Jun 19, 2019 / 11:21

Vietnam to allocate nearly US$2 billion for Mekong Delta development

The Mekong Delta region is facing bottlenecks in development, especially in transportation, while there have been greater risks in climate change that require immediate measures.

The Vietnamese government is scheduled to allocate VND45 trillion (nearly US$2 billion) in the next five years to boost economic development in the Mekong Delta region, according to Nguyen Chi Dung, minister of Planning and Investment. 
 
Overview of the conference. Source: VGP.
Overview of the conference. Source: VGP.
The Mekong Delta region is facing bottlenecks, including the lack of adequate infrastructure in development, especially in transportation, while there have been greater risks in climate change that require immediate response, Dung said at a conference discussing the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta on June 18. 

On this issue, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc requested related government agencies and provinces to review the mechanism for capital mobilization and facilitating a financial market for Mekong Delta region. 

According to Phuc, the region has its unique financial mechanism through mobilizing funds from foreign investors, official development assistance (ODA) and the private sector. 

Such joint efforts would ensure an investment capital influx of US$2 billion in the 2016 – 2020 period for the Mekong Delta region to speed up large scale projects in the fields of infrastructure development and tackling climate change issues, Phuc added. 

Phuc considered the region a vital part for the country’s economic development, saying investing for Mekong Delta is for the benefit of the overall economy. Similarly, Ho Chi Minh City investment's in the Mekong Delta would bring equal return for the city, he stated. 

Currently, the Mekong Delta has a population of 20 million, and contributes 20% to the country's GDP. If the Southeastern region is taken into account, the region would make up over 60% of Vietnam’s GDP. 

Without the Mekong Delta region, Ho Chi Minh City could not maintain its current economic scale, which currently accounts for 30% of the country’s GDP. 
 
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addressed the event. Source: VGP.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addressed the event. Source: VGP.
Under this context, Phuc requested Ho Chi Minh City to be in charge of drafting up a working mechanism forming greater linkage between cities and provinces in the region. 

Meanwhile, Phuc acknowledged climate change is putting greater risks on the livelihoods of people in Vietnam and also in Southeast Asia. 

A recent report by HSBC suggested Vietnam is one of the 10 countries that are most vulnerable to climate change. 

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said transport infrastructure projects with sufficient funds are expected to be completed in the near future, especially expressways projects connecting Ho Chi Minh City with provinces and cities in Mekong Delta and upgrading national highways. 

The inland waterway and logistics projects in southern region financed by the World Bank is scheduled to start construction in 2020 and completed by 2025, The informed. 

The transport minister said his ministry would consider upgrading the capacity of the Phu Quoc International Airport and encourage airlines to open new flight routes connecting Can Tho Airport with other provinces. 

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, public investment fund (10% of contingency excluded) for the Mekong Delta region in the 2016 – 2020 period is nearly VND194 trillion (US$8.3 billion), accounting for 16.53% of the total. 

The fund would be mainly focused on agriculture, transportation and healthcare development.