Soc Trang Province Utilises Aquaculture, Fishery Advantages

2:52:55 PM | 9/11/2005

In 2001-2005, Soc Trang recorded progress in all economic sectors with economic growth rate of 10 per cent. Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter Ngoc Trang interviewed Mr Huynh Thanh Hiep, Chairman of Soc Trang People’s Committee.
Soc Trang continued high growth rates in 2001-200, will you please introduce some of the achievements?
During this period, Soc Trang has recorded important achievements due to accelerating of economic restructuring, especially in agriculture and rural economy. The province has transformed 30,000 hectares of low-yield rice to aquaculture and other more profitable business. By the end of 2005, the area of rice cultivation is expected to be 320,700 hectares, producing 1.6 million tonnes a year. Progress was also made in animal husbandry contributing to the agricultural production value. In particular, aquaculture made a breakthrough with 56,000 hectares (mainly Su shrimp) at 59,000 tonnes a year. As a result, the export of processed aquatic products became the main export of the province. In 2005, the export value is expected at US$325 million, 1.7 times that of 2000 (98 per cent in aquatic products).
In 2005, the industrial production value is expected at VND4,312 billion, 2.5 times that of 2000 and annual growth rate of 19.66 per cent. Meanwhile, the trade and service will post VND8,000 billion, 4.6 times that of 2000.
How did you tap the potentials in agriculture and fisheries? 
The province has applied preferential treatment to each sector and industry. In agriculture, great efforts have been made in the development of water conservation and irrigation works, scientific research, transfer and application of new technology, as well as the introduction of high-yield strains such as ST3, ST5 perfume rice, dorian, longanes, and mangousteen. To ensure this outlet, the province has increased market forecast and trade promotion, and developed trademarks to protect the interests of the producers.
In aquaculture, our advantages have been fully exploited, especially in Su shrimp. With the funding of the national programme, Soc Trang has developed the infrastructure for industrial and semi-industrial shrimp raising. Technical assistance and promotion activities have been upgraded to encourage the processing industry, increasing added value, purchasing farm products and creating more jobs for the locals.
How can the province attract investment?
Soc Trang has an important network of canals, 72 km of coast and three big river mouths : Tran De, Dinh An and My Thanh. The province can develop water transport, sea economy and expand trade with other countries. However, due to the shortage of budget for infrastructure development, especially land, water and air transport, the investment was affected. The province also has constraints in skilled labour, unstable growth and purely agricultural production. To overcome these shortcomings, Soc Trang will implement the following solutions:
One, to improve the investment environment, simplifying administrative formalities and implementing preferential treatment for all economic sectors.
Two, to expand cooperation attracting investment capital and high technology, especially in the exploitation and processing of agricultural produce, developing infrastructure, trade, tourism and services.
Three, to ensure good investment projects from the preparation to the implementation, improving socio-economic infrastructure and developing certain industrial zones.
Four, to train managers with good knowledge of economic cooperation and investment, skilled workers and to create favourable conditions for the transfer of technology in production, especially in agriculture.
By 2010, many industrial zones will be built in Soc Trang, to meet the demand in human resources, what are the province’s plans?
In 2000-2010, Soc Trang will build six industrial zones. Four industrial zones will be built in favourable locations. An Nghiep industrial zone has been approved, is under construction and will start operating in 2006. So far over 20 enterprises have already registered in the industrial zone.
To meet the demand of human resources, the province is stepping up training, increasing the percentage of trained workers to 25 per cent by 2010. The province will concentrate its resources on building schools such as the Community High School, Teachers’ High School, Medical School, and Vocational School. The province will also encourage the development of private training schools, sending students to colleges and universities and attracting young scientists and experts to the province.