HÀ NỘI — The volume of cargo passing through Vietnamese ports in the first quarter this year reached more than 159 million tonnes, up 8.4 per cent over the same period last year, reported the Việt Nam Maritime Administration (VMA).
Container cargo accounted for more than 5 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs), a year-on-year increase of 14 per cent.
Regarding passengers via seaports, the administration said the total number of ships in the past three months was 16,473, a decrease of 10 per cent compared to last year.
The number of ships arriving in March was 4,638, dropping 35 per cent compared to last year.
The number of passengers in the first quarter of this year was more than 1.6 million, down 36 per cent.
In March alone, the number of passengers was 313,693, mostly domestic guests, which was just 30 per cent of the same period last year.
The administration said the operation of general cargo ships operating intra-Asia and Southeast Asia routes is facing difficulties, therefore, Vietnamese ship owners brought ships to Việt Nam, leading to direct competition among domestic vessels.
Regarding solutions to ease problems faced by businesses, VMA said it had simplified administrative procedures and issued documents to support ship owners.
The administration has also proposed the Ministry of Transport temporarily not apply the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution caused by Ships (MARPOL) on the use of low sulfur fuel for ships and boats operating inland.
VMA also proposed the Ministry of Finance and related ministries and branches extend time for fees and charges; free for vessels mooring at seaports if any is subject to medical isolation.
It also proposed the State Bank of Việt Nam guide credit institutions to support the interest rate reduction and exemption for businesses and delay repayment plans. — VNS