Ho Chi Minh City’s development will have a spillover effect on the entire region’s growth
|A panel discussion at the 2023 Mekong Connect Forum held in HCM City on November 15 and 16.|
HCM CITY — Improving linkages between HCM City and the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region will help promote socio-economic development in both places and build a green and sustainable economy, the 2023 Mekong Connect Forum has heard.
Speaking at the forum in HCM City on November 16, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan emphasised the city’s role as the country’s economic, financial and trading hub, and the delta as its key agricultural region.
Leveraging both their strengths would optimise resource utilisation, create growth opportunities and promote investment and development co-operation, he said.
In fact, the city’s economic achievements owe much to the enormous contributions made by the delta, he pointed out.
The city’s development would have a spillover effect on the entire region’s growth, the expectation of the Government and the National Assembly when they approved a special mechanism for the development of HCM City, he said.
The 13 local governments in the delta should also consider this policy an opportunity for them to develop, he said.
Quoting Phan Văn Mãi, the chairman of the city People’s Committee, as saying “green and circular economy is irreversible trends,” he said: “If we think it is too difficult to do, we will never be able to make it.”
Võ Văn Hoan, vice chairman of the city, said localities across the country needed to have close links to promote their overall strength and enhance resilience and agility amid global uncertainties.
This year the city and 38 provinces and cities, including the entire Mekong Delta, signed co-operation programmes for socio-economic development for until 2025, he said.
HCM City always appreciated the connection with provinces and cities in the delta.
He expected the forum to help foster the linkages so that they could fully exploit their potentials and strengths for socio-economic development and green and sustainable growth.
Trần Việt Trường, chairman of the Cần Thơ City People’s Committee, said the Mekong Delta had numerous linkages for production, processing and purchase of products, mainly seafood, rice, fruits, and vegetables, but contracts were broken when market prices change.
So creating highly professional value chains would be essential to avoid disruptions to supply chains of goods, he said.
The National Assembly also issued a resolution on piloting a number of mechanisms and policies to develop Cần Thơ City.
Cần Thơ hoped to collaborate with HCM City to analyse and evaluate the breakthrough potential of specific industries, seek opportunities to promote innovation and transfer of scientific advances to develop its digital, green economy and achieve inclusive growth, he said.
“We need to join hands to take advantage of each other’s certain mechanisms to create an ecosystem for businesses to develop.”
He proposed creating a framework for co-operation between HCM City and the 12 provinces and Cần Thơ in the Mekong Delta for adapting to climate change, green infrastructure development, enhancing the use of technology, training human resources for green growth, and promoting trade in green products.
Delegates at the forum pointed out three big challenges faced by the delta — slow economic growth, lack of qualified human resources and climate change.
Comprehensive measures were needed to help resolve the underlying problems, Nguyễn Phương Lam, director of VCCI Cần Thơ, said.
Localities needed to consider establishing a shared database and link for developing human resources and attracting qualified personnel to grow together, they added.
Organised by the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, the Business Association of Vietnamese High Quality Products, the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Cần Thơ branch, the forum on November 15 and 16 also included a green economy exhibition and a ceremony to hand over Vietnamese High-quality Products-Integration Standards certification to businesses.