ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Port network lacks roads
According to Vu Ngoc Thao, director of the Department of Transport, eight ports are operational, 12 are under construction, and 24 are in the planning stage, with Provincial Road 51 serving all of them.
Thao said it was a hurdle in attracting investors. The Department of Planning and Investment blamed it on a lack of funds. The province has plans to build a 22km road to connect the ports together but work has yet to start as a result. The road will cost VND6 trillion (US$308 million), according to the department.
The province had sought funds from the Government for road construction, and the latter had agreed to raise the money by issuing bonds, Thao said.
National port design consultant PortCoast expects the Cai Mep - Thi Vai area, where many of the large deep-water container terminals will be situated, to become the most important maritime gateway to the country.
The 44 ports have been or being built at a total cost of $4.5 billion on an area of 3,000ha that has been earmarked for their development. Many global shipping lines are investing in the area - including Singapore's PSA, Hong Kong's Hutchison, Denmark's Maersk, the US's SSA Marine, France's CMA-CGM, and Taiwan's Yang Ming.
But experts warn that if traffic and other infrastructure does not keep pace with the rapid development of the ports, there could be severe cargo backup just like in HCM City and Hai Phong. With trade usually increasing at the end of the year, the Phu My Port Authority, which operates one of the province ports, has warned that any accident or blockage of the road at this time would be disastrous.
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