VCN - The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed lessons on the regional connectivity in agricultural product consumption, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan at an online seminar "Connecting the supply and demand of agricultural products between the Mekong Delta region and Ho Chi Minh City" held by Nguoi Lao Dong (Workers) Newspaper in collaboration with Can Tho City People's Committee on September 14.
|The seminar took place online|
The head of the agricultural sector acknowledged that confusion in the implementation of Directive 16 in the southern provinces and cities has shown a lack of connectivity between the 13 provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta region as one entity but separated by administrative boundaries.
"If we consider the whole region as an entity, we will have a different treatment," Mr. Le Minh Hoan said.
Mr. Hoan also acknowledged part of the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development when it had not been able to assume a coordinating role to connect the broken points to operate during the pandemic in this area. Therefore, there is a requirement to reconsider regional thinking.
“To implement social distancing with the goal of fighting the pandemic, it is necessary to implement the policy of ‘people isolating from people, communes isolated from communes, districts isolated from districts, provinces isolated from provinces’ and ‘each province is a fortress’. But this is an anti-pandemic fortress, not an economic fortress because the economy needs connectivity," Mr. Le Minh Hoan said.
Agreeing with the above statement, Mr. Nguyen Phuong Lam, Director of VCCI Can Tho said that, among localities in the Mekong Delta, there is no consensus on trade regulations for the whole region; different provinces have different regulations. Specifically, a business going from Ho Chi Minh City to Bac Lieu has to go through 4-5 provinces, each province has different regulations, so it will be very difficult for enterprises.
Therefore, the Ministry of Transport must have uniform regulations for 13 provinces.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development needs to have a direction to connect and form unity among localities in the 13 provinces of the Mekong Delta to create conditions for businesses and traders to move, purchase and consume agricultural and aquatic products in the region. Along with that, the Mekong Delta provinces need to closely connect and with each other and Ho Chi Minh City to solve the problem of production, supply, and consumption of agricultural and aquatic products effectively.
Mr. Tran Bao Ngoc, Director of the Department of Transport, Ministry of Transport, also said that if Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta provinces want to develop, they must be considered as an entity. According to Mr. Ngoc, the problems in the commodity circulation on national highways and provincial roads stem from many reasons, of which provinces and cities must introduce regulations on inspection of commodity circulation in different ways, causing congestion.
“The Ministry of Transport has directed the Road Administration Department to grasp the difficulties of localities to guide the creation of green roads, facilitating and prioritizing essential goods, including agricultural products, for faster circulation in the country under pandemic control conditions. However, some localities may not fully understand this guideline, so the regulations are too strict. Along with that, the Ministry has guided and created favorable conditions for the transportation of goods by waterway, by air, and by railway," Mr. Ngoc said.
Up to now, the problems in commodity circulation have been fixed. However, there are still shortcomings, there are still localities that provide regulations on essential goods, conditions for rapid testing, or PCR for drivers and assistants.
“The Ministry has issued five temporary movement regulations, which stipulates very clearly that all goods, except goods banned from production and circulation, can be circulated on the road; all roads and waterways, if not banned, will be used for the transportation of goods," Mr. Ngoc said and required localities to thoroughly grasp the spirit of the Ministry of Transport to implement and facilitate for commodity circulation of enterprises.
By Nguyen Hien/Dieu Huong