A forum on the driving forces and challenges for the development of Vietnam ’s coastal economic zones was held in Nha Trang city, in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa , on June 8.

The forum, part of Vietnam Sea and Island Week 2011, drew the participation of over 100 delegates from home and abroad, including managers, law makers, researchers and investors from Japan, US, the EU and the Republic of Korea.

According to Dr. Nguyen Mai, Chairman of the Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises, Vietnam draws 20-30 billion USD of foreign direct investment a year, and as a result, the country should take effective measures to attract capital to the marine economic sectors.

Deputy Head of the Economic Zone Management Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong suggested the operations of the coastal economic zones should closely connect to the advantages of each region.

Under the national sea strategy until 2020, the sea-based economy will contribute 53-55 percent to GDP and 55-60 percent of export value by 2020.

Vietnam now has 15 coastal economic zones with the first, Chu Lai, established in 2003. Of 170 trillion VND invested in infrastructure in these zones, foreign investment accounted for 75 percent./.