News article | 21-06-2022 | 00:00
The conference on the promulgation of the new Mekong Delta regional master plan, chaired by Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, was held on July 21, 2022 in the southern city of Can Tho, Vietnam. Vietnam’s first integrated regional master plan fits perfectly into the long-standing bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the Netherlands, especially the two countries’ strategic partnerships in the areas of water and climate change and energy. sustainable agriculture and food security.
The Netherlands and the Mekong Delta are both vulnerable deltas with many similar challenges. The Netherlands is determined to continue contributing to the bright future of the Mekong Delta.
More than 10 years ago, Vietnam asked the Netherlands to support the development of a Mekong Delta plan. This plan was approved in 2013 and endorsed by the Vietnamese government. It was the basis and inspiration for the Vietnamese government’s Resolution 120 towards a sustainable delta which was approved in 2017. This year, Vietnam reached a milestone by approving the Mekong Delta Integrated Regional Master Plan providing ( 1) long-term, (2) cross-sectoral (3) integrated planning to support and catalyze the social, economic and environmental development of the delta.
“Consultants from the Dutch consultancy and engineering company Royal Haskoning DHV advised on the development of the master plan, make me a proud Dutch ambassador.
Going forward, the Netherlands remains committed to partnering with the Vietnamese government, the private sector, science and non-governmental organizations to make the implementation of the integrated master plan a success in order to help people , economy and nature of the Mekong Delta to thrive,” Ambassador Akkerman told the Conference.
The Netherlands continues to support Vietnam in the implementation of the regional master plan
The commitment includes the transformation of agriculture with the development of sustainable value chains in, among others, aquaculture, saline agriculture, fruits and vegetables, sustainable livestock with a strong link to the challenges of the ‘water. The Netherlands supported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to develop an agricultural transformation program to coordinate and stimulate this process with the Mekong provinces and work with a multi-stakeholder approach including the private sector , science, civil society and international organizations and bilateral partners in strategy development, policy development and implementation.
Secondly, the Netherlands continues to work with Vietnam on nature-based solutions through the reforestation of mangroves in combination with, for example, the production of crabs or clams, which is important for biodiversity, carbon storage and coastal protection. In this context, the Government of the Netherlands and the Asian Development Bank (AfDB) are committed to supporting the Government of Vietnam in strengthening the coastal areas of the Mekong Delta and the resilience of its inhabitants. The Netherlands commissioned a consortium to help in the early stages of developing a mangrove reforestation project. It is expected that with this nature-based solution approach, Viet Nam will contribute more to biodiversity enhancement and climate change mitigation in the overall planning of the Mekong Delta.
In addition, the Netherlands offers its experience and expertise to collaborate with Vietnam on the development of transport, logistics and agro-industrial hubs, which is crucial to allow products to arrive safely in cities for “sale and consumption” and in ports for “export”. The €1 billion Cai Mep Ha deep-sea port and logistics center planned by a Vietnam-Netherlands-Belgium consortium will be an important element in securing access to European markets for shrimp and seafood. delta. The Netherlands is looking forward to further cooperation on port development, cold chain development, storage capacity as well as improving inland waterways, inland navigation and crew training.
Water management will remain at the heart of Vietnam-Netherlands cooperation for the protection of important freshwater areas and coastal areas, to work on improving water quality (especially in this concerning agriculture and aquaculture), adaptation to climate change and natural disaster risk management. Consideration should be given to the importance of land subsidence, a consequence of groundwater extraction, as it currently causes more flooding than climate change.
The master plan boosts investor confidence
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Gabor Fluit, Vice President of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EUROCHAM) and CEO of Royal De Heus Asia highlighted the importance of the regional master plan in the sustainable development of the Delta. Mekong. Investing in the development of inland waterways and seaports will provide more opportunities to make the Mekong Delta a regional commercial hub for agriculture.
Fluit pointed out that the Mekong Delta Regional Master Plan announced today will help foreign businesses and investors to clearly understand the local government’s long-term vision and strategy. This will certainly make foreign investors more confident in their investment decision in the Mekong Delta.