|Long An leaders exchange information with experts and South Korean investors about plans to develop a smart agricultural-industrial urban area in the province. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — With its excellent geographical location for trade and economic development and the potential to become the country’s leading agricultural hub, Long An Province is ideal for developing a smart urban area, according to experts.
Lê Thành, director of the Institute of Organic Agricultural Economics, said as a gateway connecting HCM City and the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta and with its excellent transport system, it has everything required to become an agricultural - industrial smart urban area.
Speaking at the “Long An authorities exchange experience with experts and South Korean investors towards developing a smart agricultural – industrial urban area” seminar, he said with sea levels rising in the Mekong Delta area, Long An would see a wave of migration in the future.
Therefore, developing smart cities is suitable, he added.
Besides, Việt Nam has 1.86 million hectares under fruits and vegetables, and produces 2.6 million tonnes a year, but only has 150 processing plants, and Long An, with its prime location and favourable natural conditions, will be a good place for building smart farms, smart factories and warehouses.
Lee Gyeong Taek, CEO of Lavi E&C JSC, said South Korean investors have set their sights on 10,000ha of land near the Vàm Cỏ River.
They plan to develop a self-sufficient urban area with smart farms, hi-tech agricultural processing plants, universities to train human resources, smart flower gardens, and smart cattle breeding areas, he said.
They also plan to build the largest lake in the country in the project in the smart urban area to make it an attractive destination for local and international visitors, he revealed.
Explaining why the Korean investors chose this area, he said they could take advantage of the river water to irrigate agricultural land in summer when there is often a shortage.
The convergence of overland and waterway transport networks enables the area to trade with leading provinces and cities in the Southern Key Economic Region and surrounding areas, he pointed out.
He said building a smart city would bring benefits to the province such as helping it develop clean and green agriculture, and produce and process agricultural products right in urban areas.
As for selling the products, he said they would be supplied in the domestic market but also exported to Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, and Singapore.
Other South Korean investors said the province should focus more on transport infrastructure, human resource training and building hi-tech logistics infrastructure.
They wanted it to connect Provincial Road 818 in Thủ Thừa District with the HCM City-Trung Lương Expressway, and dredge canal linking the Vàm Cỏ Đông and Vàm Cỏ Tây rivers.
Phạm Văn Rạnh, secretary of the Long An Party Committee and chairman of its People's Council, said, new models in line with global integration trends are needed to develop the province quickly and sustainably.
The ideas proposed to develop smart agricultural - industrial urban areas promise bright prospects for the province's development, he said.
The province wants to find investors who are enthusiastic about the project and could complete in the shortest time, he said.
It would create the most favourable conditions for investors, he promised. — VNS