Huỳnh Phước Nghĩa, Deputy Director of the Institute for Creativity Institute for Renewal and Innovation
Huỳnh Phước Nghĩa, Deputy Director of the Institute for Creativity Institute for Renewal and Innovation, talks to the Sài gòn Giải phóng (Liberated Saigon)on the need for closer regional co-operation in logistics development
Do you have any suggestions that would help the logistics sector in Hồ Chí Minh City develop?
The first thing we need to do is define Hồ Chí Minh City’s geological location in the Southeast Region and the key economic region in the country’s southern region. Hồ Chí Minh City will then become a leader in the three perspectives: the region’s financial centre and services, particularly services in the field of industry and logistics. Hồ Chí Minh City will then be a driving force in the perspectives of finance and services and a training centre for human resources and innovation.
In the near future, Hồ Chí Minh City will become a gateway for the South Eastern region where up to 50 per cent of the national economy comes from there.
However, to develop Hồ Chí Minh City, there are quite a lot of things that need to be done right now. The city needs to be connected with other southern regions and quickly develop plans to develop its infrastructure to connect with other provinces and its logistics.
To the east, HCM City has already expanded its development, particularly Đồng Nai Province, which is close to the Cát Lái sea port.
To the west, all the 13 provinces don’t have any plan to open new roads or logistics storage. Đồng Nai provincial authorities, until now, have not developed any plans to connect with Hồ Chí Minh City.
Hồ Chí Minh authorities have not yet made any forecast on its role in the logistics development for the whole Southeast region. For the concept of logistics, Việt Nam only thinks about goods while e-commerce or digital economy has developed rapidly. Việt Nam should apply advanced technology if it wants to be a part in the international logistic chain. Việt Nam must evaluate its role in the regional logistic chains.
Adding to that Việt Nam has to analyse different sectors involved in the regional logistic chains, particularly the role of the air service. It is regrettable that Việt Nam railway service right now does not operate as it should be and waterway transportation is not much better. It has been operating, but with a very small capacity. Việt Nam has to do a lot to raise its logistic service to meet new requirements and be on a par with other regional countries.
Will you talk a little bit about Hồ Chí Minh City’s plan to invest more than VNĐ 95,800 billion for logistic development?
Right now we should not talk about the investment money, yet focus on the urgent demand and future development.
When we want to have an overall development of the Đông Nam Bộ (Southeastern region). The Government has to think immediately how it can have sufficient financial resources to carry out this project. Of course, in this project, Hồ Chí Minh City or other provinces cannot have sufficient budget for this.
We all know the speed of urbanisation in Việt Nam is very rapid. So we should not let the logistic infrastructure become a barrier to the fast urban development. In the long run, the Mekong Delta region will become a major rice producer for Hồ Chí Minh City and for export. And Hồ Chí Minh City will become a big hub for services, finance and human resources.
What will Hồ Chí Minh City have to do to become a driving force in human resources development and innovation?
No other provinces or cities in Việt Nam could become a locomotive in human resources development and innovation other than Hồ Chí Minh City. Adding to that many universities in HCM City teach logistics in their curriculum.
Frankly speaking, the teaching and learning of logistics in Việt Nam, including Hồ Chí Minh City right now has not yet been up to the expectation. However, I believe in five years’ time, we will have more people with good knowledge and experience in logistics. Hopefully their knowledge satisfy the country’s demands in the field of logistics._VNS