Regional Spotlight: Vietnam’s North and South Central Coast

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Jun. 26 – Vietnam’s North and Central Coast regions are ideally positioned, bordering Laos in the west and the South China Sea (the Gulf of Tonkin) in the East. These are key regions that are growing centers for business and commerce.


The Central Coast region of Vietnam has sloping terrain coming from the northwest into the southeast, characterized mainly by hills and high mountains in the northwest area.

The climate in the region is cool with high rainfall and good opportunities for investing in hydropower. Along the coast there are relatively flat and sandy beaches (Sam Son Beach, for example) alongside many lagoons, bays and deep-water ports (such as Vung Ang).

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The hilly landscape, climate, humidity, rainfall and low levels of pollution are also ideal for numerous species of trees, with notably rare trees growing in the North Central Coast region in the Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh forests.


Due to the regions’ long coastline, large estuaries, many ports and excellent coastal lagoon system, aquaculture has become one of the region’s strongest sectors.  Da Nang even has a dedicated “Seafood Services Zone” to benefit the sector.

The region is also home to many natural mineral reserves ranging from gold in the Bac Trung Bo province to iron, titanium, pyrite, lead, zinc, kaolin, quartz sand, limestone, marble and granite in the Quang Binh province. This has provided the region with advantages in the cement and building materials industry.

Power Production

The South Central Coast region relies heavily on hydropower to satisfy its energy needs. The largest hydropower unit in the region will be the Lai Chau Hydropower Plant – which will generate 1200 MW and is expected to begin operations by 2016.

There is also a number of hydropower and thermal power plants littered throughout the North Central Coast Region.


The North Central Coast region is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park and the Hue Monuments.

The South Central Coast region houses two out of Vietnam’s six total UNESCO World Heritage sites: the My Son Sanctuary and the Hoi An Ancient Town.

Furthermore, in addition to the region’s beaches and mountains, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang area is one of the world’s two largest karst regions and is renowned for its cave and grotto systems.


East-west motorways linking Laos to the coast (where important ports are located) run horizontally across the region, while the Ho Chi Minh Highway and National 1A run north-south.

Da Nang is the most important port in the central coastal regions and is also the 3rd largest trading port in Vietnam. In addition, other smaller and medium-sized ports, including Nghe Tinh Port (in Vinh City), for which the upgrading and expansion of Cua Lo terminal are planned, will be completed in 2015.

Also, much of the Con River and a small stretch of the Lai Giang River can be used as inland waterways for transportation.

The region is served by Da Nang International Airport (the third largest airport in Vietnam), as well as Phu Bai International Airport (located just south of the central city of Hue) and Vinh Airport (located in Vinh City).

Material for this article was taken from the May 2012 issue of Vietnam Briefing Magazine, titled “Vietnam’s Provinces, Regions, and Key Economic Zones,” which is available as a PDF download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore. In this issue, we discuss the industries and economy of Vietnam’s three levels of geographic divisions from the perspective of a potential foreign investor.

Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile full-service consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.

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