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Kiên Giang keen to become sea-based economic powerhouse by 2025

Boasting 200km of coastline and 143 islands, the Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang is striving to branch out its maritime sector and become a sea-based economic powerhouse by 2025.

The move aims to contribute to realising the ‘Strategy for Sustainable Development of Việt Nam’s Marine Economy by 2030 with a Vision to 2045’.

According to Permanent Deputy Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Mai Van Huỳnh, the province is prioritising building its maritime sector to boost economic development while protecting the environment and strengthening national defence at sea and on islands.

Major investments have been made in several key industries, such as seafood, tourism-marine services, energy, and the maritime industry, among others, helping the province rank second among the 13 Mekong Delta localities in terms of maritime economic development in 2020.

The sea-based economy accounted for 79.75 per cent of the local gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in the year, he added.

High-capacity fishing vessels have been built to bolster offshore fishing, contributing to sustainable fisheries and the protection of the nation’s sovereignty over sea and islands.

With vast fishing grounds and a strong fleet, the province’s annual seafood output tops 500,000 tonnes and its aquaculture yield was estimated at more than 264,100 tonnes in 2020.

Kiên Giang is working to secure a total seafood catch and aquaculture output of 800,000 tonnes by 2025.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, farming areas in Phú Quốc City, Kiên Hải island district, the island commune of Tiên Hải in Hà Tiên City, and Sơn Hải and Hòn Nghệ in Kiên Lương District will focus on farming groupers, cobias, yellow-fin pompanos, and seabass, as well as blue lobster, mantis shrimp, crab, and oysters for pearl farming.

Meanwhile, coastal areas in Hà Tiên City and the districts of Kiên Lương, Hòn Đất, An Minh, and An Biên will develop zones for farming molluscs such as blood cockles, saltwater mussels, green mussels, and oysters.

Attention will be paid to high-tech aquaculture, the development of quality staples with high economic value, and measures to prevent illegal fishing.

Local maritime tourism has helped drive the tourism sector thanks to renowned destinations like Phú Quốc Island. A huge amount of capital has been injected into Phú Quốc City for years, most of which comes from strategic investors such as Vingroup, Sun Group, BIM Group, and CEO Group.

According to the provincial Department of Tourism, the province welcomed more than 5.2 million visitors in 2020, accounting for 55.8 per cent of the goal but down 40.7 per cent year-on-year. Revenue from tourism services was at more than VNĐ7.8 trillion (US$339.8), or 39.3 per cent of the target, and down 57.7 per cent compared to 2019.

Local tourism is seeing a sound recovery thanks to stimulus measures.

The province will sharpen its focus on tourism infrastructure at key attractions, including Phú Quốc Island.

Vice Director of the Department of Tourism Bùi Quốc Thái said the province encourages all economic sectors to build and diversify local tourism products, as well as join in efforts to form a major tourism centre.

Regarding energy development, the province prioritises investment in wind power, electrification, solar power, and many other sources of renewable energy.

It also plans to build coastal roads and improve logistics services, while working to preserve ocean biodiversity and restore ocean ecosystems, protecting mangrove forests in tandem with the effective and sustainable exploitation of marine resources. — VNS