Vietnam will upgrade its southern seaport system into a regional entrepot in the near future, local Vietnam News daily reported Monday, quoting statement from Minister of Transport (MoT) Dinh La Thang.
In line with the approved master plan for development of Vietnamese sea ports to the year 2020 and a vision to 2030, the No. 5 seaport system that covers all ports in southern economic hub Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City and neighboring Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai provinces, will be improved to reduce and eventually stop dependence on regional entrepot ports to ship Vietnamese commodities to overseas markets.
Focus will be made on upgrading the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, which would reduce the use of seaports in downtown HCM City.
Currently, commodities were still being transported to old seaports in downtown HCM City, as there is not yet any department or organization directly responsible for managing and operating the shipment process, according to the ministry.
To deal with the current situation, several measures are set forth, including a moratorium, until 2015, on issuing licenses for new container ports for the entire No. 5 system, including the Cai Mep Thi Vai port.
Plans for the 2015-2018 period are also set forth, including increasing volume of imported products coming through the No. 5 seaport system, especially through the Cai Mep Thi Vai Port, while limiting the number of foreign companies that can transport domestic goods to the Cai Mep Thi Vai Port.
The ministry will cooperate with Japan's International Co- operation Agency (JICA) to revamp the national seaport authority by giving it new responsibilities and functions, including an investment management function based on real market demand as well as the operational capacities of seaports.
The authority will be allowed to collect import and export taxes due on cargo shipments, saving companies a lot of time.
Under the plan, smaller ships or boats will be used to transport goods from HCM City to Cai Mep-Thi Vai in a short time to increase the volume of goods that the system handles.
In the long term, road connections between HCM City and Cai Mep- Thi Vai will be improved, and all port construction in HCM City stopped.
Investment into Ba Ria-Vung Tau, where the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port is located, will be encouraged, and cooperation between the port authority with agencies on construction of inter-port roads, development of logistics centers and building more wharves in Mekong Delta provinces will be further boosted.
The No. 5 seaport system is one among Vietnam's total eight port systems. It consists of 14 ports, including four in HCM City, five in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, and five in Dong Nai province. Commodities transported through the system account for more than 60 percent of the total load going through all ports of Vietnam, according to the transport ministry.