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VIET NAM TO HAVE FIRST HELICOPTER RIDE-HAILING SERVICE
Monday, 06 May 2019 04:23

Vietnamese ride-hailing firm FastGo on Thursday announced its plan to launch the country’s first helicopter ride-hailing service - FastSky - in Ha Noi by the end of this month.

FastGo said it has co-operated with a prestigious helicopter firm in Viet Nam, which declined to be named. This co-branding project will provide customers with a helicopter ride-hailing service through an app, and will also aim to promote tourism in northern provinces.

FastGo said FastSky services will include SkyTour, which will offer sightseeing tours of 12, 25 or 40 minutes from Ha Noi to Hạ Long Bay, and other tours.

In addition, it will provide SkySOS in which helicopters will land on skyscrapers in Ha Noi to pick up patients in emergencies. Customers will also enjoy SkyWedding services that provide wedding photography at Hạ Long Bay and Tuan Chau Island.

Private tours for tourism, exploration and work will also be offered by SkyPlus services in the allowable air space.

A representative from the helicopter provider said tourism and transport services by helicopter had become a trend around the world.

“In Viet Nam, with our 30 years of experience in operating and providing safe and effective helicopter services, we are capable of providing world-class helicopter services to the Vietnamese market. The co-operation with FastGo will help customers manage their flight schedule and make payments,” he said.

Nguyen Huu Tuat, founder of FastGo, said their new services aim to promote Viet Nam’s tourism to local and foreign visitors. FastSky sevices will bring premium services in the most convenient and simple way, while customers will have more choices for transport demand and other needs.

FastSky allows customers to book flights and make payments in advance by bank card. In addition, customers can pay by credit card by installment for periods of three months, six months or one year at zero interest rate, supported by the VIMO Viet Nam Joint Stock Company.

FastGo and the helicopter company are completing final procedures to prepare for the launch of the service.

FastGo, a subsidiary of Vietnamese technology start-up NextTech Group, began operation in June last year.

It expanded its operation to Myanmar last December and plans to launch operations in Singapore this month and in five other countries in the region by the end of this year.

With some 60,000 drivers, the company is the second most popular ride-hailing firm in Viet Nam after Grab.

 
VIETNAM’S FOUR MAJOR TRANSPORT PROJECTS ON TRACK FOR COMPLETION NEXT YEAR
Thursday, 25 April 2019 07:37

Vietnam is set to complete four infrastructure projects next year, some of them after long delays lasting several years.

 

Hanoi’s first metro line

The 13-kilometer Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro line is expected to open commercial operations before the Tet Lunar New Year holiday starting February 2, 2019.

All 13 trains on the route are being trial run every day now, running from Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District to the Yen Nghia Station in the south-west Ha Dong District.The 13-kilometer Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro line is expected to open commercial operations before the Tet Lunar New Year holiday starting February 2, 2019.

Each train has four coaches, with a total capacity of 1,000 passengers. The stainless steel coaches are approximately 19 meters long. The trains now run at 30-35 kilometers an hour, even though they are designed to reach speeds of 65 kilometers an hour. A complete trip takes about 30 minutes.

Work on the project is 96 percent complete, officials say, adding that the terminals and depots are “83 percent equipped.”

Construction of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway started in October 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved last December, have been stalling the project for years.

The original cost estimate of $552.86 million has also ballooned to more than $868 million, including $670 million in loans from China.

 

Bac Giang – Lang Son expressway

The expressway connecting Bac Giang Province north-east of Hanoi to the northern Lang Son Province bordering China is expected to be completed next December.

The four-lane expressway runs 64 kilometers. A 110-kilometer stretch of the existing National Route 1A connecting the two provinces will also be upgraded to be part of the expressway.

The total project cost has been estimated at VND12.19 trillion ($523.67 million).

Most of the expressway has been completed. Next year, operators will finish laying asphalt and installing road signs and lights.

Work on the expressway started in October 2015 and was scheduled for completion last year. However, the  Ministry of Transport had to select a new investor for the project after the original one was found wanting.

The Bac Giang – Lang Son expressway is part of the Hanoi – Lang Son expressway, connecting the capital with the Huu Nghi International Border Gate in Lang Son Province.

 

Cu Mong Tunnels

The Cu Mong Pass, lies mostly in Binh Dinh and partly in Phu Yen, is one of the most dangerous passes in Vietnam. The new tunnels are expected to reduce the number of dangerous traffic accidents that the pass has become infamous for. They would also reduce travel time between the two provinces.The Cu Mong tunnels, connecting the southern provinces of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen, are expected to open on January 21, allowing all vehicles to go through free of charge during the February 2-10 Tet holiday.

