Monday, November 2, 2009

Infrastructure And Port Development As Vietnam Faces The Future

Discussions Aim to Develop Links with Several Nations
Shipping News Feature

VIETNAM – A frenzied burst of diplomatic activity has seen the government’s leaders in talks with several world powers this past couple of weeks. As the country moves away from its unique position in foreign investors minds, the Prime Minister has demonstrated that he fully understands the lamentable logistics position within his borders. Speaking openly Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said to the National Assembly that the state of the country’s infrastructure had not improved this past year and that improvements were essential to roads and drainage plus the upgrading of water and electricity supplies.

Coming from the ASEAN conference the government spokesmen seem invigorated and have initiated several conversations with other governments. Prime Minister Dung spoke to Vladimir Putin last week and reportedly received an invitation to Moscow to discuss trade developments. On Friday he met with a Japanese delegation to thank them for financial assistance and discuss his government’s plans for further cooperation and the Viet – Japanese technology exhibition later this month in Hanoi. Dung also met with premier Wen in Chengdu recently and the Chinese leader seemed keen to promote further links between the two after protests and alleged assaults on Vietnamese fishermen has caused conflict with regard to sovereignty of the Paracel Islands.

Work has commenced on Vietnam’s largest port complex at Van Phong in Khanh Hoa province. The government have quoted figures of a cargo throughput of 200 million tonnes per annum by the time it is operational in 2020. This seems more realistic than the 600 million tonnes quoted by government sources previously but giant strides to improve both road and rail transport links through to neighbouring Cambodia and on to South East Thailand would seem to be essential to its prosperity as a major container port. We have already reported on the Ho Chi Minh port complex in a previous story.

Pic: Woody Island, Paracel Island Group