Can Tho City is targeting to increase its GDP per capita to 2,150 USD this year, in an effort to maintain its leading position in the Mekong River Delta region.

The targeted growth would be 200 USD higher than that of last year's figure. In 2002, GDP per capita was 330 USD.

To fulfil this year's target, the city is planning to gain success in socio-economic programmes to have its GDP increased by 16 percent higher than last year.

Productivity from industry, construction and commerce take up 90 percent of the economic growth value of the Mekong Delta's biggest city, home to around 1.5 million people.

Upgrading equipment and machines, together with reducing production costs and industrial product prices, are the key goals of the city's plan to boost its industrial value to 22 trillion VND (1.1 billion USD).

Can Tho plans to complete its strategy of increasing domestic product competition to integrate better into the international market, hoping to reach more than 1 billion USD in total export value this year.

The city's revenue from the services sector is expected to be 81.8 trillion VND (4.09 billion USD).

Another task to help fulfil this year's target will be speeding up the transition to production of high-quality agricultural items.

Located in the centre of the delta, the biggest rice producer of the country, Can Tho is also planning a high-quality rice centre in the key districts of Thot Not, Vinh Thanh and Co Do to maintain its rice productivity of more than 1 million tonnes.

Last year, Can Tho exported over 570,000 tonnes of rice, earning nearly 229 million USD to account for 25.7 percent of the city's total export value.

After 120 years of development, the city, 170km south of HCM City , is the delta's most important centre of commerce, culture, science and technology.

More than 22 percent of Can Tho's budget is spent every year on education as the city is aiming to become the delta's high-quality education centre and provider of human resources training to southern provinces./.