Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the Steering Committee for southwestern region addresses the event (Photo: VNA)
Can Tho (VNA) – The southwestern region grew 6.5 percent in the first half of 2016, with Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) estimated at 250 trillion VND (11.25 billion USD).

The figures were released at a conference hosted by the regional Steering Committee in Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, on July 11, to review socio-economic performance in the past six months and set tasks for the later half of the year.

As heard at the function, 1.57 million hectares of winter-spring rice paddies yielded 10.4 million tonnes of rice, while more than 1.6 million hectares of summer-autumn paddies planted during the period are expected to produce another 9 million tonnes by the end of the season.

The six-month regional industrial index increased by 9 percent compared to the same period last year, with the industrial production value estimated at over 282.6 trillion VND (12.7 billion USD), up 11.1 percent year-on-year.

The overall import-export revenue is estimated to reach nearly 9 billion USD, an annual rise of 3.2 percent.

According to deputy head of the regional Steering Committee Son Minh Thang, the region has been facing various difficulties, including a shortage in water supply caused by saline intrusion and drought, and in capital for local projects in response to climate change impacts. The slow construction of major projects is also an issue, while the volume of foreign investment attracted in the period was still lower than other regions nationwide.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, who is also head of the committee, urged the region to focus on boosting agricultural and fishery production to compensate the damage caused by saltwater intrusion and drought in the first and second quarter.

He warned that prices of a number of goods might increase by year’s end, which is likely to affect the local consumer price index.

Authorities of southwestern provinces and cities should work to boost their regional connection, Hue said.

Moving forwards, the steering committee plans to hold conferences on agricultural restructuring, new-style rural development, regional connection and investment attraction, he noted.

Hue continued to add that needy people in the Mekong Delta region will receive further support and preferential credit policies will be considered.-VNA