Mekong Delta strives for sustainable development
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son made the statement at a meeting of more than 150 delegates representing 13 Mekong Delta provinces and over 30 ambassadors, consul generals, and chief representatives of international organisations and diplomatic corps in Vietnam.
The region comprises Can Tho city and An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Long An, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh and Vinh Long provinces.
It is Vietnam’s largest rice basket, producing more than half of the country’s total rice output. It is also home to the country’s biggest aquaculture industry, which produces most of shrimp and tra and basa fish for export.
The Government has poured large amounts of money into building and upgrading roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and water and electricity supplies, giving the whole region a facelift.
However, the region is coping with the common challenges in responding to climate change, effectively using water resources, preventing prolonged flooding and salt infiltration, and reducing environmental pollution.
Son said he hopes that the forum will offer a chance for Mekong Delta provinces to introduce the diplomatic corps to their potential, distinctive strengths, and opportunities for cooperation and development, in order to seek closer cooperation with international organisations.
Tran Phi Ho, deputy head of the Steering Committee for the South-western Region, proposed that international organisations and representatives of diplomatic corps in Vietnam support local businesses in accessing overseas markets easily, strengthening connectivity, and providing resources, especially official development assistance, to help the region develop sustainably.
Moroccan ambassador Al Housine Fardani, who is also head of the diplomatic corps, said he believes that with its great potential for agricultural, aquatic and tourism development, the Mekong Delta will overcome the challenges of international economic integration and formulate proper strategies for attracting investment in infrastructure and human resources.
The ambassadors of Indonesia, the Netherlands and Thailand, the Consul General of Canada, and the chief representative of the International Monetary Fund, made speeches, highlighting the role of organisations and their functions in cooperation and development in Vietnam, particularly the Mekong Delta.
The meeting was co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Steering Committee for the South-western Region.