|An overview of Calmette Bridge, which connects District 1's Calmette Street and District 4's Doan Van Bo Street in HCM City. The city is developing its first special economic zone in its southern area. — VNA/VNS Photo Kim Phuong
HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City is developing its first special economic zone in the south of the city, encompassing districts 7, Nha Be and part of Binh Chanh and Can Gio with a focus on marine economy.
The special economic zone covers the Hiep Phuoc Port, Phu My Hung urban area, industrial parks and other new urban areas, according to Hoang Minh Tri, deputy head of HCM City Research and Development Institute.
The special economic zone would help fully tap the potential of the area to meet the city's economic development, especially the sea economy.
Under a master plan to develop HCM City until 2020 with a vision to 2025, approved by the Prime Minister, the city will be developed in four directions: East, West, South and North, with a focus on the south and east where busy seaport and logistics activities take place.
The economy will be developed based on a service-industry-agriculture structure, with priority given to finance, insurance, trade, transport, warehousing, port services, postal and telecommunications, information technology, communications and real estate.
Le Hoang Quan, chairman of HCM City's People's Committee, said the special economic zone was a new model and one of the major projects to support the city's sustainable development for 2016-2020 with a vision to 2030.
The city needs an investment of about $470 billion in the next decade to implement the plan.
HCM City is also beginning to develop seaports to facilitate trade activities between the city and its neighbouring provinces.
The city is currently home to 38 seaports with a total length of nearly 13 kilometres, including Tan Cang – Cat Lai, Sai Gon, and Sai Gon Premiere Container Terminal (SPCT).
Quan said the city's seaports handled 109 million tonnes of cargo and generated over VND15 trillion ($705 million) last year, an annual rise of 15.3 per cent.
The outcomes were attributed to the city's investment in major transport infrastructure projects.
The completion of the second phase of the Soai Rap dredging project is an example.
The project worth VND2.8 trillion ($131.5 million) was commissioned in late June 2014, enabling faster navigation and handling of 30,000-50,000 dead weight tonnage ships.
Total volume of goods transported via the river in 2014 reached 7.2 million tonnes, a year-on-year rise of 16 per cent.
The Sai Gon New Port company manages 16 ports, including two inland container depots from the south to the north.
The Cat Lai Port in District 2 is listed among the top 34 large, modern container ports in the world.
According to the national seaport development plan through 2020, HCM City is the southeast region's key port with functional wharf areas of Hiep Phuoc on Soai Rap River and Cat Lai on Dong Nai River.
The region's seaports are expected to handle 185-200 million tonnes of cargo in 2015, 265-305 million tonnes in 2020, and 495-650 million tonnes in 2030.
Le Hoang Minh, deputy director of the city's Department of Transport, said the city was relocating Sai Gon New Port, Ba Son shipyard, Nha Rong-Khanh Hoi Port, Vegetable port and Tan Thuan Dong Port on the Saigon River.
The city is planning 2,000 hectares for the construction of the Hiep Phuoc urban industrial complex along the Soai Rap River which could welcome 50,000-70,000 dead weight tonnage ships from the East Sea to the Hiep Phuoc seaports cluster.
This would reduced transport time and increase goods exchanges between the city and Mekong Delta as well as other industrial hubs in the southeast region.
In addition to investing in developing the seaports system in Cat Lai and Hiep Phuoc regions, the city is focusing on connecting land and waterway transport networks such as belt roads that connect the city with Hiep Phuoc Port and Industrial Park, the HCM City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Highway, and the Ben Luc-Long Thanh Highway.
The city will also build a railway connecting Hiep Phuoc Port with Long Dinh station in Can Duoc District and Long An International Port in Can Giuoc District. — VNS