Cat Ba Island composes of one main island and 366 small and large islands stretching northeast – southwest direction. Cat Ba Island is situated in the east of Haiphong city, in the Red River Delta economy. In the past years, the economy in Cat Ba has strong development and contributes to the development of Vietnam economy in general.
The small mechanical operation, repairing ships, mineral water production, building materials, electricity and fresh water production rapidly grow to serve timely for the production and create jobs for thousands of labors. Specifically, Cat Ba water and electricity firm bottled mineral water. From 1985-1986, the firm produced 500,000 bottles per year, until 1990 made 5-8 million bottles. The spontaneous electrical production reached 442.520kwh, increased 119-408kwh compared to 1996. In 1998, the national electricity network connecting to Cat Ba Island has created favorable conditions for the strong economic development of sectors on the island.
Repairing ship reaches 700 tons, by 80% of the yearly plan. The production of ice (water) achieved 2320 tons, by 67% of the plan. Generally, the industry and cottage industry has the development. Also, Cat Ba has developed a number of traditional trades as knitting net, producing canned food...
Cat Ba island has karst topography, so the area of cultivate land is less than 200ha. The water source on the island only meets one- third area of the cultivate land. The natural condition in each region creates the separate economic models. In the recent years, the district has encouraged and facilitated to develop breeding lean pigs and industrial chicken, raising the living standard for people here.
Cat Ba Island has an area of 15,200ha of the forest, including more than 9800ha of the forestland managed by the national park and over 6500ha managed by the communes. The natural wood forest is about 293ha (the bush). The artificial forests include 126ha of the pine trees in Hien Hao commune, 66ha of Eucalyptus, Acacia mainly in Trung Trang, 8ha of caesarians and bead-trees, 30 ha of Sa Moc and 40ha of bamboos. During the past few years, the whole island has grown 121ha of forest and the deforestation is gradually restricted.
The aquaculture of Cat Ba has thrived; the raising tiger prawns and unisex tilapia strongly develop. The area of tiger prawns was 100ha with 6.5 million fingerlings of 140 households. In addition, the island has achieved some results in the aquaculture and salt processing. The fish sauce production reaches 4.640.800 liters, by 100% of the plan. The production units always improve the quality of product, so they retain credibility in the market. In the past years, people have invested their effort and capital which is worth $ 250 million to plan this salty sector. The average production reaches 7744 tons, by 70 % of the year’s plan.
Tourism and services have also significant contribution to the development of Cat Ba economy. Tourist activities have strongly developed since 1997 with more diverse and richer tourist types than before. By the end of 1997, the island invested about VND 10 billion to repair, upgrade and construct hotels, motels, bringing the number of hotels and motels in Cat Ba to 24 units and 233 rooms, 534 beds. The hotel system and tourist services have met better the increasing demands of tourists. The number of tourists comes to Cat Ba more and more increasingly. The average number of tourists visiting Cat Ba from 1997-1998 reached more than 40,000 arrivals, more than 1.5 times compared to 1996, in which foreigners account for about one third. The tourist services are more diverse and richer than before. The first step is to create an attraction for tourists.
In 2011, Cat Ba Island welcomed over 1.2 million tourists, including more than 310.000 foreign tourists, accounting for more than half the total number of international visitors to Hai Phong, contributing to the total revenue from tourism that reached VND 541 billion. In 2013, the total number of tourists to Cat Ba was estimated at 1.3 million people, reaching 87% of the plan.