In recent years, An Giang province has recorded significant economic achievements, creating a momentum for the province’s sustainable development in the future. Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Nguyen Hoang Viet, Secretary of An Giang Party Committee and Chairman of An Giang People’s Committee, about the province’s development strategies in the coming years.
Can you tell about outstanding achievements in An Giang’s economic development?
Last year, despite many difficulties due to the outbreak of bird flu and a high increase in price of petrol and oil, and complicated developments of seafood export markets, great efforts of agencies, localities and enterprises in An Giang helped the province’s economic growth rate reach 9.9 per cent with a structure consisting of agriculture, forestry and fisheries accounting for 37.7 per cent; industry and construction, 12.1% and services, 50.2 per cent.
The province’s export turnover saw an increase of 19 per cent against 2004, reaching US$333 million. This is the highest export turnover so far. An Giang province was recognised as one of three provinces to have the best export support policies.
Some new economic models, including fish farms, meeting the integration process’s requirements have been formed. Also, the province sent 1,500 guest workers to foreign countries, up by 85 per cent against 2004. An Giang generated jobs for over 27,000 people, and increased per capita income in the province to US$521 per year. Budget revenues continued to gain a high growth rate, reaching VND 1,700 billion, or 7.4 per cent higher than 2004. The people’s living standard has improved with 95 per cent of local people having electricity for their daily life and production. In addition, 65 per cent of local households now have access to safe water. Many households have more jobs, thus increasing their incomes during the flood season.
The Ministry of Transport is promoting the implementation of a project on building the VamCongBridge. Can you tell us briefly about the province’s prospects after the project is completed?
Alongside Can Tho, when the Vam Cong bridge opens to traffic, communication and exchange between An Giang and Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces in the region will become easier. This, in turn, will help An Giang attract investors from other localities and foreign countries. In An Giang alone, the Vam Cong Bridge will link to the Ho Chi Minh highway and will bypass Long Xuyen city, which will boost the development of Long Xuyen city in the future. Therefore, it is possible to say that the Vam Cong is a multi-purpose work with great meanings for socio-economic development of An Giang in particular and the Mekong delta in general.
An Giang province has advantages to develop trade exchange with Cambodia. What will An Giang do to promote the trade exchange with the country?
Sharing a border line of 97 kilometres with Cambodia and major international border gates, such as Tinh Bien, Vinh Xuong and Khanh Binh, one of the major programmes of An Giang province is set to develop border gate economic zones with bonded warehouses and border markets. These economic zones, after being completed, will attract investors to An Giang and promote trade activities.
Apart from trade ties, An Giang has promoted co-operation with Cambodian partners to develop tourism, which has tended to expand throughout the Mekong sub-region. This will be one of An Giang’s important development plans.
Based on recorded achievements, what development approaches will An Giang have in the coming year?
In the 2006-2010 period, An Giang will strive to increase its economic growth rate to 12 per cent per annum. To this end, An Giang will encourage and concentrate on developing industries and fields of great potential, such as farm-produce and seafood processing, and tourism.
In the coming years, An Giang will concentrate on boosting the development of trade, services and tourism. In the short term, in February 2006 the province will co-operate with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and other Mekong delta provinces to organise the second Mekong Delta Tourism Festival to introduce and promote tourism to Vietnamese and foreign visitors.
Reported by Ngoc Trang
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