CAN THO — The Mekong Delta has increased its exports and attracted more investment since Viet Nam joined the World Trade Organisation five years ago, a seminar attended by officials from regional provinces heard in Can Tho on Tuesday.
The country's most important rice, fruit, and aquatic farming region increased seafood exports by 14-22 per cent every year.
Its rice exports have also increased every year, and the region now accounts for more than 90 per cent of the country's exports of the grain.
It now has 612 foreign projects with a combined investment of US$9.7 billion.
Its monthly per capita income virtually doubled between 2006 and 2010 to VND1.247 million.
But it still grapples with problems like lack of comprehensive zoning plans, modest infrastructure, and low quality of labour, participants told the conference.
Productivity and incomes here are the lowest in the country.
Nearly 99 per cent of delta-based companies have less than 300 employees, while more than 96 per cent have a capital of less than VND50 billion ($2.3 million).
Participants said due to low quality, the region's agriculture and seafood exports faced challenges caused by Viet Nam's WTO commitments and the country's global integration.
Companies needed to co-operate to reduce costs and make Vietnamese products more competitive globally, they said.
Exporters should compete with each other in a healthy and transparent manner and focus on promising markets, they said.
The Delta's 12 provinces and Can Tho need to work together to develop competitive local products like rice, tra fish, shrimp, and fruits.
The seminar was organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Can Tho office. — VNS