Saigon Seaport in the South of Vietnam

The Vietnam Seaports Association has announced a plan to develop terminal facilities in several southern localities to meet increased demand for seaborne transportation once the nation joins the WTO.

The plan calls for port facilities along the Sai Gon River to be moved out of the city centre within the next fifteen years, and for new port systems to be built.

The Sai Gon Central Container Port Company has invested in the US$249 million Sai gon Premier Container Terminal with a capacity to handle up to 30 million tonnes of cargo a year, making it the largest port in the south.

The facility is to be constructed on a 40 hectare site in the Hiep Phuoc industrial zone, located 10km from downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

Phan Hong Quan, general director of the Tan Thuan Industrial Promotion Company, one of the investors of the project, said the port would become an international gateway for Vietnam when it joins the WTO.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province is now waiting for government approval for two new seaport investment projects: the Cai Mep Container Port and Thi Vai General Port, with combined investment of over $350 million. The province also announced plans to upgrade its existing Ben Nghe, Rach Ong, and Phu Dinh ports.

The value of goods passing through Ho Chi Minh City ports last year reached US$29 billion, representing 40 per cent of the countrys total imports and exports, reported the seaports association.

Under a national five-year seaport development plan, the annual growth rate of cargo handling is targeted at 15 per cent by 2010, with volume projected at 70-80 million tonnes.

The southern economic area is expected to handle 20-30 million tonnes within five years, according to the plan.

Source: VNA