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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  25 August 2015  

Mekong in need of more infrastructure

 The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta must plan for future economic growth by investing more in infrastructure, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has said.

Speaking at a conference on Friday in Can Tho City, Ninh said that officials had set the annual GDP growth target at 10.5 per cent between 2016 and 2020.

The annual per capita GDP of the Delta is expected to be US$4,400 and export value over US$10 billion in the same period.

In recent year, the Mekong Delta has contributed 16 per cent of the nation's GDP.

However, the region has received only 10 per cent of the national budget for infrastructure development, the lowest rate compared with other regions in the country, according to an official from the Southwestern Steering Committee.

In order to meet the target, Ninh said more schools, hospitals and roads should be built.

He also urged the region to restructure its economy.

For years, the Mekong Delta has had an annual GDP growth was 8.87 per cent.

As of 2014, the delta produced 55 per cent of paddy, 70 per cent of fruit, and 69 per cent of seafood of the country. It contributed 90 per cent of exported rice and 60 per cent of exported seafood.

Last year, the delta exported US$12.3 billion, equal to 8.2 per cent of the country's export turnover, a growth of 14.7 per cent annually. The rate of households living under the poverty line fell to 5.7 per cent in 2014 from 7.4 percent in 2013. It is expected that the rate will be 4.5 per cent this year.

Transport infrastructure projects had received funds in recent years, but not enough money was spent on education, healthcare, and cultural systems. Ninh said this had prevented the sustainable development of the region.

Ninh urged localities to seek funds through the private sector to fund infrastructure development. A cooperative model for agricultural production was also needed, he said. — VNS

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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