The Mekong Delta will try to increase its economic growth by 11-12 percent per annum from now until 2020 in order to enhance living standards for people in the region.

The Steering Committee for the Southwestern region announced that the agricultural sector will make up to 40 percent, industry - nearly 30 percent, and services - over 30 percent of the region’s economy.

In the field of agriculture, the region will diversify products, strengthen intensive farming, establish areas specialising in particular plant varieties like rice, fruit and short-time industrial trees. Natural materials for industries and animal feed will also be heavily developed.

Aquaculture, a strength of the region, will have due attention paid to its expansion. The region will invest in developing the irrigation system and protecting ecosystems, especially the coastal salt-marshes in Dong Thap Muoi area, Long Xuyen Quadrangle, west of Hau River and Ca Mau peninsula.

Small and medium-sized industries will be efficiently developed. The industrial sector will soon exploit the gas potential of the Southwest sea area, aimed at developing gas-electricity- nitrogen fertiliser industry. Additionally, industrial clusters, sea transport, agriculture and aquaculture processing, engineering industry and construction material production will also be developed. Can Tho city is considered the centre for these efforts.

In the services sector, Mekong Delta provinces will pour appropriate investment into developing trade and tourism, especially eco-tourism. Among others, Phu Quoc island in Kien Giang province will be transformed into a tourist hub.

From now to 2015, the region will invest in training, upgrading machinery and equipment, and applying scientific and technological processes to production.

Infrastructure will be further improved with the focus on rural road networks, highways connecting the region with Ho Chi Minh City, sea and river ports, and Tra Noc airport in Can Tho City.

A number of universities will be upgraded while some new colleges are to be established. The region will also modernise its provincial and district hospitals and hasten the construction of medical facilities specialising in treating cancer, gynecology-obstetrics, and heart and lung diseases.-VNA