Considered to be the gateway to Ho Chi Minh City, the southern province of Bình Dương surpassed two of Vietnam’s major cities to top the country’s per capita monthly income, according to the General Statistics Office.
Per capita income or average income measures the average income earned per person in a given area in a specified year. As for any nation, per capita income is calculated by dividing the country’s national income by its population, the same way if it’s a city or a province.
By using per capita as a measurement, a more accurate comparison of economic output between provinces is obtained.
As a result of the 2020 GSO survey on local living standards, which covered nearly 47,000 households across 63 cities and provinces, Bình Dương’s per capita income was more than VND7 million ($303) per month, HCMC was at VND6.5 million, and Hanoi VND5.9 million.
Meanwhile, the national average was at VND4.2 million, with the per capita income in urban areas reaching more than VND5.5 million, and rural areas VND3.48 million. In terms of regions, the southeast region, where Bình Dương and HCMC are, have the highest monthly per capita income, at over VND6 million, 2.2 times higher than that of the northern midland and mountainous region which have the lowest monthly per capita income.
In the same survey, GSO pointed out that housing quality played an important role in deciding people’s living quality. Last year, 95.6% of households lived in permanent houses and semi-permanent houses. Only a small number of families resided in less temporary houses and simple houses due to their long-standing practices, like those in the Mekong Delta and the northern midland and mountainous regions.
Even though Bình Dương had only 6.3% of households having permanent houses, the province had no less temporary and simple houses.
The GSO highlighted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of poor families has continued to decrease thanks to social welfare policies. However, policymakers need to address the wealth gaps between urban and rural areas.
What’s in Bình Dương?
Surpassing the country’s capital and its business and financial hub in terms of living standards and income draws a lot of confusion for those not aware of Bình Dương’s economic capabilities and social conditions.
The province is located in the southeast region of the country bordering Bình Phuoc Province to the north, HCMC to the south and southwest, Tay Ninh Province to the west, and Dong Nai Province to the east. With that strategic location, only 10–15 kilometers from Tan Son Nhat International Airport and important ports, no wonder Bình Dương’s also been dubbed as the economic cultural center of Vietnam.
Going all the way back to the 1990s, Bình Dương province mainly relied on agriculture, in fact, it accounted for over 90% of the province’s economy. But just like any province that shows potential, in the last two decades, Bình Dương has made a remarkable transformation. From agriculture, the province turned into an economy with industry and services accounting for 63% and 23.5% respectively, driven mainly by the industrial parks and large-scale investments in infrastructure.
Bình Dương also has an extremely important road network. Major highways of the country cross the province such as National Road no. 13, NR no. 14, the HCMC Route, and the Trans-Asian Highway.
All of these advantages create favorable conditions to achieve social and economic development, and now the highest per capita income in the country, in a pandemic year.
Proving to be one of the fastest-growing provinces in the southern key economic zone and among Vietnam’s hottest investment destinations, Bình Dương is also the country’s emerging gateway for technology, trade and services, the province is well-positioned to serve as a commercial hub for Southeast Asian economies
As of 2019, there were more than 3,700 Foreign Direct Investment projects from 64 countries and territories operating in the province. And as of the end of February this year, Bình Dương’s Department of Planning and Investment reported that the total newly registered, adjusted, and contributed capital, and purchased shares of foreign investors reached over $396 million, hitting 28% of the year plan.
In an article by Bình Dương, the leader of the Department of Planning and Investment said that up to now, foreign investors have invested in 17 sectors and fields, in which, the processing and manufacturing industry is leading. Particularly in the first two months of 2021, the processing and manufacturing industry had a total investment capital of $165 million, accounting for 41.65% of the total registered capital.
“Over the past years, Bình Dương remained to be one of the leading localities in the country for attracting FDI. The provincial authority continues to create favorable conditions to support investors in the spirit of companionship and sharing difficulties. FDI to enhance the province's competitiveness has been enhanced to realize the goal of rapid, sustainable, and modern growth,” concludes the article.