Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Đồng Tháp Province in the Mekong Delta region has become a magnet for foreign investment, especially those from Australia, speakers said on September 27 at an investment conference held in HCM City.
Nearly 100 investors and financial institutions from Australia explored business opportunities at the meeting organised by the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam (Auscham in Việt Nam) and Đồng Tháp Province.
Shaun Fitzgerald, Australian counselor of politics, economy and trade in HCM City, said: “The economic development of the Mekong Delta region is inextricably linked with Việt Nam’s prosperity, as the region is a critical driver of future economic growth.”
Australia has contributed to major infrastructure projects in the region, particularly in Đồng Tháp, including the Cao Lãnh Bridge, which will connect five million people with markets across Việt Nam, Thailand and Cambodia.
The Mỹ Thuận Bridge also received support from Australia as part of the country’s commitment to the economic development of the region.
The bridges, along with other significant infrastructure, will enable companies based in the Delta to expand operations and seek trading opportunities beyond the region, and fuel Việt Nam’s economic growth, according to Fitzgerald.
David John Whitehead, director of Auscham in Hà Nội and chairman of the Marvin Group - an agri-business operating in Việt Nam since 2004, said Đồng Tháp has great investment potential, especially in agriculture.
“We normally consider two major issues before we make a decision to invest: ease of administrative procedures and investment incentives,” he told Việt Nam News.
“I think the Mekong Delta region and Đồng Tháp in particular should continue to improve transport and logistics services,” he said, adding that many bridges have a low load capacity, and there are no deepwater ports.
“To attract more foreign investors with large projects, the province should continue issuing tax and investment incentives, especially for agricultural exports, the Delta’s strength,” he said.
Nguyễn Văn Dương, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said that Đồng Tháp was calling for investment in hi-tech agriculture, the processing industry, urban development, industrial park infrastructure and manufacturing, in addition to tourism, trade and services.
The region has great potential in agricultural products and ecotourism, as well as renewable energy such as wind power, Dương said, adding that with its strategic location, the Mekong Delta is the gateway for trade between Việt Nam and ASEAN members, and the Mekong sub-region.
The delta’s Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) ranks among the top six areas in the country, while Đồng Tháp in particular has been in the top 10 in the National Competitiveness Index for 10 consecutive years, according to Dương.
“Đồng Tháp will continue to create the most favourable conditions for investors and will improve infrastructure construction, administrative reform and personnel resources,” he said.
At the conference, three Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) on investment cooperation were signed between the province and investors, including an MoU signed between the province and Marvin Group to build a food-processing factory with total investment of US$20 million.
Đồng Tháp in Mekong Delta is about 160km southwest of HCM City. With its mild climate, widespread irrigation systems and abundant fresh water and fertile sediment, the province has abundant agricultural resources as well as many precious species of fauna and flora.
With its historical sites, old architecture and traditional craft villages, it also has great potential to become a popular tourist destination. — VNS