|Fishing boats at the Song Doc seaport in Tran Van Thoi District, Ca Mau province. The province has adopted a comprehensive five-year plan for infrastructure projects to promote the local maritime industry. — VNA/VNS Photo Le Huy Hai
CA MAU (VNS) — The southernmost province of Ca Mau has adopted a comprehensive five-year plan for infrastructure projects to promote the local maritime industry, according to Mai Huu Chinh, director of the Ca Mau Provincial Department of Planning and Investment.
Chinh said poor infrastructure was the key factor preventing foreign and domestic investors from coming to Ca Mau, one of four provinces within the key economic development region of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.
Under the plan, a sea port on the province's Hon Khoai island will be constructed within the next five years. This project will require an investment of about US$2.5 billion. When it is completed, the Hon Khoai port will be able to handle ships weighing up to 250,000DWT and is expected to serve as a major port in the Cuu Long River Delta.
As part of its infrastructure development plan, Ca Mau wants to build its coastal line and sea into "an open economic zone", with an aim of galvanising the province's economic development.
Over the next five years, Ca Mau will also focus its investment on the development of its three most important sea ports: the Song Doc port in Tran Van Thoi District, Khanh Hoi port in U Minh District and Bo De port in Nam Can District.
"These sea ports will serve as locomotives for economic development in the province," Chinh added.
Ca Mau is the only province in Viet Nam that is surrounded by the sea on three sides, with a coastal area stretching 254 km. The province is also located along the southern coastal corridor linking Viet Nam with Cambodia and Thailand.
With an aquaculture area spread over 296,000ha, Ca Mau Province is one of the largest localities nationwide with a high potential for aquaculture development, particularly shrimp farming.
On average, the province yields over 441,000 tonnes of aqua products annually, with shrimp accounting for 34 per cent.
Ca Mau's aqua products have been exported to more than 40 countries and territories worldwide. Its export turnover last year reached $1.3 billion, and exports are expected to be even higher this year.
In addition to its strong fishery industry, Ca Mau has great potential for oil and gas exploration, with an estimated amount of about 170 billion cubic metres in the gas fields. As a result, Ca Mau is one of the largest centres producing electricity and fertiliser in Viet Nam.
However, the biggest challenge that the province faces at present is the shortage of capital in infrastructure development. Construction of the Nam Can port has been ongoing for several years, but due to a funding shortage, the project has not been completed.
According to Chinh, the province in particular is facing a shortage of airports and sea ports.
"This is the biggest hurdle, which makes the investment cost in the province so high," Chinh said. — VNS