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Nation seeks to double sea-trade by 2010   2008-11-25 - VNA

Vietnam plans to pump 60 trillion VND (over 3.5 billion USD) into developing its seaport system, aiming to double its current cargo handling capacity to 250 million tonnes by 2010.

Under the terms of the Transport Ministry’s plan, 20.5 trillion VND will be allocated for the northern region, 14 trillion VND for the central region, 20.1 trillion VND for the southern region, and 2 trillion VND for the southwestern region.

The maritime sector is currently developing at an astonishing rate, with recent plans for the construction of ten seaports, including several deep-water ports capable of receiving ships with a capacity of up to 100,000 DWT.

Out of these, four projects are still due to commence construction; Sai Gon port, with total investment capital of 791 million USD is expected to become operational by 2010, and the 165 million USD Vung Tau port, which is scheduled to be completed next year.

Additional projects include Nhon Hoi Gemadept international port in Binh Dinh province, with total capital of 230 million USD and a 120 million USD project to build three wharfs in Cai Lan port in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

The Government has entrusted the Transport Ministry with completing adjustments to the plan by early 2009 with the aim of maximising the performance of the seaports.

The Head of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, Vuong Dinh Lam, said that, recently Vietnam ’s seaports have experienced a surge in both the number of ships docking and the volume of cargo being handled.

He said that, during 2007, the country’s seaports handled almost 177.6 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of 12.7 percent over the previous year. Of this total, 57 percent of cargo was transported via seaports in the south of the country, 30 percent in the north and 13 percent in the central region.

In the first half of this year alone, the seaports received over 46,800 ships, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent.

Many seaports, particularly those in Ho Chi Minh City , are becoming overloaded due to high levels of import-export activity. In an effort to cope with this urgent issue, the HCM City ’s People’s Committee has recently approved a project to dredge the Soai Rap canal in order to open a deep-water port in Nha Be, capable of receiving vessels of 50,000-70,000 DWT.

Foreign experts have also warned Vietnam of the need of the need to develop its seaports to in order to keep pace with economic growth.

At a seminar on Vietnam ’s seaports held in Hanoi several months ago, First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam Jin Kimoto stressed the need to develop the country’s seaports in order to reach its investment and import-export import targets.

With support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Vietnam Maritime Administration has been carrying out a project to improve the management capacity of Vietnam ’s seaports in order to create an advanced model of seaport management.

This model is due to be tested initially in Cai Mep-Thi Vai port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, then extended to other ports.

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