Vieät Nam's fu­ture lies con­nected with the sea

With a coast­line of more than 3,000km, the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to the sea, and while in the past peo­ple re­lied on fish­eries for their main source of re­sources, now tourism and shipping have the po­ten­tial to boost lo­cal growth.

Outlook - - CONTENTS - By Haø Phöông

With a coast­line of more than 3,000km, the coun­try's de­vel­op­ment is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to the sea, and while in the past peo­ple re­lied on fish­eries for their main source of re­sources, now tourism and shipping have the po­ten­tial to boost lo­cal growth.

Vieät Nam is con­sid­er­ing strate­gies to de­velop a sea econ­omy, not just to make the most of its re­source-rich wa­ters, but to cap­i­talise on a her­itage that prom­ises to lead the na­tion's econ­omy. The wa­ters of­fer ideal con­di­tions for tourism, aqua­cul­ture, shipping wind en­ergy, and oil and gas ex­ploita­tion. The op­por­tu­ni­ties are there, but it means co-op­er­at­ing and work­ing with the nine ASEAN mem­ber states with common in­ter­ests.

A highly de­vel­oped sea econ­omy could pos­si­bly con­trib­ute 53-55 per cent to Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) within five years - and 5560 per cent to ex­port turnover. The na­tion has al­ready be­gun a se­ries of sea-driven projects along its 3,260km north-south coast­line which bor­ders one mil­lion square kilo­me­tres of ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zones.

To date, de­vel­op­ment of th­ese re­sources has been patchy, leav­ing pol­icy-mak­ers much to han­dle. Stud­ies sug­gest that the cen­tral coastal area should be used as the base for the de­vel­op­ment of a sea econ­omy.

"If Vieät Nam con­sid­ers this is piv­otal to its ex­is­tence, the cen­tral re­gion must be in the driv­ing seat," Traàn Du Lòch, head of con­sult­ing group for cen­tral coastal de­vel­op­ment, told a meet­ing last month.

The di­rec­tor of the Vieät Nam In­sti­tute of Eco­nomics, Traàn Ñình Thieân, ar­gued that if the cen­tral coastal prov­inces did not "take-off", the North and the South alone could not de­velop the coun­try to its fullest po­ten­tial.

Fol­low­ing this view, Voõ Trí Thaønh, deputy di­rec­tor of the Cen­tral In­sti­tute for Eco­nomic Man­age­ment, said three key sea-re­lated sec­tors were un­der-

“Of course Vieät Nam is profit­ing from fish­ing, but strate­gic re­gional and in­ter­na­tional co-op­er­a­tion is nec­es­sary to boost the in­dus­try.”

de­vel­oped - tourism, fish­eries and lo­gis­tics.

Thaønh said the cen­tral coast had beau­ti­ful and unique beaches, but prov­inces mostly fo­cused on beaches and palm trees, but of­fered lit­tle in the way of her­itage and ad­ven­ture tours.

"Vieät Nam's tourism is quite weak and un­com­pet­i­tive," said Leâ Quyù Quyønh, di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Bor­der Com­mit­tee's Sea Di­vi­sion un­der the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs. "Con­nec­tions with re­gional coun­tries like Thai­land, Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia will open other routes for tourism," Quyønh said. "But most prov­inces of­fer the same type of ex­pe­ri­ence, so the in­dus­try fails to de­velop."

Quyønh said in the past cruise ship tours from Sin­ga­pore and Thai­land vis­ited Phuù Quoác Is­land, and oth­ers from Hainan Is­land in China vis­ited Quaûng Ninh Prov­ince. How­ever, he added that tour op­er­a­tors could not drum up enough business be­cause of poorly man­aged attractions.

"It was a big pity, but we learned from the ex­pe­ri­ence," said Quyønh. He sug­gested coastal prov­inces needed to invest in and de­velop sea and is­land tourism to com­pete with other coun­tries.

Fish­ing with ASEAN

The na­tions that com­prise ASEAN have been a ma­jor sup­plier of fish and other sea prod­ucts for thou­sands of years. Com­bined, ASEAN na­tions ac­count for a quar­ter of global fish pro­duc­tion. Of the world's top 10 fish pro­duc­ers, four are from ASEAN - In­done­sia, Thai­land, Vieät Nam and the Philip­pines.

Fish­ing has the big­gest seare­lated labour force in Vieät Nam. Five mil­lion fish­er­men, mil­lions of in­di­rect work­ers and tens of thou­sands of boats pro­vide six mil­lion tonnes of seafood a year for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion. The ex­port trade brings in US$6.7 bil­lion a year.

"Of course Vieät Nam is profit­ing from fish­ing, but strate­gic re­gional and in­ter­na­tional co-op­er­a­tion is nec­es­sary to boost the in­dus­try," said Quyønh. "We need to change in­di­vid­ual, na­tional fish­ing habits so that we can share in­for­ma­tion on marine re­sources and co-op­er­ate on safety is­sues, re­search and de­vel­op­ment - and hu­man re­sources.

"It would be a sign of strength if ASEAN mem­ber states could sit down to­gether and draw up lib­eral mea­sures al­low­ing fish­er­men from

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Viet Nam

© PressReader. All rights reserved.