The maritime sector should pay more attention to seaport planning, especially in the central and the Mekong Delta regions, said Transport Minister Nguyen Van The.
Speaking at a conference in Hanoi on January 2, the minister highlighted the special significance of the maritime sector as most of cargos from foreign countries are handled through seaports before entering the Vietnamese market.
To attract major international ships, Vietnamese seaports and maritime businesses should promptly form a big database in order to fully automate administrative procedures at the ports, he said.
The official also asked the sector to review its human resources and tighten its links with the railway and waterway sectors.
Lauding the sector’s efforts in administrative reform and application of achievements of the fourth Industrial Revolution, The said it has significantly contributed to national socio-economic development.
Nguyen Xuan Sang, head of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, reported that as of December 2018, Vietnam had 1,593 ships with total capacity of about 7.8 million DWT, ranking fourth in ASEAN and 30th globally.
The country is home to 272 wharfs with accumulated annual capacity exceeding 550 million tonnes.
Last year, local seaports handled about 524.7 million tonnes of cargo, up 19 percent year-on-year, and served 5.8 million passengers, up 28.9 percent against 2017.
Around 1,300 businesses in the country are providing maritime services. However, they have fulfilled only a quarter of the market demand.