The total volume of goods handled through the nation's seaport system last year recorded an impressive figure of an estimated 689.07 million tonnes, a rise of 4% from 2019. Indeed, the volume of container cargo through seaports last year stood at an estimated at 22.14 million TEUs, up 13% from 2019.
With regard to the development of the port sector in 2021 and in the subsequent years, Nguyen Xuan Sang, director of Vietnam Maritime Administration, said his agency has already compiled a seaport development plan for the 2021 to 2030 period. In addition, it also has a vision towards 2050 which needs to be submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for approval. This plan covers adjustments to Soc Trang – Tran De seaport, Lach Huyen port area, and a project aimed at improving the operational efficiency of Hai Phong seaport.
The sector will also firmly focus on implementing detailed planning for groups of seaports, ports, wharves, and water areas, along with devising a detailed plan for the development of an inland port system.
In total, there are seven projects that will receive increased investment moving forward, with a specific focus on an overall and comprehensive study of the shipping route of Cai Mep – Thi Vai port, along with a dredge project to serve the operation of Nam Can port in the southernmost province of Ca Mau.
In terms of international co-operation, the Vietnam Maritime Administration will promote the exchange and negotiation to finalise the signing of an agreement with Azerbaijan, whilst continuing negotiations on a draft bilateral maritime transport agreement with the Netherlands and Finland. These efforts will be done alongside forging an agreement regarding the recognition of seafarers’ certificates of competency under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention with Finland and the UK.
Furthermore, market researcher Fitch Solutions believes that along with various road construction projects, the development of deep-water ports will serve to have a positive impact. Relevant projects include the Gemalink Port at the Cai Mep – Thi Vai International Port, which will be operational in 2021, and the third and fourth wharves at Lach Huyen Port, expected to begin operation in 2025.
Experts of Viet Dragon Securities Corporation forecast that Cai Mep – Thi Vai will witness a surge of over 20% in maritime transport flows due to direct sea routes opening with the United States and the EU. Meanwhile, the volume of cargo settled at Hai Phong Port is expected to increase 10% thanks to a recovery in trade within Asia and robust signs of growth in the US.
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