Long-term vision (2050)

Agro-Business Industry based specialisation.

Although the Dual Node Industrialisation scenario corresponds well with the countrywide transformation objectives of accelerating growth of the industrial and services sector, it is highly unlikely that this development will be achieved in the near future. In view of environmental problems and manageable climate change impacts pursuing a strategy that is targeted at developing the core Agro-Business Industry based specialisation is considered to offer the best perspectives for the Mekong Delta:

I.      Agro-Business Industry brings economic growth through modernising present agriculture and aquaculture systems into a specialised sector that anticipates on growing national and international demand for high-value products;

II.     Agro-Business Industry fits well to the unique demographic features (low-lying lands, the waterways network and fertile soils) and economic structure of the delta, which markedly differs from the country as a whole and from neighbouring regions, and bypasses unwanted competition between economic sectors and with other regions in the country;

III.   Agro-Business Industry provides an excellent basis for long-term sustainable economic growth and is well suited to adapt to climate change challenges by:

- Full-heartedly embracing the brackish coastal zone, and invest in a sustainable, high value brackish aquaculture specialisation, while simultaneously reducing the needs for infrastructural coastal defence and salinity intrusions by creating an integrated aquaculture-mangrove coastal estuary.

- Targeting the seasonal flood-based agriculture in the upper delta with higher value agricultural intensification and innovation based on double rice and flood based aquaculture/horticulture, and consequently reducing flood and erosion risks for the middle delta.

- Protecting the fertile fruit zone in the mid-eastern delta from increasing salinity.

The transition toward a high-value agrobusiness-industry economy requires a significant shift in focus from government: away from a role dominated by planning and monitoring efforts towards a role in actively pursuing an "enabling environment" by acting as incubator for innovation and sustainability, in close cooperation with the private sector. Embedment in a coordinating body at the interprovincial level is essential and can facilitate effective funnelling of ODA resources and FDI within the delta.