Nguyễn Chu Hồi
Professor Dr Nguyễn Chu Hồi, lecture at the Hà Nội National University talks to the weekly magazine Việt Nam & World Economy on what measures and solutions the country should pursue to achieve the goal of sustainable maritime economic development by 2030.
What is your assessment of Việt Nam’s potentiality and opportunity in maritime economic development?
The Vietnamese sea is both rich and beautiful. I’ve been to 65 countries and territories with sea and islands, but none of them have better opportunities than ours in developing the maritime economy. We have a very clear policy in deeper international integration in the era of globalisation. The Vietnamese Party and Government have paid due attention to maritime economic development including the issuance of strategies and resolutions on how best to tap the great potential of the sea economy in a sustainable way.
Will you please give us a short summary of the Resolution No 36 of the Party Central Committee on the strategic development of our maritime economy from now till 2030?
Việt Nam sets a target to become a strong and rich nation from its sea and the sea is one of the country’s mainstays. The strategy has stated clearly that coastal provinces and brackish water regions should adopt their economic development policies based on the maritime economic development.
In the strategy, Việt Nam sets a target to have at least 58 per cent of its GDP coming from maritime economy. However, in this strategy Việt Nam also sets target that the pure maritime economy will account 10 per cent of the GDP by 2030. In the meantime, we also set a target for coastal provinces to achieve from 65-70 per cent of their GDP from the maritime activities.
In the strategy of maritime economic development, we should pay more attention to the balance between the environment, natural resources and culture. Meanwhile we should adopt the green economy as the foundation for the sustainable maritime economic development.
How do you respond to a comment saying that Việt Nam has not made the best use of its sea potential?
It is a real fact that the regional linkages among provinces in the central region is rather weak. Each locality or province operates as an “independent nation”. In my opinion, all the central coastal provinces should create strong linkages among themselves and also with other inland provinces. Việt Nam’s marine time indicator is six times higher than the mean average of the global sea.
Việt Nam boasts a long coastal line with an average every 100sq.km in land area we have one kilometre of coast. This is an indication that we have strong potentials for the maritime economic development, including the maritime economy and sea port economy. However, until now the connection between our sea ports is still weak. This is good food for thought for authorities in a near future – the development of sea ports must go hand in hand with urban development and maritime services.
What should Việt Nam do to achieve the goal of sustainable development of its maritime economy?
Climate change and ocean change are eminent and Việt Nam is one of the countries that has heavily suffered from the rising sea level. Extreme weather has caused serious droughts in many localities while some coastal areas have been submerged under the sea water. It is high time for Việt Nam adopted policies and measures adaptable to the climate change in both directions – reduction and adaptability.
Of course, we should give priority to adaptability measures. We have to reconsider our crop structure, animal husbandry and occupations to make them adapt to the climate change.
What are the challenges Việt Nam will face in the course of achieving targets set in the National Strategy for Maritime Economy by 2030?
I totally support our policy on sustainable development of the maritime economy which is based on the green growth economy. Our policy is in tandem with the world tendency.
What is the most important thing is from now till 2030 we should lay down specific tasks for each concerned agency and closely monitor the performance. — VNS