The two tunnels are 2.6 kilometers long and 30 meters apart and have a 4-kilometer lead-in road. The tunnels allow a maximum speed of 80 kilometers an hour. For an unspecified first period, only one tunnel will be operated. For now, the second one will be reserved for use in emergencies.

The tunnels have a total capital of almost VND4 trillion ($171.82 million). Construction started in September 2015.

 

Vam Cong Bridge in the Mekong Delta Region

This is the second bridge over the Hau River after the Can Tho Bridge, which is 48 kilometers away. It is part of the route connecting Can Tho with An Giang Province, built to boost the socio-economic development of the Mekong Delta region.The bridge, which connects the southern province of Dong Thap with Can Tho City, is expected to be operational by next July.

The bridge was supposed to be completed by November 2017, but authorities found out that a horizonal beam had a crack four centimeters wide and two meters long.

The Ministry of Transport ordered repairs, and so far 26 out of 38 steps for this process has been completed.

The bridge’s budget of $270 million was sourced through official development assistance from South Korea and Vietnam’s counterpart funds.

 

 
THE MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE ISSUED A PLAN TO IMPROVE LOGISTICS PERFORMANCE INDEX OF VIETNAM
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 03:32

The Ministry of Industry and Trade Implementing Resolution No. 02 / NQ-CP dated January 1, 2019 of the Government on continuing to perform the main tasks and solutions to improve the business environment, improve national competitiveness in 2019 and orientation to 2021, March 26, 2019, the Minister of Industry and Trade issued Decision No. 708 / QD-BCT approving the Plan to improve Logistics Performance Index of Vietnam.

 

The Plan sets out the goal of raising Vietnam's ranking in the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) published by the World Bank from now to 2025 to 5-10 points (2018, Vietnam Male ranked 39th in the world in LPI rankings, contributing positively to improving the business environment, cutting costs, improving competitiveness in providing logistics services in Vietnam, improving capacity. innovation, ... contribute to the achievement of the Government's Resolution on socio-economic development.

 

The plan sets out 49 specific tasks associated with the roles of ministries, sectors and localities, divided into groups of tasks closely related to the 6 component indicators in LPI, including:

(1) Task group on infrastructure upgrading;

(2) Task group on improving delivery capabilities;

(3) Task group on improving capacity and quality of logistics service provision;

(4) Group of tasks on technology application, optimizing traceability;

(5) Group of tasks on shortening time and reducing costs;

(6) Task group on improving customs clearance efficiency;

(7) Group of supporting tasks.

 

The Import and Export Department is the focal point of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to assume the prime responsibility and coordinate with ministries, branches and localities in deploying, urging, inspecting and supervising the implementation of this Plan.

 
PM URGES COMPLETION OF TRUNG LUONG-MY THUAN EXPRESSWAY BY 2020
Monday, 22 April 2019 01:39

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc Phuc has called upon the Ministry of Transport to complete construction of the Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho expressway by 2020, during a meeting on regional development between some ministers and the Mekong Delta localities’ leaders on Friday in Can Tho City.

The maritime industry is one of the driving forces behind the economic development of the Mekong Delta. Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said, at the meeting, that there is no better place than Soc Trang Province for maritime development.

Soc Trang is some 60 kilometers from Can Tho, and has three main inter-regional routes – National Road 1, Nam Song Hau National Road and the Quan Lo-Phung Hiep Road – alongside a number of national roads, said Minister The.

He added that Vietnam’s major real estate developer, Sun Group, plans to invest in the Tran De Seaport Project. “They want to set up a major port which can accommodate vessels weighing from 100,000 to 120,000 tons,” he said, adding that the developer intends to inject some VND40 trillion (US$1.7 billion) in the first phase of the project.

He noted that if everything goes as planned, import-export products to and from the delta will no longer have to transit in HCMC. Instead, such goods will be imported and exported directly at the port.

Also, if a planned expressway connecting Soc Trang, Can Tho and An Giang with Cambodia is in place, more industrial zones will be built in the region, thereby helping boost manufacturing operations there.

“If this is the case, the Mekong Delta can be on a par with the region of Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Binh Phuoc provinces,” he said, adding that this region flourishes thanks to its seaport system and neighboring Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC.

He added that the Mekong Delta is already home to Can Tho International Airport. If the Tran De Seaport comes into existence, the entire region will see significant manufacturing improvements to boost its exports and overall economic development.

Aside from the maritime industry, it is also necessary to increase investments in transport infrastructure, especially in the road transport sector.

Minister The said that the Transport Ministry and the People’s Committee of Tien Giang Province are working together to adjust the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway project, in line with the prime minister’s instructions.

