Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Ben Tre (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre is striving to attract more investment in high-tech agriculture, given that it boasts nearly 100,000ha of coconut trees, specialty fruits and nearly 10 million ornamental plants.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Cao Van Trong said the province has offered incentives to projects in and outside industrial zones, cut timeline for administrative procedures by 30-50 percent, established a public services group at the centre for investment and start-up promotion.

The locality has also assisted investors via investment promotion programmes, market connectivity, trade promotion and product display at domestic and foreign fairs.

From the State and local budget, Ben Tre granted an aid of over 32.6 billion VND (1.41 million USD) to six businesses in the fields of animal breeding, farm produce processing and preservation.

In compliance with the government’s Decree No.55/2015/ND-CP on credit policy for agricultural and rural development, Ben Tre has so far offered loans worth upwards 45 trillion VND (1.95 billion USD), over 18 trillion VND of which was in farming.

Ben Tre has so far recorded 451 enterprises working in agriculture, accounting for 17 percent of the total in the locality. The combined registered capital in the field makes up 30 percent of the total.

Local farm produce have been shipped to 70 countries and territories worldwide. The province has attracted 24 out of 52 foreign-invested firms in agriculture with a total registered capital of 225.7 million USD, or 26 percent of the total foreign direct investment there.

At an agriculture investment promotion forum recently held by the provincial People’s Committee, corporate representatives pointed out difficulties when investing in the locality such as hard access to bank loans and land to build material zones, and limited connectivity between farmers and enterprises to pursue production in value chain.

Trong said the province is expected to become a leading regional centre of farm produce production, purchase and distribution and an ecological tourism destination.

Nguyen Minh Canh, Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment said in the near future, the province will continue improving the business environment and issuing support policies for investors, especially those in agriculture and rural development.

He added that Ben Tre will apply more technological advances in agricultural production as well as assist firms in quality certification and join national quality awards.

Credit organisations will be encouraged to invest in agriculture and rural development via preferential interest rates. Priority will also be given to eco-friendly and start-up projects.-VNA