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Minister says US$1 billion to be earmarked for Mekong Delta’s development
Friday,  12/20/2019, 09:25 

Minister says US$1 billion to be earmarked for Mekong Delta’s development

The Saigon Times Daily

Farmers harvest rice in the Mekong Delta. The region is suffering adverse impacts from climate change – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – Authorities are considering the allocation of US$1 billion for the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta region to cope with climate change, according to Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.

Minister Dung was speaking at a conference held in Hanoi on Wednesday to launch tasks to execute the Government’s Resolution 120 and the Prime Minister’s Directive 23 regarding the climate resilient and sustainable development of the Mekong Delta region, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

The Mekong Delta region is the third largest recipient of investment in Vietnam, accounting for some 18% of the total investment, he stated.

He noted that regional development will rely on tapping the potential of water, aquaculture, agricultural production and waterway transport, thereby helping ensure food security for the country.

The minister asked regulatory agencies and local governments to make clear plans with long-term targets, tasks for investment attraction, regional coordination systems and capital allocation for development.

World Bank Country Director in Vietnam Ousmane Dione pointed out in his remarks that further support to the Mekong Delta region will only make a difference if there are strong institutions in place, robust planning and effective execution and commitment from all stakeholders.

Dione stated that in the current context of the delta, natural, climate and developmental circumstances require greater coordination to enhance synergies across provinces and sectors and minimize inefficient investments now more than ever.

“Greater coordination would also ensure policies and investments result in positive spillovers and long-term benefits,” he said.

He explained that the integrated regional master plan being prepared could play this role as it will serve as the blueprint for a climate resilient, prosperous and sustainable delta by identifying suitable agricultural, industrial, urban and connectivity directions for the region, aligned with the unique characteristics of a delta.

The plan should optimize and prioritize investments across key sectors, promote social cohesion and specify the responsibilities of various stakeholders. It must offer a framework for provincial master plans and socioeconomic development plans, according to the director.

“This is the only way to make inconsistent and overlapping plans that result in inefficient development pathways and investments a thing of the past,” he stressed.

He added that actions should be aligned with the areas of policy dialogue that will be prioritized on the basis of Resolution 120 and the associated execution plans and directives.

Also, the financing proceeds can be utilized at the Government’s full discretion, supporting the Government’s own public investment and debt management frameworks and priorities for the region.

Tran Duy Dong, head of the Local and Territorial Economy Department, under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, called for increasing financial support from the State and fiscal responsibility from the delta’s provinces toward creating a more collaborative infrastructure investment plan.

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