Ho Chi Minh City wants Flanders, a northern region of Belgium, to strengthen its assistance and cooperation on seaport industry development, seaport management and port construction amid rising sea water levels.

Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan told Minister for Mobility and Public Works of the Flanders Region Hilde Crevits in a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on November 10.

Chairman Quan also said he hopes the Belgian government and Flanders region will continue assisting his city in the next phase of the Soai Rap River dredging project and construction of Hiep Phuoc Port. Besides this, Ho Chi Minh City and Flanders region should promote economic, cultural and educational ties in the coming time, added Chairman Quan.

For her part, Minister Hilde Crevits highly valued the potential of seaport development of Ho Chi Minh City and said Belgian partner will help Vietnam enhance its seaport exploitation and link with international seaport network.

Minister Hilde Crevits also said she hopes many Flemish enterprises will go to Ho Chi Minh City to seek for investment opportunities in the coming time. Besides seaport cooperation, the two sides need to continue maintaining and expanding the economic cooperation ties especially in importing coffee and seafood produces from Vietnam.
During her trip, the Belgium minister visited the Soai Rap dredging project financed by Belgium ’s government. Of the 2.8 trillion VND (134 million USD) investment, 2.2 trillion VND (105 million USD) comes from the Belgian Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans and the rest from the city budget.

Once completed in 2014, the Soai Rap River will be able to receive large vessels of 50,000-70,000 DWT and will help speed up the construction of the Hiep Phuoc Port.

The use of the Soai Rap River, together with Cai Mep- Thi Vai River in Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province , is expected to help the southern economic zone become one of the country’s most important zones and Hiep Port , one of the major ports in the region.

Hiep Phuoc Port , which is 30 kilometers from the city center and 17km from Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone, will cover more than 100 hectares in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park in Hiep Phuoc Commune along the Soai Rap River.-VNA