Can Tho Province: Active and Creative to Overcome Difficulties

5:14:24 PM | 6/8/2009

After five years being a centrally governed city, Can Tho has striven for sustainable socioeconomic development. To quickly become a centre of the Mekong Delta region, the city has determined its own development orientations. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter Thanh Thao had been given an exclusive talk with Mr Tran Thanh Man, Chairman of Can Tho People’s Committee, on achievements and orientations of the city.
After five years being a centrally governed city and four years implementing the Resolution 45-NQ/TW of the Politburo, Can Tho has grown to be a centre of the Mekong Delta region. What do you say about this development?
After five years of establishment (2004-2008), the city is active and creative to get out of troubles to achieve important social and economic attainments which played important roles in the development of the Mekong Delta region and the country as a whole.
In the past five years, the city’s economy expanded 15.64 per cent per annum on average, higher than the regional growth of 12.36 per cent. It contributed 10.9 per cent to the GDP of the Mekong Delta region. Industry and service have accounted for higher proportion in the Can Tho economy. Particularly, industry and service take up 83.26 per cent, and agriculture - fishery, 16.74 per cent. Can Tho has also successfully exploited its local resources for development investment. From 2004 to 2008, the investment capital reached VND46,330 billion (US$2.73 billion), an annual growth of 34.9 per cent per annum, accounting for 14.5 per cent of the total investment capital in the Mekong Delta region. The city focuses on reconstruction, embellishment and management of urban areas while investing in rural and urban infrastructure. Many region-level projects are giving a facelift to the development of the city and the region, including Can Tho International Airport, Can Tho Bridge, ports and 2,800-MW O Mon thermal power plant.
Together with economic development, cultural and social aspects are also progressive, living conditions of the people are better, and education is given much importance for human resource development.
Can Tho City signed a comprehensive socioeconomic development cooperation agreement with Ho Chi Minh City in the 2006-2010 period and the Mekong Delta region. Could you talk about some of the results and prospects?
After three years of cooperation, 11 enterprises invested VND16,700 billion (US$1 billion) in 15 commercial, tourist and service projects; five enterprises spent VND2,220 billion (US$130 million) in six real estate and construction projects; and one company is investing in one industrial zone development project, which is underway. At present, Tra Noc I Industrial Park and Tra Noc II Industrial Park are housing 27 investment projects with total registered capital of US$113.662 million, including 19 operational projects and five underway projects, with US$54.3 million already disburse, or 48 per cent of total registered capital. Besides, at a Can Tho investment promotion conference in 2008, Ho Chi Minh City-based enterprises together with State-owned corporations and economic groups affirmed to continue their investments in Can Tho City. Five enterprises signed memorandums of understanding to advance their investment projects in the locality. Particularly, IDICO - Urban and Industrial Zone Development Company (IDICO - URBIZ) promised to invest in the second phase of Thot Not Industrial Park covering 1,000 hectares. DongA Bank and Viet Tin Company pledged to inject VND1,500 billion to build houses for low-income earners, a financial and commercial centre, and finance - banking human resource development centre. Saigontourist Holding Company planned to invest in a five-star hotel and regional travel centre. Tan Tao Group intended to build a 1,000-hectare Thot Not industrial and service zone, a 400-hectare O Mon hi-tech park, high-rise office buildings, hotels and restaurants on an area of 8 hectares in the downtown of Can Tho City. Hoang Quan Real Estate Joint Stock Company planned to spend VND1,500 billion to build Can Tho International University covering on an campus of 102 hectares and estimated VND12,000 to construct a 220-hectare urban, commercial and residential complex.
Amid the global and domestic economic slowdown, as a regional locomotive, which measures have Can Tho adopted to boost regional development?
On June 24, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed the Decision No. 889/QD-TTg to recognise Can Tho City as the first-grade centrally governed city. This is an important milestone believed to create a driving force for the city advance its industrialisation and modernisation to become an industrialised locality before 2020.
In response to the trust of the Party and the State, Can Tho City will adopt comprehensive and consistent solutions to socioeconomic development. Particularly, we will use human resources in more effective manner and utilise capital sources in accordance with investment plans. We will plan and build resettlement and urban areas to move residents to give lands to investors. We will invest more in infrastructure development, especially traffic systems, and speed up investments for key projects. In the coming time, Can Tho will not only restructure industrial production, form and develop material zones and train high-quality human resources for industrial development but also accelerate the implementation of infrastructure investment projects in industrial parks and hi-tech parks to attract new investors.
In addition, the city will also develop service sector, with priorities given to traditional services and new service creation.
The city will expand commercialised agricultural production and rural economy by producing high-quality products and applying new know-how. It will also upgrade irrigation systems and mechanise agricultural production.
Amid hardships buffeted by global economic crisis, Can Tho City still confident with its new level of development to motivate the growth of the Mekong Delta region.