibrant markets. Lao Cai is not only famous for its breathtaking landscapes, including Fansipan – the highest peak in Indochina, but also for its lively festivals, delicious local cuisine, and warm hospitality. With its strategic location and abundant tourism resources, Lao Cai province has become a popular gateway for travelers to explore the beauty and cultural heritage of the Northwest region of Vietnam.

I. Natural Conditions:

1. Geographic location:

  • Lao Cai is a mountainous province in the Northwest of Vietnam, covering an area of 6,364.03 km2.
  • It shares borders with Ha Giang, Yen Bai, Lai Chau, and Yunnan Province, China.

2. Topography:

  • Lao Cai has many hills, deep-cut valleys, and steep slopes.
  • The two main mountain ranges are Hoang Lien Son and Con Voi.
  • The elevations range from 300m to 1,000m, with several high peaks such as Phu Ta Leng, Lang Lung, Ta Giang Phin, and the highest peak, Phan Xi Pang.

3. Soil:

  • Lao Cai has abundant and diverse soil resources.
  • The natural land area is 636,403 hectares, classified into 10 main soil groups suitable for various types of crops.




4. Water:

  • Surface water resources are concentrated in the Red River, Chay River, and Ngoi Nhu River.
  • The groundwater reserves are approximately 30 million m3 (with a dynamic reserve of 4.448 million m3).

5. Climate:

  • Lao Cai has 7 climate types and 12 microclimate types, categorized into 10 climate types and 43 microclimate subtypes.
  • There are 3 major climate zones and 2 distinct seasons: tropical climate zone, subtropical climate zone, and temperate climate zone.
  • The rainy season lasts from April to October, while the dry season extends from October to March of the following year.

6. Forests:

  • Natural forests cover an area of 140,512 hectares, including commercial forests (60,928 hectares) and protective forests (79,584 hectares).
  • The total timber stock reaches 160.75 m3/ha in rich forests and 139.54 m3/ha in average forests.
  • Hoang Lien National Park (Sa Pa) boasts a diverse ecosystem with many rare plant and animal species.

7. Mineral resources:

  • Mineral resources are an economic strength of Lao Cai.
  • 103 ore deposits, 27 scattered heavy mineral belts, and numerous abnormal radioactive points have been discovered.
  • The mineral resources are diverse, including 31 different types such as copper, iron, and apatite.

II. Social Conditions

Economy (2022 report):

1. Economic Development:

The General Statistics Office has announced the preliminary economic growth rate of Lao Cai province in 2022. It was relatively high, reaching 9.02%. This figure is 3.57 percentage points higher than the growth rate in 2021. It ranked 4th out of 14 provinces in the region and 26th out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide, climbing 3 spots compared to 2021. The economic scale of the province expanded, reaching nearly 68,000 billion VND. It now ranks 4th among the 14 provinces in the region and 42nd among the 63 provinces and cities. This represents a move up by one place compared to 2021.

2. Agriculture, Forestry, and Aquaculture:

a. Crop cultivation:

Grain production was favorable, with a total grain output of 338,606 tons, equivalent to 101.8% of the plan and 100.5% of the same period last year. This contributed to ensuring food security within the province and partially meeting the demand in the market outside the province.




b. Livestock farming:

Livestock farming, encompassing both cattle and poultry, exhibited a relatively steady growth. The production of livestock products satisfactorily catered to the local consumption needs and also found a market beyond the province. The total livestock population reached 601,500 animals, achieving 96.24% of the plan and 105.38% compared to the same period last year. The total poultry population (chickens, ducks, geese) was 5.06 million, reaching 101.2% of the plan and 102.74% compared to the same period last year. The estimated meat production of various types reached 69,500 tons, equivalent to 106.92% of the plan and 105.63% compared to the same period last year.

c. Aquaculture:

Aquaculture maintained good performance in terms of water area, productivity, and output. The area of aquaculture in ponds and small lakes operated by local residents reached an estimated 2,275 hectares, equivalent to 101% of the plan and 104.1% compared to the same period last year. Cold-water fish farming in Bat Xat, Sa Pa, and Van Ban contributed to a production volume of 75,000 m3. The total output from aquaculture operations reached 11,805 tons, exceeding the planned target by 105.4% and surpassing last year’s figures by 123.1%.

d. Forestry:

Forestry developed in a sustainable direction, with well-managed and protected forests. The forest quality continued to improve, with 8,075.84 hectares of forest planted throughout the year. Among them, cinnamon trees were planted on 5,695.7 hectares, bringing the total cinnamon area in the province to 55,700 hectares. Afforestation covered 4,400 hectares. The scattered planting of green trees reached 2,065,738 trees, equivalent to 103.29% of the plan. Forest production covered an area of 6,760 hectares, reaching 124% of the plan, and 90.13% compared to the previous year.

3. Industry:

Lao Cai is a province located in the highland region of Northwest Vietnam, bordering Yunnan province in China. It possesses great potential and advantages for industrial development. In recent years, by capitalizing on existing strengths and fully utilizing available opportunities, Lao Cai’s industrial sector has made significant breakthroughs.

