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Shipping industry faces obstacles

Update: September, 16/2014 - 09:09
Cargo is loaded at Cat Lai port in HCM City. Most Vietnamese ship-owners lack capital to operate and are currently in the red, according to Do Xuan Quynh, General Secretary of the Viet Nam Shipowners' Association. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung.

HA NOI (VNS) — Most Vietnamese ship-owners lack capital to operate and are currently in the red, according to Do Xuan Quynh, General Secretary of the Viet Nam Shipowners' Association.

"Vietnamese companies are not winning on home turf. This practice explains why we have a large number of vessels but just a small percentage of market share," said Nguyen Huu Hoan, drector of Maritime Transport Hai Au Co.

In recent years, Viet Nam's maritime transport industry has struggled with the global and domestic economic slowdown. It accounts for just 10-12 per cent of the import and export volume of the country, according to the Viet Nam Ministry of Transport.

Vessels registered in the country number in the thousands, including 400 registered for international sea routes, according to the Viet Nam Marine Administration. However, there are too many general cargo vessels and too few specialised cargo vessels such as container ships and bulk carriers. This limits shippers to regional destinations in Southeast Asia and China, making the industry unable to compete with foreign companies for routes to America and Europe.

Challenges

The industry lacked high-quality vessels and individuals with experience managing maritime transport businesses, according to Deputy Minister of the Viet Nam Ministry of Transport Nguyen Van Cong.

"The slow recovery of the economy, insufficient demand and higher fuel prices also contributed to the maritime transport industry's struggle," he added.

The Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang called for more co-operation among Vietnamese companies.

"We have to work together to develop a competitive edge for Viet Nam's maritime transport industry," he said.

The Viet Nam Ministry of Transport proposed that administrative procedures for Vietnamese companies be simplified to improve their competitiveness.

The ministry will continue to review the industry's strategy, development plan and restructuring while improving port infrastructure and land-sea-air links. — VNS

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