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The regional association - an important measure for sustainable development of the southeastern region (P.2) Print
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 10:18

VIETRADE - Environmental experts warned that if all IPs in the region are filled all area, Dong Nai River system will have to receive approximately 1.54 million m3 of industrial waste water, in which about 278 tons of suspended solid, 231 tons of BOD5, 493 tons of COD, 89 tons of total nitrogen, 12 tons of phosphorus heavy metals and other toxic pollutant agents. Also, each day about 1.73 million m3 of domestic wastewater, of which about 702 tons of suspended solids, 421 tons of BOD5, 756 tons of COD, 59 tons of total nitrogen, 15 tons of phosphorus, 243 tons of non-minerals oil and many other germs will be discharged directly into Dong Nai River system. Without effective protection measures, tens of millions of people living around Dong Nai River basin are at risk of water shortage due to polluted water river. In our opinion, the lack of provincial association in the Southeastern Region results from following main reasons:

First, administrative boundary and geographic division of provinces, cities are major barrier to collaboration, accordingly, it does not promote the maximum capacity of the region.

Secondly, there is no unified central point to manage and coordinate the regional development efforts in all localities. The current form and mechanism of coordination among provinces is still spontaneous and only under the commitment-level form of agreements between local leaders. The cooperation program of the economic development, therefore is partial and do not promote effectively the comparative advantages of each region.

Thirdly, each province or city has its own people's council and people's committee, the control and enforcement agency of its policies and budgets. The objective of these two agencies is the development of each province or city rather than the regional association. The financial investment in regional strategies hence is not given priority or not easily accepted.


Certain measures for sustainable development of the Southeastern Region

How to develop the economy of the Southeastern Region and what the development direction is are issues concerned by region's manager and economics. In our opinion, it should focus on the following issues in the near future:


Firstly, the Government should have special operational policy and mechanism for the Southeastern Region to ensure a favorable development condition and perform the leading mission to other economic regions. Therefore, the issuance of appropriate management policies and mechanisms to fully exploit the inherent regional strengths is an objective requirement and the common benefit for the whole country. The policy system must make specific operational institutions and the coordination mechanism in order to create internal regional association and the association between the region and other economic areas, thereby to maximize its potentialities and advantages.


Secondly, there should be a unified focal point for managing and coordinating the regional development efforts at all localities. The most important function of a unified focal point is to coordinate and consult; coordinate between levels, from central to local level and consult levels in process of development, adjustment and supplement and planning. There should have a permanent consultation apparatus, including experts.


Thirdly, leaders of provinces should work together to strengthen and give out early the regional planning based on individual characteristics of each province. These local efforts can bring about efficiency only when having a general coordination mechanism of the overall regional development in order to promote the common advantages under the competition and integration context. Each province has its own advantage of society, geography, economics, etc. so the regional planning should be based on such comparative advantages, for example, Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau have a clear comparative advantage over the other provinces. The neighboring provinces and cities with comparative advantages in land, labor, and agriculture can complement Ho Chi Minh City’s weaknesses. Ho Chi Minh City should be a centre to associate localities each other and become a dynamic leader which attracts and distributes capital source, science and technology and management in the region. This is an inevitable association towards the sustainable development aiming to harness and promote the internal resources of each locality and the region to create new comparative advantages, to create new resilience for the comprehensive regional development. Ho Chi Minh City should focus on only economic activities with high qualified human and high technology usage and leave the field of industrial production for other provinces with advantage of cheap labor and land.


Fourthly, it should have coordination and priority for investment in synchronously constructing the regional infrastructure.

- To build and expand quickly Thi Vai Port Complex (including Go Dau, Phu My, Cai Mep Port and Cai Mep-Phu Tan Ports), construct Sao Mai-Ben Dinh Port into an international transshipment port with cargo capacity of about 40-50 million tons/year.

- To build highway with 6-8 lanes for speed of 120km/h along highway 51 and slightly to the east, with corridor width of 140-180m stretching from Vung Tau City through highway 1A bypassing Bien Hoa City to the north, across Dong Nai River to Thu Dau Mot and then connecting the road and a branch across Nhon Trach to Thu Thiem.

- The corridor of highway 51 has more one-meter railway and gas pipeline. The railway from Sao Mai-Ben Dinh Port connecting to the North-South railway. To renovate the railway hub of Ho Chi Minh City, to construct railway from Ho Chi Minh City to Vung Tau, Phnom Penh, Southwest and Western Highlands. Gas pipeline connects from the sea to travel along the highway and spread to urban centers.

- To upgrade the highway 1A from Ho Chi Minh City to the Southwest to become an expressway and upgrade highways 53, 28.27, 14 and provincial road 784.

- Speed up the construction progress of the international airport Long Thanh (Dong Nai).


Fifthly, there should have a coordination among localities regarding to environmental protection problem. In addition to the positive aspects of industrial growth, the development of local industries in the region causes the serous environmental consequences. Therefore, it is necessary to determine contents and projects which should have close coordination on the regional scale to tackle overall environmental issues, including water supply and drainage associated with the region’s main rivers (Dong Nai, Sai Gon and Vam Co Dong Rivers).


To achieve the objective of economic growth and environmental protection, it should enhance the institutional framework and resources for supervision and enforcement. It is better to raise public awareness on hazardous waste management, especially objects causing pollution, and waste treatment units. It needs developing a fee collection system on the principle that the polluter must pay money and the economic units are encouraged to reduce hazardous waste rate. It requires the close cooperation among cities and provinces in the region when considering large investment projects, which affect general environment of the region. In short, for the purpose of sustain development of the Southeastern Region, provinces and cities should have general guidelines, enhance coordination with each other, especially early give out the regional master planning and investment association. Potentials and advantages of the region are promoted at maximize level only when provinces and cities have an association with each other, one general direction and give the overall benefit as top priority.(the end)

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