In the past years, Lao Cai province has focused on planning three industrial clusters: Tăng Loỏng – Bảo Thắng Industrial Cluster, Đông Phố Mới Industrial Cluster, and Bắc Duyên Hải Industrial Cluster. Despite facing difficulties in terms of investment capital, the planning of these industrial clusters has opened up new potential for the development of Lao Cai’s industrial sector.

Industrial production has remained relatively stable, with some challenges faced by large projects (steel refining, DAP, apatite) being resolved. Some apatite mining projects are accelerating their implementation to alleviate the shortage of raw materials for the locality. Several new industrial projects have entered stable production, such as the Bản Qua copper refining project, embroidery and garment export, and some hydroelectric plants.

The value of industrial production has consistently grown in all three sectors: mining and processing, manufacturing, and electricity and water supply. In December, the value of industrial production reached 3,607.8 billion VND, equivalent to 98.4% compared to the previous month and 122.3% compared to the same period in 2021. In 2022, the accumulated value reached 46,069.3 billion VND, exceeding the plan by 100.15% and showing an 11.8% increase from the same period in 2021. The value of small-scale industrial production in December reached 340 billion VND, achieving 100% growth compared to the previous month and 111.6% growth compared to the same period in 2021. The accumulated value in 2022 reached 3,984.82 billion VND, equivalent to 107.7% of the plan and an 18.8% increase compared to the same period in 2021.

4. Commerce and Services

a. Commerce

In December, the total retail sales of goods and revenue from social services amounted to 2,889.3 billion VND. This figure is equivalent to 96.7% of the previous month’s total. It represents a 12.9% increase compared to the same period last year. The total retail sales of goods and social service revenue in 2022 reached an estimated 32,054 billion VND, a 4.4% increase compared to the assigned plan and a 15.9% increase compared to the previous year.




b. Import and Export Activities

The estimated total value of imports and exports, sales, and goods exchange through border gates in December is 223.98 million USD. This represents a 28.45% increase compared to November 2022. However, it marks a 6.83% decrease compared to the same period in 2021. The estimated cumulative figure for 2022 amounts to 2,228.60 million USD, reflecting a 36.38% decrease compared to the same period in 2021. This figure represents 50.65% of the assigned plan.

c. Tourism

In December, the number of visitors to Lao Cai was estimated at 440,459. This included 20,412 international visitors and 420,047 domestic visitors. Compared to the previous month, there was a significant surge of 49.5%. The tourism sector is estimated to generate a total revenue of around 1,582 billion VND, reflecting a 44.9% increase compared to the previous month. The number of visitors to Lao Cai in 2022 is estimated at 4,642,000, surpassing the assigned plan by 116% and marking a 3.3-fold increase compared to the same period in 2021. The total revenue from tourism is estimated to reach around 16,380 billion VND, exceeding the assigned plan by 108% and showing a 3.7-fold increase compared to the same period in 2021.

d. Transportation

Passenger transportation: The estimated number of passengers in December reached 920 thousand, a 100.17% increase compared to the same period last year. The total number of passengers for the whole year 2022 reached 8,016 thousand, a 48.23% increase compared to the previous year.

Freight transportation: The estimated freight volume in December reached 1,205 thousand tons, a 25.45% increase compared to the same period last year. The cumulative figure for the whole year 2022 reached 12,103 thousand tons, an 18.96% increase.

Transportation revenue: The total transportation revenue in December is estimated at 438.31 billion VND, a 48.96% increase compared to the same period in 2021. For the entire year of 2022, the transportation revenue amounted to 4,189.40 billion VND, showing a 39% rise from 2021. Passenger transportation revenue accounted for 1,095.22 billion VND, while freight transportation revenue stood at 2,104.13 billion VND. Additionally, transportation support services revenue reached 990.04 billion VND.

5. Finance, Credit, and Prices

a. Budget Revenue and Expenditure

The state budget revenue for the entire province reached 10,389 billion VND until December 31, 2022. This amount is equivalent to 139.8% of the central plan.
It is also 103.9% of the provincial People’s Council plan. Furthermore, it represents a growth of 104.4% compared to the same period in 2021. The total local budget revenue until December 31, 2022, reached 20,829 billion VND, equivalent to 168.4% of the central plan, 103

.6% of the adjusted plan, and 117.3% compared to the same period last year. The total local budget expenditure accumulated reached 17,994 billion VND, equivalent to 153% of the central plan, 88.6% of the adjusted plan, and 101.5% compared to the same period last year.

b. Credit Activities

As of December 31, 2022, the estimated total credit capital is 55,600 billion VND. Local funds mobilization has reached 40,000 billion VND, showing a 12.3% increase (+4,396 billion VND) compared to the end of 2021.

