Vietnam strives to become strong sea-based country
Updated : Wednesday, October 03, 2018 11:30 AM (GMT+0700)

Vietnamhas exerted efforts to tap into its immense maritime potential to become a strong,prosperous country based on its marine economy. 

Phu Quoc island of Kien Giang province - Photo: VNA

On February 9, 2007, the 10thCommunist Party of Vietnam Central Committee adopted Resolution No. 9 on thecountry’s maritime strategy towards 2020, looking to further enhance itssea-based economy and protect national sovereignty over its islands and seaterritories. 

In the strategy’s outlinedgoals, sea-based economic sectors will make up 53-55 percent of the country’sgross domestic product (GDP), while per capita income in coastal areas isexpected to reach double the national average by 2020. 

Assessing the 10-yearimplementation of the strategy, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources andEnvironment Tran Quy Kien said that after the resolution was issued, theNational Assembly passed the 2012 Law of the Sea of Vietnam, the 2015 Law onSea and Island Natural Resources and Environment, the 2015 Maritime Code ofVietnam, and the Law on Fisheries (amended in 2017), together with manyregulations for sectors relating to seas and islands.

More than 10 Governmentdecrees and over 100 resolutions from the Prime Minister on State managementand the implementation of policies, strategies, planning schemes, andprogrammes on sea and island socio-economic development and defence-securityhave been issued, he added.

Following the Party andState’s policies and decisions over the past decade, ministries, centralagencies, and coastal localities have made every effort to concretise thestrategy in marine economy development programmes and projects. 

According to statistics bythe Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) under the Ministry ofCulture, Sports, and Tourism, international arrivals to Vietnam have increasedby over six times in the last 17 years, from 2.14 million in 2000 to 12.9million in 2017. Domestic holidaymakers also rose sharply during the period,from 11.2 million in 2000 to 73.2 million in 2017. Of the domestic and foreignvacationers, about 60 million visited the 28 coastal cities and provinces lastyear.

Data from the VNAT also showedthat the tourism sector had made significant contributions to the nationaleconomy during the period, with total tourist revenue reaching 510.9 trillionVND (22.6 billion USD) in 2017. Of the figure, the 28 coastal cities andprovinces made up 70 percent.

The maritime economic sectorsaw remarkable development, with the value of maritime transport, seaportservices, and shipbuilding growing at an annual pace of 22 percent during2007-2010 and 13 percent during 2011-2015. By the end of November 2017, thefleet of seagoing vessels had a total load of 7.8 million tonnes, rankingfourth in ASEAN and 30th in the world. Total goods cleared at seaportsincreased year-by-year, hitting 511.6 million tonnes last year.

Seafood catching andprocessing surged 50 percent over the 10 years, from 2.07 million tonnes in2007 to 3.19 million tonnes in 2017. The seafood export value has also tendedto increase in recent years, reaching 7.05 billion USD in 2016.

Futhermore, by the end of2017, the country had 17 coastal economic zones with a total area of nearly845,000ha, attracting around 78.6 billion USD in investment. In 2016, thecoastal economic zones earned 8 billion USD in revenue and over 5 billion USDin exports, as well as contributing 30 trillion VND (1.28 billion USD) to theState budget. The coastal economic zones created direct jobs for 130,000labourers.

Over the past 10 years, themanagement and exploitation of natural resources and maritime environment haverecorded certain results, but some fields have failed to meet expectations.Although the per capita income of coastal residents rose, it was not muchhigher than the country’s average increase. The contribution of the maritimeeconomy to the national GDP remained modest and tended to decrease, at 0.97 percentin 2017.

Meanwhile, contributionsfrom the oil and gas sector – including oil and gas exploration, exploitation,and processing – to the GDP was relatively high and stable during the periodfrom 2007 to 2010, at 10.83 percent on average. However, the figure graduallydropped to 2.67 percent in 2017.

The contribution of seafoodcatching and processing to the GDP was not high and was on downward trend to1.8 percent in 2016-2017.


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