Investment and Trade Promotion Mission in Singapore on May 28th, 2019

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Can Tho’s mission for trade, investment promotion to Singapore and Malaysia led by Mr. Pham Van Hieu, Standing Deputy Secretary of Party Committee, Chairman of Can Tho City People’s Council with the purpose of creating conditions for Can Tho’s enterprises to reach Singapore and Malaysia markets; enhancing investment and trade promotion, strengthening trade matching, supporting enterprises to export rice, aquatic products, processed agricultural products … for accessing, expanding market, developing business plans to Singapore and Malaysia markets.

In recent years, Singapore has always been the leading strategic partner in calling for foreign investment. Currently, Can Tho city has 82 FDI projects with a total registered capital of about 719.95 million USD, in which, there are 10 FDI projects of Singapore, with total registered capital of about 129.24 million USD. (Source: Department of Planning and Investment).

In the field of trade, Can Tho city has investment and trade relations with many Singapore enterprises. In 2018, export turnover of goods and foreign currency collection service reached 2,070.65 million USD, increasing 13.14% compared to 2017; in which Singapore market is 31.7 million USD, the main export products are rice, seafood, garments, pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines, feathers, agricultural products and processed agricultural products, import turnover reached 450 million USD, increasing 5.17% compared to 2017; in which import from Singapore reached 11.9 million USD, mainly pharmaceutical materials, chemicals, garment materials and machinery (Source: Department of Industry and Trade).

In Singapore, on May 28th, 2019, the delegation visited Center for Liveable Cities where is a stored place and responsible for building Singapore into a worth-living city.

Besides, the delegation worked with International Finance Company (IFC) – the company belonging to World Bank (WB), in charge of WB’s financial issues, specializing in providing trade finance for agricultural production company. For agriculture, Can Tho City is currently building an applied high-tech urban agricultural model, breeding food safety and hygiene, building pangasius farming areas and raising aquaculture models effectively … in order to create a premise to continue implementing city agricultural restructuring, expand the scale of effective commodity production for key agricultural products: rice, fruit, fisheries, breeding.In addition, enterprises in agriculture still face certain difficulties, namely:

– Currently, the qualifications of labor force managers in agricultural enterprises are still low. The necessary skills such as IT, foreign languages, negotiation skills … of management staffs are still limited. In particular, most students after graduating from universities and colleges still have the thought of “working for money” rather than starting a business.

– Regarding agricultural equipment, production equipment and technology, a number of businesses in this field expressed concern when their machinery, equipment and production technology were from the 1990s onwards and very backward. Meanwhile, the production scale of agricultural enterprises is still small compared to the actual needs and to enterprises of other economic sectors. Because of the small size of capital, it is difficult to expand production, business and market.

– Another problem is the lack of accessing to loans from banks, especially small-sized enterprises, because the business plan is not feasible, not enough mortgage conditions for loans.

– In addition, agricultural enterprises’ ability to access international markets is weak due to the lack of information on markets and regulations of international trade. As a result, the market access of agricultural enterprises is very limited.

Therefore, at the meeting, the city leaders had a specific discussion with International Finance Company (IFC)  about the plan of cooperation, support of the company in Can Tho city in the coming time, especially for agricultural production, capital support, technology companies, as well as valuable agricultural products for Can Tho City in particular and Mekong Delta in general. Can Tho city’s Government will create the best opportunity for the company to research and cooperate effectively to contribute to motivate and support businesses investing in agriculture and rural to promote agricultural businesses rapidly developing.

Da Uyen