The Government has decided to offer financial support worth VND2.186 trillion (US$94.2 million) for the project, of which VND500 billion is sourced from the mid-term capital fund. The expressway will be opened to traffic by late 2020.

Regarding the My Thuan 2 Bridge linking Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces, the National Assembly has chosen to allocate VND5.1 trillion. “The ministry has already approved this project. Work on the project is expected to start in December 2019 and finish in 2023,” he said.

Regarding an expressway section from My Thuan to Can Tho, he said the Government has asked the Ministry of Finance to consider using excess revenue from 2018 to allocate VND932 billion (around US$40 million) for the Ministry of Transport to develop the project whose bidding process is likely to take place later this year.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung echoed the same view, saying that priority should be given to capital allocations for roads, as specified in regional and inter-regional plans, along with waterways.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Phuc said that without proper transport infrastructure, it is impossible for the Mekong Delta to flourish.

“Among solutions, a breakthrough in infrastructure is the most important. The infrastructure here not only names bridges, roads, and airports, but also includes social infrastructure, schools, healthcare (facilities) and cultural institutions. (It can be) integrated into smart infrastructures, while digital connectivity is adopted more widely,” he said.

He added that there will be a conference on connectivity between the Mekong Delta, the southeastern region and HCMC in the near future.

In the short run, the Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway needs to be opened to traffic in 2020, while the entire route needs to be available in 2021.

“This is a promise of the Minister of Transport, and of the Government. The Government will fully address the issues about policy mechanisms and funding,” he said.

Regarding other tasks in the time ahead, the Government leader underlined those related to climate change and sustainable development.

It is important to combine economic development and adaptation to climate change, he said, citing the successful examples of Israel and the Netherlands. He also called for research into climate change adaptation solutions for the region.

The Government is also planning a conference to review the execution of its resolution on sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta. One of the issues to be discussed at the event will be the allocation of resources for the region’s development.

 
VIETNAM WATER TRANSPORT IS "STRANDED"
Tuesday, 16 April 2019 09:22

As a country with large rivers and seas, only about 50% of inland waterway transport networks are counted in kilometers in our country. Transporting goods by coastal waterways is also very limited, accounting for only about 39% of cargo volume transported by sea. 

Waterway BOT is also very problematic, 10% increase in service charges at seaports

Inland Waterways Department said that in 2017, only about 50% of the inland waterway transportation network in kilometers can be easily navigated. It means that only about half of the 19,000km of waterways are convenient to travel, so many shippers in Vietnam only choose to go to waterways if the goods are large like coal, construction materials, fertilizer and cement .

Rice is a commodity that has the potential to be transported by waterway but only 4% of the rice produced in the Mekong Delta follows this path. Left to choose other options.

Referring to infrastructure, a recent report by the World Bank (WB) pointed out that most of the transport is done on 7,000km of nationally managed inland waterways. However, less than 30% of this network is suitable for barges with a tonnage of over 300 tons. This is a very modest rate compared to the successful commercial waterway transport network in the world.

The size of boats in Vietnam is not large due to the shallow depth of the canal, the small size of the navigation channel and low bridge clearance. Many ports have outdated facilities and low mechanization or poor maintenance, poor domestic connectivity.

In China, Europe or the United States, the inland waterway transport network is well developed to accommodate ships and boats with a tonnage of over 1,000 tons. Even the tonnage of these vehicles is even greater.

Recently, container shipping services have begun to be deployed in the Mekong Delta region with positive results. Saigon Newport Company said that the cost of transporting goods by barge from ports in the Mekong Delta to Cat Lai, Ho Chi Minh City decreased by 7% for each 40 feet container and 20% for 30-foot containers.

But in general, inland waterway ports in Vietnam have not yet met the container loading and unloading facilities. Approximately 15% of goods arriving at ports do not have an operating license and are not safe, according to the statistics of Inland Waterway Bureau in 2017.

Since the North does not have a domestic container terminal to handle container cargo at river ports, container cargo is mainly transported by road to industrial parks and export processing zones. Therefore, only about 15% of goods in Hai Phong port and about 35% of cargo transport by container in the Mekong Delta region are transported by inland waterways.

Over the past decade, investment in inland waterway infrastructure has almost completely come from ODA with very little direct budget allocation from the Government. No new infrastructure construction projects with ODA or Government capital have been implemented recently.

Meanwhile, the World Bank warned that many ministries participating in management made Vietnam's inland waterway transportation more difficult to develop. This overlap is reflected in the competition issues of traffic flow management, water supply and drainage, irrigation, fishing and aquaculture, recreational tourism ... Even Vietnam Inland Waterway Association Nam also statistics over 100km of rivers with 13 control stations of all kinds, hindering the development of water transport.


 
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