Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Dec. 27 issued an order to kick-start the project to build a passage for heavyweight vessels to the Hau River.

This is a significant event for the development of the Mekong Delta in general and the maritime sector in particular, marking an important step in seeking ways for the southwestern region’s import-export goods, PM Dung said.

It will also help improve the living conditions of people in 13 provinces and cities in the region, he added.

At present, the volume of the Mekong Delta’s import-export goods is estimated at around 15 million tonnes per year. However, the region’s river and sea port system can only handle 20-30 percent of goods volume. The two largest seaports in the region, namely Can Tho and Cai Cui, are only capable of receiving vessels with capacities of 3,000-5,000 tonnes.

Once completed in the next 36 months, the 40-km passage, which runs through the areas of Duyen Hai and Tra Cu districts of Tra Vinh province, will create favourable conditions for ships of 10,000-20,000 tonnes to come in and out ports on the Hau River.

Earlier, PM Dung met with Tra Vinh leaders to discuss the province’s socio-economic situation.

The PM praised the provincial authorities and people’s efforts in boosting socio-economic development, especially maintaining an annual GDP growth of over 10 percent.

He asked the provincial leaders to continue to instruct the effective implementation of policies on great national unity, ethnic minorities and religion, creating favourable conditions for the Khmer people to practise religious activities and actively participate in patriotic movements./.