The central credit sources and other sources outside the locality reached an estimated 15,600 billion VND, a decrease of 4,852 billion VND (-23.7%) compared to December 31, 2021. The loan disbursement in December is estimated at 7,000 billion VND, with a total of 83,000 billion VND for the whole year, a 7% increase compared to 2021.

The outstanding debt as of December 31, 2022, is estimated at 49,500 billion VND, a 4.5% decrease compared to December 31, 2021. The non-performing loan ratio as of December 31, 2022, is estimated at 1.1%, a 3.95 percentage point decrease compared to December 31, 2021.

c. Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in December decreased by 0.50% compared to the previous month and increased by 3.40% compared to the same month last year. The average CPI for the 12 months of 2022 increased by 2.85% compared to the average of 2021.

6. Attracting Investment.

a. Regarding attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI):

As of the current moment, Lao Cai province has 27 active FDI projects with a total registered capital of 685.818 million USD. The FDI projects in the province mainly focus on industries such as mining, processing, tourism, and services. In 2022, there were no new FDI projects granted in Lao Cai province.

Regarding the termination/dissolution of FDI projects:

  • There are 02 FDI projects that have ceased operations, namely the Construction of a Cinnamon Production and Processing Factory in Lao Cai by Son Ha Spices Limited Liability Company as the investor.
  • The Import and Export of Textiles and Garments project by Nexus Technologies and Cable Limited Liability Company (South Korea) as the investor.

b. Regarding domestic investment projects:

In 2022, the People’s Committee of Lao Cai province approved investment plans for 21 domestic investment projects with a total capital of 5,927 billion VND.
Some notable projects include:

  • Construction of commercial housing (including townhouses and high-rise condominiums) in Kim Tan Ward, Lao Cai City (with a total capital of 847 billion VND).
  • Organic Cinnamon Processing Plant in Bao Thang (with a total capital of 411 billion VND).
  • Construction of Hanoi Garment Factory – Bao Thang Branch (with a total capital of 110 billion VND).
  • Infrastructure investment in Bat Xat Industrial Cluster (with a total capital of 435 billion VND).
  • Construction of Apatite Ore Mining Site 19b (with a total capital of 266 billion VND).




Culture – Society:

1. Population:

  • The total population of Lao Cai province at 0:00 on April 1, 2019, was 730,420 people, including 371,306 males (50.8%) and 359,114 females (49.2%).
  • With this result, Lao Cai ranks 55th in terms of population among the 63 provinces in the country.

2. Administration:

  • Lao Cai has 9 subordinate administrative units, including 1 city, 1 town, and 7 districts, with a total of 152 commune-level administrative units, including 16 wards, 9 townships, and 127 communes.

3. Education:

Education has been given careful guidance, achieving important results that contribute to the province’s socio-economic development goals, specifically:

  • The scale of education and training, the school network has been reviewed and planned to meet both immediate and long-term requirements.
  • Actively and vigorously implementing the new general education program.
  • The comprehensive quality of education has steadily improved.
  • School facilities and classrooms are invested in solid, modern, and standardized infrastructure. There are currently 390 schools, reaching 64.78% (an increase of 14 schools, up 2.28% compared to 2021).
  • Socialization of education and cooperation, international integration have been strongly promoted, contributing significantly to the educational innovation in Lao Cai.

4. Cultural Activities:

Cultural activities at the grassroots level remain a focus and are actively implemented. Mobile propaganda teams have successfully carried out all 975 sessions, achieving 100% of their planned targets. Library activities have issued 4,785 library cards, surpassing the target by reaching 101.8% of the set goals.

Organizers have successfully arranged 70 professional performances within and outside the province, encompassing political events and community service, accomplishing 100% of the planned targets.

5. Healthcare:

The prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic have been implemented through robust and efficient measures. These measures align with the Government’s Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP issued on October 11, 2021. The resolution aims to establish temporary regulations that ensure safety, flexibility, and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local authorities actively monitor, detect, and promptly treat cases of circulating infectious diseases, such as diarrhea and mumps, which sporadically occur in districts, towns, and cities.

Industrial Park


Tang Loong Industrial Park - Lao Cai

Tang Loong Industrial Park - Lao Cai

  • Investor: Lao Cai Province Economic Zone Management Board
  • Price: 50 USD/m2
  • Area: 1.100 ha
Bac Duyen Hai Industrial Park - Lao Cai

Bac Duyen Hai Industrial Park - Lao Cai

  • Investor: Management Board of Industrial Parks of Lao Cai province
  • Price: 50 USD/m2
  • Area: 85 Ha
Kim Thanh Industrial Park - Lao Cai

Kim Thanh Industrial Park - Lao Cai

  • Investor: Lao Cai Province Economic Zone Management Board
  • Price: 50 USD/m2
  • Area: 182.36 Ha
Dong Pho Moi Industrial Park - Lao Cai

Dong Pho Moi Industrial Park - Lao Cai

  • Investor: Management Board of Industrial Parks of Lao Cai province
  • Price: 50 USD/m2
  • Area: 100 Ha
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