The expert group on Mekong Delta studies debut (Photo: VNA)

Ben Tre (VNA) – A group of experts on Mekong Delta studies was introduced in Ben Tre province on October 25, as part of the third Mekong Connect 2017 economic forum.

According to Nguyen Huu Lap, Vice Chairman of the Ben Tre People’s Committee, they are experienced scientists, who have deep knowledge of the region, particularly An Giang, Ben Tre, Can Tho and Dong Thap. Their research areas range from public policies, regional connectivity, and sustainable rural development to management of natural resources and livelihoods. They are expected to give recommendations to boost the region’s growth.

At the event, the experts discussed regional connectivity, focusing on resources and environmental issues, globalisation, smart agriculture, and start-ups.

Dr Vu Thanh Tu Anh, director of research at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program in Ho Chi Minh City and head of the Mekong Delta expert group, said the region’s economic growth is lagging behind compared to other regions in Vietnam due to limited resources and weak links among its provinces and cities.

Nguyen Huu Thien, an independent researcher on climate change and the Mekong River, noted the region is one of three deltas most affected by climate change in the world.

He said sand mining has triggered bank and coastal erosions, while well-digging has contributed to land subsidence, necessitating fines for illegal sand and groundwater exploitation.

The third Mekong Connect 2017, themed “Developing local resources in association with technology strength”, convened in Ben Tre on October 26. It was attended by 500 businessmen and more than 100 experts.-VNA