Well-known for its heroic tradition during the anti-American resistance war, Tien Giang province has become a leading locality in national construction after the liberation of the South. Over the past three decades, Tien Giang province has changed much for the better.
Diversified economic development
In the 1976-1980 period, Tien Giang province concentrated on restoring agricultural production. In 1979, the province had 71 co-operatives, 147 production establishments and 4,886 groups. Its food output reached 532,803 tonnes in 1977 and saw a little increase in 1980. In this context, in the 1981-1985 period, Tien Giang province concentrated investment on developing irrigation works, restructuring crops and animal husbandry, which helped the province record good results in agricultural production. Its rice output reached around 722,000 tonnes per year with a yield of 3.56 tonnes per hectares. Also, its aquaculture output reached 2,500 tonnes. Until the 1986-1990 period, Tien Giang’s economy saw a change in structure with agriculture, industry and trade. With a change in its economic sectors, the province was able to develop its capital, labour and land potential for developing business and production activities. The province reached one million tonnes of food per year for the first time in 1990, up by 24 per cent against that of 1986 with over 150,000 tonnes exported. Fisheries saw a rapid increase with the export value in 1990 doubling that of 1986.
In particular, in 1990 Tien Giang formed five economic sub-regions to improve the effectiveness of economic restructuring. During this period, the province carried out many major works. These included a project to bring fresh water to Go Cong and another on expanding the Plain of Reeds, which turned 30,000 hectares of unused land into a new economic zone. The industrial production value in 1990 increased by 19 per cent against 1986. The handicraft and transport sectors saw a rapid development in both urban and rural areas. Trade and services were expanded to facilitate the local people’s daily lives.
Since 1991, alongside with the whole country’s renovation process, Tien Gian has focused on developing its economy with agriculture, industry and services. Its spearhead sector remains agriculture with an average growth rate of 5.54 per cent per year. Rice equivalent food output has reached 1.4 million tonnes since 1997. The output of fruit was put at 412,600 tonnes in 1999, accounting for 20.8 per cent in the province’s cultivation. The province has great potential for developing export fruit processing establishments with various high quality fruits, available the whole year round. Fisheries with fishing and aquaculture programmes, each year supply over 90,000 tonnes of seafood. At the same time, industrial production gained a high growth rate, combining production with consumption markets. As a result, industrial production value saw an average increase of 12.96 per cent per year. Food and foodstuff processing accounted for a large proportion in the industry’s structure. State-owned industrial establishments were re-arranged and reorganised, striving to find a foothold in the market. Thanks to proper approaches, private industrial establishments saw a rapid development. Industrial parks were formed to develop concentrated infrastructure facilities and attract investment. The province had 43 State-owned enterprises with fixed assets accounting for 85 per cent of the province’s total value of fixed assets, and 5,800 workers; 1,334 private enterprises, 24 companies and 32,287 private business establishments. Main industries included rice, seafood and farm-produce processing, trade and services, construction and transportation. Also, trade and services served as a link-up between production and construction. The average growth rate of the province’s trade and services was put at 17.35 per cent. Total retail sales reached over 80 per cent. During this period Tien Giang province in tandem with economic development, concentrated on developing economic zones’ structure, suitable with social conditions in each zone, forming four main economic zones, including My Tho city, the west, the east and the Plain of Reeds.
In the 2001-2004 period, Tien Giang’s economy maintained a GDP growth rate of 8.5 per cent, which was driven by an increase of 4.7 per cent in the agricultural production value, 16.2 per cent in industry and construction, and 10.9 per cent in services. The province’s export turnover reached US$364 million.
In the 2006-2010 period, Tien Giang will continue to keep its economic growth rate in a rapid and sustainable manner, creating a change in the development quality. Accordingly, the province will promote economic and labour restructuring, promoting the modernisation and industrialisation process, to improve the effectiveness and competitiveness of its products. Also, a focus will be given to scientific and technological research and application to improve the quality of human resources development. At the same time, co-operation will be promoted with domestic and foreign partners. The province will concentrate on the development of culture, improvement of the local people’s living standard, generating more jobs for local workers. Tien Giang province has set a target of a GDP growth rate of between nine and ten per cent and a per capita income of US$850 per year.