The Vietnam Maritime Administration has proposed that the Government build and develop deep-sea ports to international standards for large-tonnage ships from now until 2020.

Following the proposal, development will be concentrated on the country's international gateway ports in the northern city of Hai Phong and the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau.

The Van Phong Port in the central region, which officials anticipate will be an entry port, will also become a national general port.

"Such deep-sea ports have been established throughout the country, such as SP-PSA, CMIT, SP-SSA in Ba Ria - Vung Tau province, which allow access to 100,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT) ships," chief of the Vietnam Maritime Administration Nguyen Nhat told Giao Thong (Transport) newspaper.

"Many large shipping companies throughout the world, including Denmark's Maersk A/S, Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa Limited, and UAE's DP World, have taken an interest in Vietnam's seaports. We have established many direct routes for maritime transport to Europe and America, which help reduce the cost of goods and increase their intensity of competition in global markets."

He added that the country's seaport system still had many shortcomings, such as a lack of comprehensive development and management of infrastructure of seaports, ineffective development and utilisation of the potential of seaports.

To tackle the shortcomings, the Ministry of Transport has reviewed the plan to develop the country's seaport system by 2020, with orientation toward 2030 to submit for the Prime Minister's approval.

According to the Portcoast Consultant Corporation under the Ministry of Transport, which is in charge of the review, total fund for investment in the development of Vietnam's seaport system by 2020 is estimated to reach 200 trillion to 280 trillion VND (9.5 billion - 13 billion USD).

The amount of capital needed for investment in public infrastructure of seaports will account for 45 per cent of the total, worth about 90 - 120 trillion VND (4.2 billion - 5.7 billion USD). The remaining money will be spent on the development of wharf infrastructure facilities.

"The Government should lay emphasis on applying public-private partnership (PPP) to developing large-scale ports and wharf areas. Organisations and enterprises from all economic sectors should create favourable conditions for investment in the country's seaport system," a representative of the corporation told the newspaper.

It is estimated that cargo transported through the country's seaport systems will reach 400 - 410 million tonnes in 2015, and increase to 640-680 million tonnes by 2020, according to the corporation.-VNA