Vietnam has set the target to become a powerful marine nation, which meets all standards on sustainable development of sea-based economy. 


Immense marine economic potential

The East Sea has been deemed as the second busiest international transportrout in the world as the waters carries more than 45 percent of global maritimeshipping. With a total 48 bays and lagoons covering a total area of 4,000square kilometres, Vietnam has favourable conditions to construct deep-waterports.

The country has a long coastline extending over 3,260km, thousands of islands, andhundreds of beautiful white sandy beaches from the north to the south such asHa Long, Nha Trang and Da Nang. The 28 coastal cities and provinces account for70 percent of national tourism revenue.

Regarding marine resources, Vietnam is one of the mostbiologically diverse countries in the world, as its waters are home to some12,000 sea species, including more than 2,000 kinds of fish and 2,500 kinds ofmollusc. Fishing reserve is estimated at some 4.2 million tonnes, withexploitation potential reckoned at 1.7 million tonnes per year.

In addition, around 35 types of mineral resources have been located in theVietnamese waters, including oil and gas, metal, building materials, andgemstones. The Gulf of Tonkin, the Gulf of Thailand, the Hoang Sa and Truong Saarchipelagos, as well as the continental shelf all hold great prospects for oiland gas production exploration.

Besides, the East Sea is among the four regions in Southeast Asia with hugepotential for renewable energies, including clathrate – a clean energy whichcan be used in replacement of traditional energy sources like coal, oil andgas.

Oil and gas industry is a spearhead economy of the nation. The industry istruly a driving force to bolster coastal economy as earnings from oil and gasaccounts for 10-13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, and makessignificant contributions to the state budget.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the grossregional domestic product (GRDP) of coastal localities grew by an average 7.5percent each year during 2008-2017, much higher than the national rate. In2017, these areas made up 60.5 percent of the national GDP. Particularly, GRDPper capita in the localities reached 64.9 million VND (2,780 USD), higher thanthe country’s average of 53.2 million VND. High GRDP per capita was seen in BaRia-Vung Tau (over 225 million VND), Quang Ninh (over 90 million VND), and DaNang (over 70 million VND).

Striving to become a strong marine country

The target of becoming a strong marine country was clearly stated in theresolution on the strategy for sustainable development of the marine economy by2030 with vision until 2045, which was adopted at the 8th session ofthe 12th Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee.

Accordingly, sea-based industries are expected to contribute about 10 percent tothe national GDP, 28 coastal provinces and cities will make up 65-70 percent ofthe nation’s GDP. Sea-based economic activities will develop sustainably inline with international standards while exploitation of marine resources willbe controlled within the resilience of the marine ecosystems.

The resolution lays down three breakthrough areas and seven major guidelines torealise the goal, looking to raise public awareness of sustainable developmentof marine economy, complete institutions and mechanisms, branch out sciencetechnology, train high-quality human resources, improve capacity in ensuringsecurity-defence, and encourage the establishment of powerful sea-basedcorporations.

Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands Vu SiTuan suggested integrated management of sea and island environment plays animportant role in regulating human activities to protect the integrity of theecosystem’s functions and structure, while improving the ecosystem’sproductivity to ensure that marine resources are well managed and usedeffectively.

Other experts believed that it is necessary to build and carry out mechanismsto develop the blue economy.

In fact, many localities have worked to lure investments to develop moderntourism sites which draw large numbers of domestic and international tourists.Many investors registered up to 1 billion USD in their high-end tourism complexprojects.

Currently, Vietnam has 17 coastal economic zones established on a land andwater surface area of nearly 845,000 hectares. As of the end of 2017, those economic zones attracted 390 foreigninvestment projects with total investment of 45.5 billion USD, and 1,240domestic projects valued at 805 trillion VND. Several large coastal economiczones such as Nghi Son, Vung Ang, Chu Lai and Dung Quat have drawn greatprojects which play an important role in improving local industrial production’scapacity and promoting development of other sectors.

Thanks to the Government’s support policies, the volume of seafood catch hasincreased over years. The amount rose from 1.8 million tonnes in 2006 to 3.2million in 2017. The national fishing fleet now numbers 96,600 vessels of atleast 6m long.

The number of seafood processing businesses also surged to 620, with 415meeting requirements to export products to choosy markets like Japan, the USand the EU, among others.-VNA