Vietnam promotes Can Tho to special city, focusing on Mekong Delta

Vietnam is granting Can Tho, on the Mekong Delta, a special status to draw investment amid China’s growing presence in the country and the South China Sea.

The National Assembly approved the plan to promote the southern city on Tuesday. With this resolution, Hanoi will grant the city increased autonomy to issue local government bonds and retain more of its budget for its own development rather than contributing to the government’s coffers. More flexibility will be granted in the area of city planning on a trial basis.

The resolution will take effect on March 1 and be implemented for five years.

Can Tho, with a population of 1.2 million, will become a “core city of the Mekong Delta region” by 2030, according to the resolution. Vietnam intends to draw investments totaling dozens of billions of dollars, according to the blueprint for 2022 to 2030. Despite its growth potential, the city has been lagging behind Haiphong and Danang in terms of development as Hanoi prioritized investment in northern cities.

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TOMOYA ONISHI, Nikkei staff writer