Economic Outlook for Vietnam’s Smallest Province on the Verge of Becoming a National City in Early 2024

In the January 2024 Economic and Social Situation Report, the Statistics Office of Bac Ninh province concludes that the local economy may be hitting rock bottom, facing the largest decline in 26 years. However, there are still some conditions in place that could potentially lead to recovery, despite the numerous challenges ahead.


According to experts, the global economy is expected to face many difficulties and challenges in the first half of 2024. The recovery of aggregate demand is predicted to still encounter many obstacles, risks, and supply chain disruptions remain high. The global economy is not expected to improve significantly.

Domestically, although the focus is on maximising exports, the growth rate will not increase significantly and will depend more on domestic driving forces.

In Bac Ninh province, according to the provincial statistics office, the local economy may currently be at its lowest point in the past 26 years. However, despite facing many difficulties, there are still conditions for potential recovery.

Bac Ninh is the smallest province in Vietnam, with an area of only 822.7 km2. It is located in the northeastern part of Hanoi, in the Red River Delta. Despite its small size, Bac Ninh province consistently ranks high in terms of per capita income nationwide.

Regarding the economic situation in January, the industrial production sector, which is the backbone of the local economy, faced instability. While industrial production in December 2023 saw a significant increase (+11.15%) compared to the same period, it experienced a sharp decline (-12.35%) in January 2024, indicating instability in the industrial production sector. This calls for conditions and support to overcome difficulties, develop production and business, and accelerate the progress of industrial projects in order to meet the industrial development plan for 2024.

However, despite the decrease in industrial production, there were still many products, especially key products of the province, that saw an increase in production compared to the previous month and the same period last year. This shows positive signs for industrial production in 2024.

In January, the number of newly established businesses increased significantly compared to the previous month and the same month last year, with growth rates of (+14%) and (+30.9%) respectively. Although the registered capital decreased compared to the same period last year (-19.6%), it saw a strong increase (+27.2%) compared to the previous month. This indicates that many businesses have confidence in the recovery and improvement of the new year. However, from another perspective, the number of businesses withdrawing from the market in January 2024 also increased significantly compared to the same period, reflecting the challenges faced by businesses reintegrating into the market in the current context.

In terms of investment, investment capital mainly focused on projects carried over from the previous year. Capital from the state budget increased by 6.8% compared to the same month last year, but decreased by 51.1% compared to the previous month (due to the accelerated disbursement of public investment capital in December 2023, the last month of the year). In terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), the number of newly registered projects and registered capital increased significantly, with a 2.2-fold increase in the number of newly registered projects and a 25.5% increase in registered capital. This is a positive sign for FDI attraction in the first month of 2024.

Tax revenues were equivalent to the same period last year, but increased significantly compared to the previous month due to the collection of special consumption taxes from businesses and individual production and business establishments. Local budget expenditures remained high compared to the same period last year, ensuring the implementation of economic and social development tasks, national defense, security, state management, and timely payment to eligible recipients according to local regulations.

Overall, according to the provincial statistics office, the global economic growth forecast for the year 2024 by international forecasting organizations varies, but the unified trend is a slowdown. Due to the strong interdependence of the world economy, while the economy of Bac Ninh province relies heavily on FDI enterprises, the growth is still unstable and abnormal, and the potential for local enterprises is limited. Some short-term growth indicators have also experienced significant declines in the early months of the year.

To ensure the achievement of set targets for the year, agencies and units need to strictly implement Directive No. 01 of the People’s Committee of the province. It is important to promote the confidence of the people and businesses in the province, create a strong and determined atmosphere to effectively implement the economic and social development plan for 2024 from the beginning of the new year.

Starting from January 2024, the People’s Committee of Bac Ninh province issued Directive No. 01/CT-UBND on key tasks and major solutions for directing and managing the implementation of the economic and social development plan for 2024, with the following objectives:

The total gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of the province is expected to increase by 5-6% compared to 2023; per capita income (at constant prices) is projected to reach VND 73 million; export and import turnover is expected to reach USD 75.83 billion, with the province’s export turnover reaching USD 41.55 billion; total investment capital implemented in the province is estimated at VND 70 trillion; FDI attraction is expected to reach USD 1.1 billion; total budget revenue in the province is projected to reach VND 31.24 trillion; revenue from the retail sales of goods and services is expected to reach VND 98 trillion, etc. In addition, specific actions will be carried out to effectively direct and manage the implementation of the economic and social development plan for 2024.

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