The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho will raise the proportion of the industry and trade sector to 97.5 percent of its economy by 2019, up 4 percent from 2014, said Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Dung at the January 7 meeting on economic restructuring.

This is in line with the city’s goal of becoming the economic hub of the Mekong Delta by 2020, Dung said.

Towards this goal, Deputy Director of the city’s Department of Industry and Trade Duong Nghia Hiep said industrial production should growth at an annual rate of 12 percent between now and 2019.

He reported that the city will expand the production of high-added value products using advanced technologies and modern equipment.

Priority will be given to the processing industry in order to turn it into the key sector in industrial production, accounting for at least 96 percent of total annual industrial production value.

At the same time, a high-tech park and ten new industrial zones will be constructed alongside with more investment in the mechanical engineering industry, with the aim of meeting all machinery maintenance demand in the Mekong Delta and producing parts for farm and rice processing machines as well as certain types of industrial, transport and construction machinery for both domestic use and export.

Meanwhile, the local wholesale and retail markets will be expanded with more supermarkets and shopping centres built. The city will seek domestic and foreign partners to build a big financial and commercial centre. This will help Can Tho raise the total wholesale and retail sales to 83.2 trillion VND (3.96 billion USD) in 2015 and 150 trillion (7.1 billion USD) four years later.

The city will also invest in the production of its key export products including rice, seafood, garment, handicraft and pharmaceuticals, in order to earn 1.45 – 1.6 billion USD from exports in 2015 and 3 billion USD in 2019.

On the part of agriculture, which is projected to make up 2.5 percent of the city’s economy by 2020, some 3.2 trillion VND (150 million USD) will be invested to raise the share of hi-tech production to 15 percent of total agricultural output by 2015 and 35 percent by 2019.

Between 2015 and 2017, three hi-tech agricultural parks will be built on a combined area of 645ha in Thoi Lai and Co Do districts, and 12 projects will be implemented to develop quality rice strains, breed fish and shrimp for aquaculture, and expand safe fruit and vegetable cultivation.

The application of international standards in agriculture is also a priority in terms of management process, harvest and preservation methods.

This year, Can Tho aims for 12.26 trillion VND (584 million USD) in agricultural production value, including 1,840 billion VND (87.6 million USD) from high-tech production.-VNA