Điện Biên's amazing transformation 69 years after historic victory

The victory of Điện Biên Phủ marked the end of the resistance against French colonialists, though Điện Biên was heavily devastated afterwards.

The Điện Biên Phủ Memorial Museum is a popular tourist attraction in the city of Điện Biên Phủ. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Tư

Minh Dương

ĐIỆN BIÊN — Sixty-nine years after its liberation day, Điện Biên has achieved unprecedented economic growth, resulting in significant enhancements to the cultural and social well-being of its residents while simultaneously bolstering national defence and security.

The victory of Điện Biên Phủ marked the end of the resistance against French colonialists, though Điện Biên was heavily devastated afterwards.

To rebuild Điện Biên, it took two years to clear the battlefields. Despite such difficulties, following the heroic tradition of Điện Biên Phủ, the Party Committee, administration and people of all ethnic groups in the province have made efforts to achieve results in the period of renewal, integration, and development.

One of the most notable developments is in the economy. Over the past few years, the locality's Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) has always been high, averaging 6.55 per cent in the 1996-2000 period, 9.3 per cent in the 2001-05 period, 11.62 per cent in the 2006-10 period, 9.11 per cent in the 2011-15 period, and 6.8 per cent per year in the 2016-20 period.

The per capita GRDP in 2020 reached over VNĐ38 million (US$1,663). In 2021, the province's total GRDP reached 6.02 per cent (higher than the country's average growth rate). The GRDP in 2022 continues to increase by 10.19 per cent, ranking Điện Biên second out of 14 provinces in the northern midland and mountainous region and 14th out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide.

The economic structure is also shifting positively, with the industries and construction having initially exploited the potential and mobilised resources from the economical components. The land potential is planned into concentrated production areas such as the specialized rice-growing areas of Điện Biên and Tuần Giáo; Tủa Chùa tea; Mường Ảng coffee, and Điện Biên, Mường Chà, and Mường Nhé rubber.

In addition, macadamia trees are becoming the province's industrial strength, with a total pure macadamia planting area of ​​over 2,000ha - the largest in the country. Especially with the advantage of soil and climate, the rice productivity and quality here are high and rare.

Currently, the rice production scale in the Mường Thanh field is about 4,000ha-4,500ha, focusing on producing high-value speciality rice. Rice from the Mường Thanh field not only supplies the local area but also exports to locaities nationwide, gradually building the Điện Biên rice brand in the market.

As a land with significant historical and cultural values, for the past 69 years, Điện Biên has always preserved and promoted the value of the Điện Biên Phủ historical site, contributing to making it an attractive tourist destination.

According to statistics, from 2016 to 2020, Điện Biên welcomed three million tourists, earning total revenue of VNĐ4,8 trillion ($204 million).

Further planning to transform Điện Biên Phủ City into a tourism city is on track.

On April 18, 2023, Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà signed a decree approving the general planning task of Điện Biên Phủ City, Điện Biên Province until 2045.

The city will become a national-level cultural and historical tourism city, a centre for commerce, services, resort tourism, and logistics of the region, creating momentum for the socio-economic development of Điện Biên province and the surrounding regions. 

In recent years, Điện Biên has implemented solutions to enhance competitiveness, improve the business environment, improve the efficiency of administrative reform, and promote business support activities to create momentum and breakthroughs in attracting investment to the province.

As a result, Điện Biên has become increasingly attractive to domestic and foreign investors. As of 2022, the province had 195 projects with a total registered capital of nearly VNĐ43.2 trillion (US$1.8 billion).

In addition to economic achievements, Điện Biên also focused on improving its people's cultural and social life.

Thanks to the effective exploitation and utilisation of investment resources, the infrastructure system, especially transportation, has improved significantly, and the urban and many rural areas have undergone considerable changes.

To date, all communes in Điện Biên have roads accessible by car to the centre, mobile phone coverage, internet access and post offices, and medical facilities, with over 90 per cent of the population having access to electricity.

The teaching and educational management staff have been sufficiently increased in quantity and quality. As of 2022, Điện Biên has 481 schools and centres with about 7,300 classrooms and over 207,000 students. The enrollment, promotion, graduation, and transfer rates meet or exceed the plan.

In terms of healthcare, the medical staff have been trained to improve their qualifications, especially doctors and pharmacists with postgraduate qualifications. The target is 11 doctors per 10,000 people.

Employment and vocational training have been actively implemented, with over 10,600 new jobs created in 2022. Poverty reduction efforts have also achieved positive results. In 2022 although there were still about 41,900 poor households in the province, the figure decreased by 4.32 per cent compared to 2021.

Social security policies are timely and effective, targeting the right people and policies for those who fought for the national independence are also well implemented.

Culture and sports have also developed. The programme for preserving and developing ethnic culture, linked with socio-economic development, is emphasised. Many traditional cultural values of the ethnic communities have been identified, preserved, and developed.

Regarding national security and defence, Điện Biên is a mountainous province on the country's northwest border. It has a crucial position in terms of national defence and external security.

Therefore, authorities placed a particular emphasis on enhancing military and security capabilities, continuously improving national defence and security, and improving the overall quality of the local armed forces and national defence and security education.

Along with that, the authorities are implementing many policies to strengthen and improve the quality of the local governance system. Administrative procedures are resolved in a "one-stop" mechanism with many positive changes, with governance being streamlined, focusing on innovation and effectiveness.

Sixty-nine years have passed, but the name Điện Biên Phủ will always be remembered as a shining golden page of the nation's history. Điện Biên will continue to build upon its history with the relentless effort and striving of all people, regardless of origin, for a better future. — VNS


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