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Vietnam to develop international standard ports

Development of major ports and port clusters will get priority in the new master plan for the country’s port system for 2021-2030, Deputy Minister of Transport Nhat Nguyen has said.

Speaking at a conference held by the Vietnam Maritime Administration in Hai Phong City on Wednesday, he said the development of a synchronised seaport network would be essential to meet the burgeoning export demand and keep pace with the country’s socio-economic development.

Vietnam lacks a large international standard port while a number of small ones have inadequate infrastructure, resulting in inefficient port operations, according to the deputy minister.

The plan seeks to improve the efficiency of investment in ports, promote marine infrastructure and connectivity with other transport infrastructure and reduce logistics costs.

It targets increasing annual cargo capacity to 1.14-1.42 billion tonnes and passenger capacity to 10.1-10.3 million by 2030, and to fulfil these targets, international maritime gateways in the northern city of Hai Phong, the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau and the central economic zone will be given priority for development of major ports and clusters that can accommodate large container ships.

Nhat Nguyen called for focusing on Hai Phong and Cai Mep ports and developing them into international standard ports.

The cost of developing a port system is estimated at around VND150-200 trillion (US$6.4-8.6 billion) over the next 10 years without including the cost of specialised ports and berths.

The country’s ports have attracted enormous investment in recent years, resulting in a steady increase in cargo capacity, he pointed out.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s ports handled more than 689 million tonnes of cargo in 2020, a 4 per cent increase from the previous year.

As of 2019, there were 34 ports in the country with 588 berths and a total cargo capacity of 664.6 million tonnes a year.