Haiphong seeks to develop into international logistics hub

08:00 | 13/07/2019
Government agencies, logistics firms, and experts gathered at a conference in the northern port city of Haiphong on June 12 to discuss solutions to develop the city into an international logistics hub, thus strengthening regional connectivity.
haiphong seeks to develop into international logistics hub

The event, which was jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Haiphong People’s Committee, once again affirmed the importance of logistics in economic growth.

“Logistics will become a driving force for economic growth in Haiphong and the region. The ministry will work closely with Haiphong to solve the barriers to promote the development of the logistics industry,” said Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.

According to Nguyen Van Tung, Chairman of Haiphong People’s Committee, in recent years, Haiphong was one of the bright spots in the country's social-economic development picture. The city’s annual gross regional domestic product (GRDP) grew by 14-16 per cent, a 2.5-fold increase against the country’s average, while the industrial development index, export-import, and total social investment increased by 20-25 per cent. Haiphong now has huge potential to develop its logistics industry.

Nguyen Duy Minh, general secretary of the VLA, said that Haiphong has favourable conditions. The city has a network of nearly 30 small and big seaports, making it the largest in the northern region, and varied means of transport, namely road, railway, waterway, and aviation. The city has also developed a warehouse system, including 18 bonded warehouses, and four container freight stations.

What is more, Haiphong is now home to over 300 logistics service providers, with the presence of big players such as Saigon Newport, Gemadept, Transimex, as well as several international firms. The city also has industrial parks and zones, while having an abundant source of goods from the northern key economic region for exports and imports. Currently, Haiphong’s exports and import make up 28.4 and 41.3 per cent of the country total, respectively.

Despite the advantages, Haiphong has yet to tap into this potential as local logistics activities still focus mainly on low-added value activities.

While agreeing that logistics has an important role in promoting socio-economic development, contributing to competitiveness and providing huge potential to increase added value, Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the MoIT's Import and Export Department, said that the industry still has a number of shortcomings such as low professionalism and efficiency, weak connectivity among means of transport, inconsistency in the planning of logistics infrastructure and those of production, trade, and other activities.

In particular, logistics services provided by road by hundreds of mostly small- and medium-sized firms cause many problems, such as unhealthy competition and ineffective performance, high cost, cumbersome administrative procedures, and low quality. All these disadvantages make it difficult to reduce costs for businesses.

At the conference, logistics firms, including IMG Logistics, Delta International, Vietnam’s shipping giant VIMC, as well as experts from the VLA, and others offered recommendations to develop Haiphong into an international logistics hub.

Nguyen Quang Trung, vice president of VIMC, highlighted the necessity for comprehensive development of transport infrastructure, including investment in inland container depots (ICDs), and connection of the online databases of state agencies, ICDs, shipping firms, and ship owners, while developing infrastructure at Lach Huyen Seaport.

To increase competitiveness and boost regional connectivity, the minister urged Haiphong to work with relevant agencies on possible solutions in the coming time. Accordingly, the city should soon issue the action plan to implement the prime minister’s Decision No.200/QD-TTg dated February 14, 2017 approving the action plan to improve the competitiveness and develop Vietnam's logistics industry, and the Minister of Industry and Trade’s Decision No.708/QD-TTg dated March 26, 2018 approving the plan to improve Vietnam’s logistics performance index, among others.

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