20/07/2020 10:39 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

ASEAN develops maritime connectivity

As part of a direct sea route linking the Indian and Pacific oceans, the East Sea plays an extremely important role in ASEAN and global maritime trade. Therefore, Southeast Asian countries have promoted the development of seaport systems and maritime fleets for maritime trade to take advantage of this route for economic development.
As of June 2019, the Vietnam vessel fleet had 1,568 ships with a total capacity of 4.8 million GT and total tonnage of 7.8 million DWT. The Vietnamese fleet is ranked 4th in the ASEAN region and 30th in the world, Statistics of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei are the ASEAN countries that share a border with the East Sea. Vietnam is a pioneer country in the region planning a synchronized seaport system for maritime trade. According to the Vietnam Maritime Administration, there are currently 272 ports nationwide. The total wharf length is 92.2 km with a total capacity of over 550 million tons/year.

The seaport system is connected with central and major economic regions of the country. At present, big seaports have been established as a focal point to serve importing and exporting goods and creating a driving force for the development of the whole region. These include Quang Ninh and Hai Phong ports in association with the northern key economic region; Thua Thien - Hue, Da Nang, Dung Quat and Quy Nhon ports in association with the central key economic region; Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai ports associated with the Southeastern key economic region; Can Tho and An Giang ports in association with the Mekong River delta key economic region.


Cat Lai port is the biggest and most modern container port in Vietnam. Photo: Giang Son Dong


Transporting goods at Saigon port. Photo: VNP


Tan Cang - Cai Mep International Terminal in Ba Ria - Vung Tau province,
which came into operation in 2011, is the largest deep-water port in Vietnam. Photo: VNA


Loading containers at Saigon port. Photo: VNP


A cruise ship arrives at Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia. Photo: Xinhua / VNA

Some ports have modern international standard infrastructures such as Ba Ria-Vung Tau port and Hai Phong port. These ports have been performing the role of international gateways and serving the function of transshipment.

ASEAN countries are also quickly developing port systems and maritime fleets for economic development. In mid-2019, Cambodia completed a plan to build a deep-water port in Koh Kong province, one of the country's four coastal provinces, in order to promote cargo transportation. The Indonesian government is speeding up construction to bring Kijing seaport, one of Indonesia's important national strategic projects, into operation by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s port of Tanjung Pelepas, which started operation in 2000, is ranked 19th worldwide in terms of container volume.

The international shipping route through the East Sea is considered the second busiest in the world and the nearest point of this shipping line is only about 38km from Vietnam’s Con Dao islands. Every day, there are about 300 transport ships of all kinds going through the East Sea, including about 200 oil tankers, 50% of which have a capacity of over 5,000 tons. The export volume of goods via the East Sea of Southeast Asian countries accounts for 55%. For Vietnam, 100% of import and export goods must pass through the East Sea.


One third of the world's crude oil and more than half of its liquefied gas are transported through the East Sea. The amount of oil and liquefied gas transported through this sea route is 15 times the volume transported through the Panama Canal. Every year, about 70% of Japanese imported oil and about 45% of Japanese exports are transported through the East Sea.
Data of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
 
 
Story: VNP -  Photos: Giang Son Dong, VNP, VNA & Xinhua