HA NOI — The domestic marine transport industry will face major challenges this year due to a sharply decreasing demand during the prolonged economic difficulty, industry insiders have said.
|A container port in HCM City. The domestic maritime transport industry will be under pressure this year due to a sharp decrease in demand. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
Nguyen Kim Chinh, director of the Tan Binh Shipping Co, said information indicated that China, Viet Nam's largest container and spare part transport market, would experience a sharp drop in iron ore and coal reserves. At the same time, the US and the EU were not expected to increase imports of Chinese goods.
These combined factors would put pressure on the container and spare part transport market this year, Chinh said.
The liquid transport market, mainly oil products, was also forecast to face difficulties as most world economies continued to struggle and would have to tighten their belts.
In the domestic market, oil imports would fall thanks to the supply from the Dung Quat Oil Refinery, which can currently meet 30 per cent of the country's demand for oil products.
Domestic demands for imported machines, equipment and materials were not expected to surge in line with the Government targets of 6.1 per cent growth and single-digit inflation for the year.
Shipping fees were expected to fall as firms cut their fees to remain competitive with a growing number of shipping vessels calling into local ports.
Last year was considered a tough year for domestic shipping firms as many reported significant losses due a sharp decrease in demand and fees.
To help marine transport firms overcome the difficulties, industry insiders have suggested the Ministry of Finance to exempt the value added tax on marine transport services among foreign ports.
However, they also urged shipping firms to restructure their fleets with a focus on investment in large-sized container ships and tankers to raise the competitiveness against foreign rivals.
The Vietnamese fleet currently accounts for only 6 per cent of the domestic transport market share. More than 80 per cent of Vietnamese imports and exports are transported by foreign shipping firms. — VNS