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Waterway infrastructure investment capital “dripping”

Every year the investment capital for the infrastructure of waterway sector only about 1.5% of the total capital of the entire transport industry. It is this limitation that has made the waterway infrastructure both lacking and weak for many years. Thereby, creating bottlenecks in transportation activities, increasing costs and reducing the competitiveness of Vietnamese goods.

Mo Cay Bridge in Ben Tre province, after decades of use, is a bottleneck in the local waterway system. According to transport businesses, having to reduce containers to cross the bridge causes transportation costs to increase by up to 25%.

In the near future, there will be 11 weak bridges in the Mekong Delta that will be upgraded with a total estimated capital of about 2,100 billion VND. However, in fact, the whole region still has nearly 50 more bridges waiting for capital for renovation and repair.

“If in order to synchronously develop the water transport infrastructure system such as rivers and canals, it is also necessary to have the right investment from central and local capital,” said Mr. Pham Van Trong – Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee. Tien Giang province said.

Investment capital for waterway infrastructure drips - Photo 1.

Each year, the investment capital for infrastructure of the waterway sector is only about 1.5% of the total capital of the entire transport industry. Illustration – Photo: Dan Tri.

Representatives of some localities in the Mekong Delta also said that over the past time, investment in transport infrastructure has been skewed towards roads. Meanwhile, waterway, which is a strength, has not been given due attention.

Mr. Dinh Quang Huy – Deputy Director of Vinh Long Provincial Department of Transport said: “Although we know that water transport has many advantages such as low cost and larger quantity compared to road transport, due to economic limitations, The cost leads to no investment to build ports as well as dredging waterways to serve freight transport”.

According to calculations, transportation by water has about 30% lower cost than by road. Therefore, the early removal of infrastructure bottlenecks by rationally allocating capital to this sector is said to make an important contribution to the trade in strong commodities such as seafood, rice, fruit, and vegetables. trees… of the whole region.

Increase efficiency of investment in waterway infrastructure

According to statistics, in the past 20 years, the whole country has invested in renovating and upgrading about 2,000 km of waterways, equivalent to about 30% of the demand. In the condition that the budget capital for this sector is still limited, the Ministry of Transport has determined that it will use the budget capital to invest in key projects that are connected and pervasive for the whole region to attract tourists. other social resources.

Cho Gao canal is a unique canal connecting the Mekong Delta with Ho Chi Minh City and the Southeast provinces. It is expected that the upgrading of phase 2 will be completed next year in order to open up freight traffic for the whole region.

In addition, the Ministry of Transport also selected two other key projects to clear the main bottlenecks in the water transport infrastructure network in the South.

Investment capital for waterway infrastructure drips - Photo 2.

Over the past 20 years, the whole country has invested in renovating and upgrading about 2,000 km of waterways, equivalent to about 30% of the demand. Illustration – Photo: Dan Tri.

According to the leader of the Ministry of Transport, in the next 5 years, the budget will allocate about 8,500 billion VND for the inland waterway sector. This capital only meets a small part of the actual investment needs. Therefore, the Ministry will have to choose key projects to both develop the economy and attract more non-budget capital sources.

According to research by the World Bank (World Bank), if increasing investment in water transport at 5-7%/year, it will have a very strong impact on inland waterway transport, bringing great economic benefits to the country, because the average cost of freight transport by road is more than 3 times higher. – 5 times compared to inland waterway transport.

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