S. Korea to build arboretum in southern Vietnamese city

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Dr. Kim Hak Min (standing) presents plans for the arboretum project on January 22 in Can Tho City.

An advanced botanical garden designed by Korean scientists will break ground by month's end in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho, said a city official on January 22.

Vo Thanh Thong, deputy chairman of Can Tho's People Committee, said the 4.5 hectare space at the city's Tra Noc 2 Industrial Zone will be handed to the South Korean Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) late this month to plant an arboretum, news website thoibaokinhtesaigon.vn reported Tuesday.

The garden is part of the VND400 billion project, 70 percent of the funding for which will come from South Korea. Building the arboretum was included in several agreements signed between the Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade and South Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy last March, and between the KITECH and the Can Tho's People Committee last December, said Thong.

Expected to open in 2015, the project aims at increasing the value of agricultural products and seafood, the main exports of the Mekong Delta region, to South Korea. 

Dr. Kim Hak Min, head of the KITECH delegation, said: "We have spent over a year working on this project. The arboretum will be developed to become part of a high-tech South Korean center in the Mekong Delta. The area will focus on processing seafood, rice, and fruit."

South Korean experts will help operate the arboretum when it is finished as well as training the Vietnamese staff that will be charge of the garden, said Kim.

He suggested that the Can Tho's People Committee should find ways to attract more investments to develop the arboretum in the future.

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