VietNamNet Bridge – The Mekong Delta’s inland waterways, which are seen as an advantage of the delta to cut its transport cost and improve the competitiveness of its goods, have not received adequate investment over the past five years.



A view of Can Tho Bridge, which links Can Tho City and Vinh Long Province in the Mekong Delta. Inland waterways in the Mekong Delta have not received adequate investment over the past five years.


Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue pointed out this issue at a conference on mobilization of resources to develop traffic infrastructure and logistics systems in the delta in Can Tho City recently.

He told the event held by the Ministry of Transport and the Southwestern Steering Committee that the Government in the past five years has concentrated on developing traffic infrastructure in the region to fuel economic growth.

Hue said investment in infrastructure in the region has amounted to VND47-48 trillion, including major bridge projects such as Can Tho, Ham Luong, Co Chien, Rach Mieu and Nam Can. They help connect the Mekong Delta with a maze of rivers and canals and other parts of the country.

However, inland waterway transport has got inadequate funding, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

Among the four modes of transport – road, inland waterway, sea and air, the road sector has consumed 89% of total investment over the past five years. Hue said though inland waterway transport is vital in the region, it has got a mere 1.7% of total funding for the transport sector.  

Le Do Muoi, deputy director of the Transport Development and Strategy Institute   under the transport ministry, told the conference that 46 projects worth over VND76.4 trillion were complete in 2010-2016, with roads presenting 79% of the total, sea 13%, air 7% and inland waterways 1%.

Hue said besides a lack of investment, the implementation process and maintenance have not been good enough.   

Hue said 80% of goods must be transported to HCMC and other parts in the southeastern region for overseas shipment. Of them, 70% are transported by road and the remainder by waterway, which increases pressure on roads, pushes up transport costs and erodes the competitiveness of goods produced in the delta.    

In the 2016-2020 period, there are 12 projects with a combined investment of some VND11.83 trillion to be conducted in the inland waterway sector. The amount for all transport projects is VND104.6 trillion.   

Sea transport will have 23 projects at a cost of more than VND18 trillion while the road sector will account for 39 projects with VND73 trillion and the air sector with VND1.7 trillion.

Hue told relevant agencies to review projects and give priority to key ones given the tight budget at present.

In the road sector, priority should be given to projects like Quan Lo-Phung Hiep Road, National Highway 60, Dai Ngai Bridge, Rach Mieu 2 Bridge, My Thuan 2 Bridge and Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway.

The Deputy Prime Minister also ordered relevant ministries and agencies to pay attention to the logistics system in the Mekong Delta.


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