Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc visits a booth showcasing products of Trà Vinh Province on the sidelines of the Trà Vinh Investment Promotion Conference on January 15. — VNA/VNS Photo
TRÀ VINH — With its natural and geological advantages, the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh has the potential to become a fairly developed locality, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told an investment conference held there on Wednesday (January 15).
The Trà Vinh Investment Promotion Conference was also attended among others by HCM City Party Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân and over 600 other delegates, including central and local officials, foreign diplomats, and Vietnamese and foreign businesses.
Phúc applauded Trà Vinh for its socio-economic development, saying that in the context of difficulties it has achieved excellent comprehensive results in all fields, with its economic growth topping 14.8 per cent last year, the highest rate in the region for the fourth consecutive year.
Trà Vinh is situated between the Tiền and Hậu rivers, the two main branches of the Mekong River, which allow transport with other south-western provinces, HCM City and neighbouring countries, he said.
The Government would build the Đại Ngãi Bridge between the province and Sóc Trăng Province, enabling it to attract more investment and exploit its advantages, he said.
He urged the province to complete its zoning plan for 2021-30 and enhance linkages with provinces and cities in the region to jointly develop.
"Trà Vinh needs to speed up building of new rural areas and socio-cultural development, improve its people’s material and spiritual lives, enhance natural resources management and environmental protection, and fight against natural disasters and cope with climate change.”
He called on it to be more creative in exploiting its potential, particularly in the marine economy, high-tech agriculture, processing, mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, supporting industries, logistics, eco-tourism and spiritual and marine tourism.
Like many localities in the region, the province is vulnerable to the rise in sea levels, storm surges and extreme weather, diversion of freshwater in the upstream areas, and changing sediment loads, delegates said.
Steffi Stallmeister of the World Bank in Việt Nam said that these factors together can increase the exposure of Trà Vinh to chronic and extreme climate change events. Being exposed to climate change, however, does not essentially mean being vulnerable to climate change. This is especially true if climate change response are integrated into planning and investment.
“There are no shortages of innovative and climate-smart investment opportunities.
“Rather than promoting urban sprawl which has a negative environmental footprint, Trà Vinh can support agglomeration and invest in a smart and resilient city, creating a growth node.
“Embracing such new thinking, Trà Vinh could invest in connectivity not only by investing in roads, but also by investing in inland waterways, and promoting greater information connectivity.”
Lê Thành, chairman of the Founding Council of the Green Economy Institute, one of the organisers of the conference, said: “It is time for us to change our perspective: climate change is not just a challenge but also an opportunity and motivation for economic development towards circulation and sustainability.”
He quoted the OECD's report on the impacts of climate change on the marine economy as saying that when sea levels rise, industries such as fishing shrink but there is a growth opportunity for marine farming and transportation.
“If it chooses the right direction, developing a green and sustainable economy, by 2050 Trà Vinh will be a new type of urban area, and a green, intelligent urban area associated with agricultural production and a typical climate change-adaptive living space in the region.”
Thành said Trà Vinh could develop science and technology, wind power, the marine economy, and logistics.
His institute has consulted, connected resources and helped the province promote green and sustainable economic development, he said.
Investment licences granted
The provincial People’s Committee has signed an MoU with Ernst & Young Vietnam Co., Ltd. for promoting investment in the marine economy and another with the International Port Engineering and Investments Limited (IPEI) to exploit and promote investment in logistics and ports, he said.
Also at the event, investment certificates were issued to five projects, including two wind farms, with a total investment of over VNĐ5.3 trillion (US$229.1 million).
The province signed memorandums of understanding with a number of businesses for feasibility studies for 17 other projects in agriculture, science and technology, power, and logistics, with total investment capital of some tens of trillion đồng.
Trần Trí Dũng, the provincial Party Secretary, said: “We look forward to hearing investors’ opinions on tackling hurdles to their operations. We assure investors that Trà Vinh considers their success its own.
“We will always be with investors, creating favourable conditions and actively supporting them.” — VNS