30/06/2017 14:18 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Mekong Delta told to step up agricultural production

Can Tho, June 30 (VNA) - Provinces and cities of the Mekong Delta need to focus on speeding up agricultural production, tourism and services to tap the region’s potential, said Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue. 

The industry and construction sectors recorded high growth in the first six months of the year while agriculture and services development failed to match their potential, said Hue, who is also head of the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region. 

Hue was speaking at the committee’s conference held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on June 29 to review tasks in the first half of 2017 and discuss tasks for the rest of the year. 

Agricultural growth reached only 2.07 percent in the first half of the year, lower than the average national growth of 2.65 percent. The services sector reaped grew 6.67 percent, slightly higher than the national average rate of 6.65 percent, according to a report presented by deputy head of the Committee Son Minh Thang. 

The whole region reported economic growth of 6.45 percent during the period. The poverty rate remained high, accounting for 7.97 percent of total households in the region. 

The region’s total budget collection reached 51.7 percent of the estimated target, social investment increased 13.5 percent in comparison with the same period last year and the number of newly-established enterprises rose 10.2 percent. 

The growth picture of the region was in general higher than that of the whole country but localities in the region must study measures to boost the development of the agricultural, tourism and services sectors, Hue said. 

The localities should also attract more foreign direct investment, particularly in agriculture and rural areas, he said. 

Regarding the steering committee’s tasks, the deputy PM said the committee had hit many goals such as setting up a management board to implement the Government decision on piloting a Mekong Delta regional connectivity project and working with local authorities to deal with issues relating to education and employment. 

The committee organised several trade promotion, infrastructure and logistics development conferences in some localities in the region, worked with the Government to assess landslides in the region and worked with ministries and agencies to speed up transport projects in the region. 

In the remaining months of the year, the committee will continue implementing the Government decision on the project to connect the Mekong Delta region, hold a conference of international donors for Mekong Delta region development and host a scientific conference on landslides in the region to discuss measures to deal with them.
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