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The Mekong Delta’s agri-products enjoy significant opportunities as Vietnam integrates deeply into the international arena
Prof. Dr. Vo Tong Xuan said that Vietnam has exported eight types of agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products with an annual turnover of over $1 billion many of which have achieved high positions in the global market. However, Vietnam's agricultural sector has yet to develop modern production methods due to its small scale and lack of technology applications. As a result, agricultural production has low productivity, competitiveness, and added value.
He added that it is necessary to optimise the stages in the agri-product value chain by removing bottlenecks in production and preservation. Also, food loss needs to be reduced, transportation costs optimised, and stable output markets found for agri-products.
"It is necessary to create favourable conditions for responsible enterprises with a vision to join production and business, especially the development of modern logistics services," Xuan stressed.
Economic experts say that to boost the sustainable development of Vietnam's agri-products, priority policies need to be built for key areas, including the Mekong Delta – the nation's largest rice basket. The government's resolution No.120/NQ-CP on the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta in response to climate change has a hundred-year vision with several distinct investment phases. In particular, top priority must be given to investment in logistics and transport infrastructure, which is seen as the lifeblood of the economy.
The government has approved a five-year $2 billion allotment for infrastructural development in the area. Nguyen Phuong Lam, director of the Can Tho branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the Mekong Delta has recently made heavy investments in infrastructure and diversified transportation means to improve the trade flow of agri-products. In particular, once opened for traffic, Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway is expected to significantly speed up product delivery times.
With regards to logistics, expert Nguyen Phuong Lam said that for a long time, localities in the Mekong Delta have only focused on the stages from the field to the factory but paid little attention to the stages from the factory to the port, shipping, packaging, and inspection despite their decisive role in the competitiveness of agri-products. That is the reason why it is very important to develop logistics centres that are capable of handling all the stages of agri-production from the Mekong Delta to the ports and consumption markets. This would reduce waiting times and cumbersome procedures.
Thus, logistics companies are urged to resolve this pressing problem. Most recently, the first phase of Hanh Nguyen Logistics Center (Hau Giang Agri-product Export Logistics Center), a self-contained logistics centre for all agricultural export procedures, has been put into operation in Hau Giang province. Situated in a prime location, the logistics centre provides convenient access to the Mekong Delta and southeast region.
Hanh Nguyen Logistics Center promises to open up optimal solutions for Mekong Delta agri-products to expand to overseas markets.
Pham Tien Hoai, Hanh Nguyen Logistics CEO and chairman of the Board of Tien Thinh Group said, “After many years of accompanying farmers, we want to create a breakthrough for them so that their work can be less strenuous and receive more of their deserved results. The opening of a logistics centre allows connecting all stages in the supply chain of agricultural products and find more markets for agri-products. Customers and farmers need only bring their products to the centre, we will take care of the rest, from cleaning to preserving and irradiating. We also handle the transportation, customs clearance, exports, and financial procedures to find suitable markets for the products.”
Workshop on "Logistics leverage for Mekong Delta agri-products"
The workshop titled "Logistics leverage for the Mekong Delta agri-products" will take place in March with the participation of many economic and logistics experts as well as representatives of leading agricultural enterprises.
The workshop will raise many issues that hinder the resilience of Mekong Delta agri-products, offering comprehensive solutions to reach foreign markets. The workshop will be organised by Hau Giang Radio and Television Station in collaboration with Hanh Nguyen Logistics.