“Sustainable Mekong Workshop Series (SM)” International Conference – Part 1 (SM2022): “Sustainable Development In Rural Areas”

7 October, 2022

The Mekong Delta is a key area for agricultural production and export of Vietnam and the world. Although accounting for only 11.8% of the area and 17.6% of the population, the Mekong Delta accounts for 90% of rice, 70% of fruit, and 65% of Vietnamese seafood exports. Despite playing an important role in the national economy, this region is facing many difficult problems that need to be researched, analyzed, interpreted, and given urgent solutions concerning climate change issues, environmental protection, financial policy issues, taxes, investment in transport infrastructure to migration issues, sustainable tourism development, and other social issues. This is the reason why the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH) officially organized the international conference series “Sustainable Mekong Workshop Series (SM)”.
In order to implement Resolution No. 13-NQ/TW dated April 2nd, 2022 of the 13th Politburo on the direction of socio-economic development, ensuring national defense and security in the Mekong Delta until 2030, vision to 2045; Resolution No. 120/NQ-CP of the Government on Sustainable development of the Mekong Delta to adapt to climate change in order to implement the development goals of the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City into a multidisciplinary and sustainable University and to aim to integrate dynamic domestic and international cooperation activities, contributing to the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta region; UEH – Vinh Long Campus held an international conference called “Sustainable Mekong” (SM). Term 1 (SM2022) with the theme: “Sustainable Development in rural areas” took place on the morning of September 23rd, 2022.
Attending the seminar, on the side of the invited delegates, there were: Mr. Cao Hong Hung – Deputy Director of the Standing Office of the Department of Party Central Committee of Mass Mobilization Ho Chi Minh City; Leaders of Departments, Branches, Colleges and Universities in the Mekong Delta including MSc. Dang Van Tuan – Acting Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of Tien Giang Province; Dr. Le Minh Tung – Vice President of Tien Giang University; Dr. Nguyen Minh Tien – Director of Can Tho Campus, College of External Economics; MSc. Nguyen Thi My Linh – Vice Rector of Vinh Long College; MSc. Huynh Minh Hiep – Vice Rector of Vinh Long Vocational College.
On behalf of UEH, there was the participation of Prof. Dr. Su Dinh Thanh – President of UEH; Dr. Dinh Cong Khai – Vice Rector of UEH College of Economics, Law and Government (CELG); Dr. Nguyen Duc Tri – Dean of School of Tourism, UEH College of Business (CoB); Dr. Trinh Tu Anh – Director of the Institute of Smart Cities and Management, UEH College of Technology and Design (CTD); MSc. Nguyen Thi Thy Lieu – Standing Deputy Director of Vinh Long Campus; Dr. Yi Dong Su – Vice Rector of College of Technology and Design (CTD); Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vo Tat Thang – Vice Dean of School of Economics, Dean of HAPRI Institute (CELG); Dr. Bui Phu Hung – School of Foreign Languages; Dr. Do Kien Trung – International Coordinator at Vinh Long Campus; along with the Board of Directors, Leaders of Units under the Campus, lecturers and students at the Campus.
Overview of the conference
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Prof. Dr. Su Dinh Thanh – President of UEH – shared: “Mekong Delta is the largest agricultural production center of Vietnam. However, the region faces many difficulties with climate change and sustainable development. In addition, the poor transport system limits the region’s ability to attract international investment, which limits the economic potential of the Mekong Delta. Therefore, there is an urgent need to conduct research and propose practical and effective solutions for the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta. This year’s series of sustainable Mekong seminars (referred to as SM) were first held at UEH – Vinh Long Campus, with the main theme: “Sustainable development in rural areas”. The workshop will provide an open discussion forum for scholars, researchers, and experts, making a meaningful contribution to the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta in response to climate change.
