The northern city of Hai Phong has strongly fostered its marine-based economy, the Vietnam Economic News reported on September 19.

Head of Hai Phong Port Authority Bui Van Minh said in the first seven months of 2014, Hai Phong seaport had received 10,430 domestic and foreign ships, a 12 percent year on year increase and the volume of goods via the seaport had reached 37.2 million, up 17 percent over the same period last year.

Hai Phong is a centrally-governed coastal city about 102 km from Hanoi . The entire mainland area of the city is surrounded by the sea and rivers with five main river mouths flowing to the sea on a 125km coastal length including Thai Binh, Van Uc (southern Do Son), Lach Tray, Bach Dang and Lach Huyen (northern Do Son) river mouths.

After more than 100 years of establishment and development, Hai Phong seaport has an important role in the domestic and foreign trade activities. The seaport system has always played a key role in the city’s economy through shipping services, storage and a large number of other support services.

To promote the development of the seaport system, the city has created favourable mechanisms for Dinh Vu seaport area. The city has planned to move businesses along the Cam River to Dinh Vu. Hundreds of billions of dong have been invested in Dinh Vu, helping to transform this fallow land into the busiest seaport in the northern region. It is estimated that more than 60 million tonnes of goods will be handled via Hai Phong seaport this year.

According to marine-based economy experts, the limitation of the Hai Phong seaport system has revealed in its scattered investment. The data of Hai Phong Port Authority showed that the city has 42 wharves with quay length of over 10km. The average loading and unloading capacity of the whole seaport system is only 50-60 percent of advanced seaports in the Southeast Asia region.

The experts also said that to make the most of the advantages offered by maritime trade, Hai Phong needs to develop a sustainable and efficient marine-based economy; invest in marine science; set up mechanism of cross-sectoral coordination in sea management; and boost multilateral cooperation on marine-based economic development.-VNA