CAN THO — Although the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's major exports are mostly rice and seafood, the competitiveness of these products is still limited.
|Farmers harvest summer-autumn rice in Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta's Hau Giang Province. Brand name creation and technology upgrades are needed to improve rice-export competitiveness. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
Both products account for two-thirds of the region's total export value, contributing an important role in the region's economic development.
However, the processing industry and service products have not matched the region's potential, according to participants at a seminar held in Can Tho City on Wednesday.
Last year, the delta, the country's most important rice, fruit, and aquatic farming region, earned an export revenue of nearly US$9 billion. Of the figure, rice accounted for $3.2 billion and seafood products $3.4 billion.
The delta has increased seafood exports by 14-22 per cent every year since Viet Nam joined the World Trade Organisation five years ago, and more than 90 per cent of the country's total rice exports now come from the delta.
Experts at the seminar said the value chain of rice and seafood products, including information channels about production, exports and price forecasts, should be improved.
Other needed measures include the creation of new brand names and upgrade of processing technology to increase product value investment. Efforts to attract foreign investors are also necessary.
Vo Hung Dung, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Can Tho Branch, said most of the region's exports came from domestic companies.
He said more foreign-direct invested companies were needed to process products. The delta's FDI accounts for less than 3.5 per cent of the country's total FDI.
As of last month, the delta has 612 foreign invested projects with a combined capital of $9.7 billion.
The seminar was organised by the Can Tho Investment-Trade-Tourism Promotion Centre in co-operation with the Oriental Bank, with the participation of more than 70 companies in the Delta and HCM City. — VNS