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Tony Milton MRICS

BSc (Hons) Est Man

Can Tho to anchor delta investment – September 2010
Monday, 06 September 2010
The Mekong Delta is one of Viet­nam's key economic regions. Its agriculture and aquaculture are strongly developing
Can Tho City is about to host an international Mekong Delta conference on investment and development this week. The Municipal People's Committee's chairman Tran Thanh Man talks with VIR about the city's investment potential and the conference's significance : - Do the Mekong Delta's investment attraction results match its big potential? The Mekong Delta is one of Viet­nam's key economic regions. Its agriculture and aquaculture are strongly developing, in tandem with the development of its industrial, service and construction sectors. The delta's economy grew on average by I I per cent, per year between 2001­2005 and 13.5 per cent, per year between 2006-2008. The delta's eco­nomic structure' has remarkably changed. In terms of agro-forestry and aquatic production, the delta is home to some large scale key prod­ucts such as rice, shrimp and fish. In terms of industrial production, the delta's industrials sector has signifi­cantly developed; focusing mainly in manufacturing cement, frozen aquat­ic products, animal feed, chemical fertilisers, chemipals, footwear and manual tools. However, challenges such as unattractive infrastructure and investment policies and locali­ties' uncoordinated development strategies have prevented the delta from coaxing further investment and showing its big potential to investors. Will the Mekong Delta interna­tional conference on investment and development enhance the delta's potential and investment opportunities? Bearing the said challenges in mind, localities' leadership has approved their plans to construct pro­grammes to promote their localities' images, potential, advantages and investment opportunities towards local and foreign investors, with a view to coaxing more and more investment projects, especially in infrastructure construction, inter­regional projects related to environmental protection, waste water treat­ment and climate change mitigation. We also call on investors' coop­eration in high-tech agricultural development and manufacturing of agriculture-oriented equipment and machines to develop the delta's agriculture. The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has approved the national investment promotion pro­graimne for 2010, while combining with the south-western steering com­mittee and the delta's provinces to organise this important international conference on investment and devel­opment in the Mekong Delta in order to help us introduce and promote our attractive projects to local and for­eign investors. Could you elaborate on the scale of this conference? This is the first time the delta's provinces have organised an interna­tional-level investment promotion conference, which is directly sup­ported by the government. With the theme of "Connection and Develop­ment", the conference will be attend­ed by over 500 delegates, who are mainly from local and foreign eco­nomic groups and corporations, as well as investors coming from coun­tries and territories with strong sec­tors called for by the delta, such as the US, Australia, South Korea and European countries. Especially the event will also participated in by the World Bank director in Vietnam and internation­al donors, who will give comprehensive comments on Vietnam's investment environment, which will help investors in performing their projects. As for the Vietnamese side, the event will be partaken in by the governmental leadership, the MPI, relevant ministries, as well as the leaders of 13 provinces and cities in the delta, associations and top economic experts. What is the meaning of the theme of "Connection and Development"? This theme has been carefully considered, because "connection" and "development" are among the delta's weak points. Thus, taking solutions to materialise "regional connection" has been preceded as a top priority. "Connection" does not only reflects the connection of trans­port projects in the region, but also the connection of the public and pri­vate sectors, the connection between central leadership and grassroots leadership in mapping out regional and local development policies. It also reflects the connection between production and consumption. What will the conference focus on? The conference will introduce to investors 122 projects in need of investment. These feasible projects have been built in a manner suitable to each locality's capacity and strong points, as well as suitable to investors' requirements. Besides, the MPI will introduce preferential national-level projects in service of the whole delta's development. It is expected that in the event, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will meet with foreign investors wanting to invest in the delta in par­ticular and in Vietnam in general. VIR
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