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Mekong Delta IPs move to improve   0000-00-00 - Viet Nam News

Industrial parks in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are attempting to overcome shortcomings in the southern region by improving the quality of planning, infrastructure and human resources.

Over the last 20 years, the region's IPs attracted more than US$2 billion, accounting for 2.9 per cent of the country's total FDI.

The problems faced by the IPs, including adverse environmental impact, are hindering the economic growth of the region's IPs, which lag behind those in the Song Hong (Red River) Delta and the rest of the southeastern region.

The Mekong River Delta's 20 industrial parks cover 3,645ha, attracting total investment capital of US$2 billion and providing jobs for 70,000 labourers.

Most IPs lack a master plan and have few qualified workers.

The IPs traditionally have sought financial help to support the animal feed industries and food processing plants. FDI capital in IPs, however, remains slow.

Over the last 20 years, the region's IPs attracted more than US$2 billion, accounting for 2.9 per cent of the country's total FDI.

Investors have rented only 810ha in IPs, or 33 per cent of the total land of the region's IPs.

Although the IPs have few companies operating in them, pollution in the region has reached alarming levels. Only 30 per cent of the IPs have installed waste water treatment systems.

According to local environmentalists, the IPs discharge 200,000 cu.m of untreated waste water into rivers every day, heavily polluting Hau and Vam Co Rivers.

Under a development plan for the region through 2020, the region's IPs will be expanded to 50,000ha, or one per cent of the region's land area, to ensure farm land for food security.

The plan also aims to expedite economic restructuring in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, focusing on industrial and service sectors to provide jobs for four million people by 2020.

Only 3.4 per cent of the region's working age people (about 12 million), much lower than the national rate of 19 per cent, have technical skills.

The low labour quality has become a chronic problem for the region for years, partly due to poor vocational schools and unqualified teaching staff.

Experts said roads and bridges needed to be upgraded and job training programmes created for local residents.

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