Kien Giang emerged as an economic spotlight on the Mekong Delta region in 2013.

The province’s economic growth rate struck 9.4 percent by the end of 2013, ranked fourth among the 13 provinces of the Mekong Delta region.

The figure was very high compared to the national average growth of 5.4 percent, said Lam Hoang Sa, Vice Chairman of Kien Giang People’s Committee.

Rice production and shrimp farming were the main driving forces behind the development of the province’s socio–economy.

The 2013 rice output reached nearly 4.5 million tonnes, up 4.3 percent from 2012.

The ratio of high quality rice accounted for 65 percent, and rice productivity hit an average of six tonnes per hectare.

Such records have pushed Kien Giang to the top of the nation’s food output within three years (2011 – 2013).

Kien Giang has so far grown 60,000 hectares of rice under the Vietnam Good Agriculture Practices (VietGap) standards.

The province aims to double its Vietgap standard large-scale rice fields to 120,000 hectares between now and 2015.

2013 was also a good harvest for the province’s aquaculture. Kien Giang’s total yield of aquaculture reached 580,000 tonnes in which shrimp output accounted for 42,000 tonnes.

Currently, Kien Giang’s exploitation of seafood is trending towards offshore to prevent onshore overexploitation.

Rice production and shrimp farming made great contributions to the province’s 2013 total export turnover of 663 million USD, an increase of 11.3 percent against the same period last year.-VNA