Prof. Dr. Su Dinh Thanh – President of UEH – delivering the opening speech of the workshop
The Presiding Board of the Conference running the plenary session
The seminar received the attention of attending, submitting articles and presentations from more than 90 scientists who are lecturers and managers of Institutes, Schools, Departments, and Branches in the Mekong Delta region and Ho Chi Minh City. Thereby, the panel of experts selected 31 quality articles published in the yearbook with the ISBN index.
In particular, the conference received the attention of two international scientists as keynote speakers: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hisaki Kono – Faculty of Economics, Kyoto University, Japan and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Karen Abalos-Orendain – Faculty of Philosophy, Diliman University, Philippines.
The conference was divided into two sessions. 02 presentations by 02 keynote speakers presented the plenary session, in which Assoc. Prof. Dr. Karen Connie Abalos-Orendain with her essay “A Cosmopolitan Perspective of the Right to Move: Thoughts on the Sustainability of Internal and External Migration”. The paper addressed the issue in Vietnam: Rural-to-urban migration, contributing to the economic and social sustainability of the communities from which they leave – that is, rural areas and we can sustain our communities even as we protect our fundamental right to move.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Karen Connie Abalos-Orendain presenting her topic
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hisaki Kono presented the topic “At the Right Time: Modifying Repayment and Disbursement Schedule in Microcredit”. The paper showed that for backline Crop credit and Sequential credit, people are more involved; at the same time, borrowers are more satisfied but their payment ability does not change. Sequential credit increases seasonal investment more than iterative investments and reduces loan size.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hisaki Kono presenting her topic
The plenary session of the Conference receiving many practical comments and contributions from the participants and speakers.
After the plenary session, the workshop was divided into 3 parallel sessions with topics of interest in sustainable development in the Mekong Delta region. In session 1 with the theme “Towards comprehensive development policies”, important talks were presented, including: “Orienting the Mekong Delta region towards becoming a livable place for people – Migration issues need to be solved” by Dr. Lam Thi Truc Linh – Dean of School of Accounting, Vinh Long Campus; “Sustainable development: the role of the banking industry in promoting social responsibility” by Dr. Nguyen Quoc Anh – Lecturer in Department of Banking Administration; “Agricultural tourism in the Mekong Delta: An overview of theory and practice” by Dr. Hoang An Quoc – Lecturer at the School of Social Scientific.
The scene of parallel session 1
Session 2 discussed social and environmental issues with the themes presented includes: “Community psychology and sustainable development of community psychology in the Mekong Delta” by Dr. Dinh Phuoc Tuong – Lecturer at Vinh Long University of Technology and Education; “Solutions to deal with climate change and natural environment degradation in the Mekong Delta” by MSc. Le Tuan Manh – Lecturer in School of Banking and Finance, Vinh Long Campus; “Rice production chain in the Mekong region and the disadvantage of farmers: Phenomenological intervention” by Dr. Do Kien Trung – Lecturer at UEH School of Social Scientific.
The scene of parallel session 2
Session 3 with the content “Solutions for sustainable tourism” with the themes presented includes: “Sustainable tourism development in the Mekong Delta with typical local products” by Ms. Dang Thi Bao Ngoc – Lecturer in School of Accounting, Vinh Long Campus; “Sustainable tourism development with digital transformation in Vinh Long province” by MSc. Phan Thi Thuy Kieu – Lecturer at School of Information Technology, Vinh Long Campus.
Overview of the workshop at parallel session 3
SM2022 with the theme “Sustainable Development in rural areas” officially ended. The success of the seminar is a good start for SM’s next interesting and practical topics. The Organizing Committee of the conference sincerely thanks the Central agencies, leaders of Departments, Colleges, Universities, and scientists in the Mekong Delta region for their valuable time attending and contributing to the conference. UEH wishes to continue to accompany the delegates on the upcoming topics, with the goal of a developed, prosperous and sustainable Mekong Delta.
Additional photos relating to the conference:
News, photos: Vinh Long Branch