Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has asked the railway sector to create a more “friendly” face for itself along with accelerating renovations to meet requirements of industrialisation and modernisation.

Speaking at a January 3 Vietnam Railways (VNR) conference, the minister pointed to the sector’s bottlenecks such as slow infrastructure development, especially big projects, and out-of-date technologies in ticketing and management.

It is a crucial task for the corporation to improve the quality of its services, he said, reasoning that the sector now has to compete with various services such as aviation and expressways.

Thang urged the corporation to ensure convenience, punctuality, safety, efficiency and the satisfaction of customers while partnering with other units under the ministry to complete the institutions and policies on railways.

Apart from screening the Railway Law, the sector should carry out a restructuring strategy for further development, the minister said.

The VNR targets an increase of 6 percent in revenue in 2014 and at least a 7 percent reduction in the number of railway accidents compared with the previous year.

Last year, the corporation earned more than 11.3 trillion VND (roughly 531 million USD), representing a year-on-year rise of 8.9 percent.-VNA