Viet Nam Railway Corporation Deputy Director Doan Duy Hoach recently spoke with the Lao dong (Labour) Newspaper about plans to restructure the railway sector.
Can you provide some details about plans for restructuring the Viet Nam Railway Corporation (VNRC)?
After completing the VNRC restructuring plan for the period 2011-15, we set as a key goal to focus our activities on organising effective management, exploitation and business of the railway infrastructure and improving sources to collect fees for railway services. This would be a direction of the VNRC during the period 2016-20.
The railway sector set a target to reach 4.34 per cent of the market share of the transport of interprovincial goods and 3.4 per cent of the passenger transport market share by 2020. The quality of rail transport is to be improved, especially at stations and transport spots.
Also, the railway infrastructure system will be developed, with a focus on upgrading and modernising the existing North-South railway route. Priorities would then be given to complete key projects to handle choke-points on the Thong Nhat Railway Route and to implement projects on railway and waterway connections. We also plan to complete feasible research plans for a high speed railway system on the north-south route and increase the transport of containers by railway to ease the overload on road transport during this period.
Being a key transport sector, the VNRC is sometimes operating with a backwards infrastructure and facilities. What will be the strong points to lure investors for the railway sector?
During the past, VNRC implemented measures to improve services and attract investors, such as the use of trains for specific routes or the improved operations of local trains.
We've also applied IT in the use of ticket sales, especially e-ticket projects and other forms for selling tickets to create favourable conditions and increased convenience for customers. The quality of service has seen remarkable changes on board trains and at stations, along with the increasing rate of on-time train departures and arrivals.
We now are calling upon investors to research and propose investment co-operation projects on depot systems at railway stations or concessions to take advantage of branch routes. Some pilot projects are to be implemented at depots, as well as at warehouses at Yen Vien station in Ha Noi, Dong Dang station in Lang Son Province and Song Than station in the southern province of Binh Duong. At the moment, 28 enterprises have registered to participate in the transport business.
The transport ministry plans to open itself to the public to minimise their monopoly and open doors for all investors.
Some believe that too many enterprises investing in the railway field would create "ask and give" mechanisms. What is your opinion?
Mobilising capital and strength from individual or organisations in implementation of some public services would help improve the quality of services in the railway sector.
Socialising the investment and exploitation of railway infrastructure works aims to increase services and respond to demands for better services by customer and effectively exploit social sources and increase the competitive abilities of the railway sector against other means of transport.
Many enterprises investing in the railway field would create a fair playing field for all, thus minimising "ask and give" mechanisms in the field. — VNS