Delta eyes development progress

Monday, May 13, 2013 10:19

Farmers harvest winter-spring rice in the Mekong province of Hau Giang's Vi Thuy District. Viet Nam is looking to embrace sustainable development both at home and abroad. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong

VINH PHUC (Biz Hub)— Viet Nam attached great importance to sustainable development both in and out of the country, said Vu Van Chung, vice head of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Investment and Planning.

Chung said that all Vietnamese enterprises had to adhere to laws and regulations in their partner countries, ensuring the harmonisation of economic growth and the improvement of local livelihoods, poverty alleviation and sustainable development.

He was speaking at the second Mekong Resource Forum held in the northern province of Vinh Phuc late last week.

According to the ministry, Viet Nam's FDI flow goes into 60 countries and territories with total registered investment of US$13.5 billion.

The country has 335 projects with registered capital of $7 billion in the Mekong sub-region, mostly in Laos and Cambodia.

Vietnamese enterprises usually invest in sectors which heavily rely on natural resources including rubber, sugarcane, bio-fertiliser, hydro-power and mining.

The ministry warned of the challenges Vietnamese foreign investors faced to minimise negative impacts on natural resources and the environment.

Chung said the Mekong River had an enormous ecological and environmental impact on riverside-countries, including Viet Nam.

Projects involving hydro-power plants, irrigation, aquaculture and waterway transportation on the upper part of the river could have severe impacts on the country, including water shortages and large scale salt water intrusion, according to People and Nature Reconcilitation (PanNature).

"Viet Nam acknowledges that our social-economic co-operation for the sustainable development of the GMS region is both a goal and a responsibility," said Chung.

Dr Cao Van Ban from the Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia Association for Economic Co-operation Department said that the development of the triangle faced difficulties including slow infrastructure construction and insufficient co-operation.

Additionally, most partner provinces in the development triangle are mountainous or highland areas, which made transportation and trade difficult.

The president of the Viet Nam Assoiation of Foreign-invested Enterprises, Nguyen Mai, said that to some extent, trade was short-term and investment was long-term, and investment was crucial to global development.

"As we are targeting to develop a low-carbon and green economy, investors need to ensure benefits not only for their business, but also the nations we are investing in," he said.

Chung said that cooperation among countries in the region was needed to build mutual programmes and action plans attracting supports and investments from international institutions and using the capital efficiently.

He added for sustainable foreign investment, Viet Nam would also continue reviewing and enhancing the implementation of relevant conventions and agreements while developing new agreements.

During the forum, participants exchanged views on environmental and social impacts of investment activities that include Viet Nam's participation in hydro-power development in the Mekong River basin and hydro-power development in the Sesan, Srepok and Sekong basins, and resource exploitation in the Mekong River and its impacts.

Co-organised by PanNature, Viet Nam's Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), the Viet Nam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation Development (VILACAED) and Forest Trends and Foreign Investment Review, the forum aimed to intensify dialogue between organisations in GMS countries.

The first Mekong Resource forum was held in Ha Noi in 2011. — VNS

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