In the first two months of this year, only two regional provinces, Long An and Tien Giang, attracted three foreign-invested projects, with a total registered capital of only US$1.63 million.
The region's unsatisfactory performance has been attributed to poor strategies to attract investment, which has resulted in competition among provinces and a lack of coordinated investment promotion, according to Tran Huu Hiep, head of the Southeastern Steering Committee's socio-economic department.
FDI has also been hindered by insufficient infrastructure and a shortage of skilled workers.
He called for tighter linkages among provinces to exploit the region's advantages, particularly in infrastructure and agriculture, and asked provincial authorities to take steps to enhance the number and quality of laborers.
In addition, he recommended creating a regional linkage mechanism, a trade-tourism-investment promotion plan until 2015, and a co-operative strategy between the region and national and international organizations.
Speaking at a seminar on the Provincial Competitiveness Index held in Can Tho on Tuesday, Dau Anh Tuan of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the Mekong Delta had not fulfilled its potential as an attractive destination for local and foreign investors.
The amount of investment, which is mostly from domestic companies, is low compared to Da Nang and Binh Duong Province.
Only a few foreign-invested businesses have chosen to invest in the region, with only six foreign-invested projects in Long An Province and four in Can Tho City being launched last year.