Better transport connectivity needed to drive Mekong Delta’s development hinh anh 1Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The (standing) addresses the conference in Soc Trang province on December 12 (Photo: VNA)

Soc Trang (VNA) – A conference in Soc Trang province on December 12 underlined the need for transport infrastructure connectivity in the Mekong Delta to fuel local development.

According to the Ministry of Transport, there are four modes of transport in the Mekong Delta, namely land, inland waterways, sea and air transport. 

About 131.7 million tonnes of cargo were transported in the region last year. Freight transportation has grown by about 6.2 percent annually between 2010 and 2017. Up to 70 percent of the freight was transported by water, and the remaining 30 percent by land.

Meanwhile, passenger transport served 707.7 million people in the delta in 2017, growing by 3.4 percent from 2010 to 2017. Land transport is responsible for about 83 percent of passenger volume, while inland waterways transport serves more than 16 percent.

Air transport remains modest compared to the potential of the region, which is the biggest agriculture and aquaculture hub of Vietnam and home to about 19 million people.

At the conference, participants pointed out the necessity to complete infrastructure for all four modes of transport to connect localities within the Mekong Delta, as well as the region with other Vietnamese regions and foreign destinations.

They urged opening new expressways and upgrading arterial roads in the region, noting that some traffic bottlenecks have appeared, several stretches of National Highway 1A have been degraded, while some important roads or bridges haven’t been connected, making local transport infrastructure fail to meet development demand.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said the Mekong Delta boasts plenty of advantages, but is still less developed than other regions in Vietnam.

He called for the early completion of some transport projects, including Trung Luong – My Thuan and My Thuan – Can Tho expressways, Dai Ngai Bridge linking Soc Trang and Tra Vinh provinces, and the expansion of Can Tho airport. 

The official also underscored the need for a deepwater port for the whole Mekong Delta region to reduce goods transportation costs and time.

Speaking at this meeting, Secretary of the Soc Trang Party Committee Phan Van Sau said it is necessary to develop a gateway seaport for the region, with Tran De port the main facility in this province.

Tran De Estuary is the most suitable location for a deepwater port of the Mekong Delta since it is located at the centre of the region and near Nam Song Hau National Highway, which is favourable for goods transportation.

Making a development plan on this seaport has been permitted by the Prime Minister, he noted.-VNA