The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho started construction of a hi-tech scientific research centre funded by the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s government in Tra Noc industrial zone on November 23.

Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said the project, within the framework of Vietnam-RoK cooperation on nuclear power, energy and industry, aims to support Vietnamese businesses to access and improve technology for farm and aquatic product processing.

It is also expected to promote investment attraction and economic development in Can Tho and other regional localities, he added.

The project, covering 11,000 sq.m, is scheduled to be completed in 2014 and put into trial operation in 2015.

RoK experts have been sent to Can Tho to assist in equipment installation and technology transfer, while the Vietnamese city has sent its staff to the RoK to learn more about how to manage and operate the facility.

The project is part of the agreements signed between the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade and the RoK Ministry of Knowledge Economy in March 2012.

Under the terms of the deal, priorities are given to farm and aquatic product processing, machinery manufacturing, biological technology, IT, chemicals, clean technology and shipbuilding in Can Tho city.

The centre is expected to help small- and medium-sized enterprises in the city overcome their weaknesses, such as backward technology, weak administration capacity and shortage of hi-tech staff, and create conditions for them to attract more foreign investors, especially those from the RoK, in the time to come.-VNA