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Việt Nam aiming to become one of the world’s leading centres of wood production and processing




A sand forest in the coastal communes of Triệu Phong District in the central province of Quảng Trị. — VNA/ Photo Hồ Cầu

HÀ NỘI — With its abundance of tropical forest resources, Việt Nam is aiming to become one of the world’s leading centres for the production, processing and trade of forest products.

This is one of the targets of the Việt Nam Forestry Development Strategy for the 2021-2031 period with a vision to 2050 which was approved by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

The strategy aims to ensure the forestry sector can make an increasing contribution to socio-economic development, environmental protection, water security and the response to climate change. This means not only generating jobs and raising incomes for local residents but also maintaining national defence and security and helping realise the national goals of sustainable development.

The State management system for forestry will be streamlined while maintaining effective operations.

Another purpose of the strategy is to ensure equal participation among all economic sectors in forestry activities, maximising the use of social resources as well as the application of advanced science and technology in the industry.

Under the strategy, by 2050, the forestry sector is hoped to be modern, economic and technical with high competitiveness. The sector will bring into full play the advantage of its tropical forest resources, using modern and environmentally friendly technology to create a variety of products with high added value. It will also widely participate in global supply chains, contributing to the sustainable development of the country.

The forestry sector is expected to make important contributions to building a countryside that is rich and civilised by improving livelihoods, developing a green economy associated with forest resources and preserving the traditional cultural identity and living space of ethnic minorities.

Forests will be managed in a sustainable way and natural resources and biodiversity will be conserved in the long term, according to the strategy.

Environmental security and water resources will be ensured while the negative impacts of natural disasters will be minimised. The sector will also fully implement Viet Nam’s international commitments.

To achieve the targets, the strategy includes some solutions such as reviewing and completing the forestry policy system based on the 2017 Law on Forestry and reforming mechanisms and policies to mobilise more resources for forestry development in association with sustainable poverty reduction.

Attention will also be paid to enhancing legal education on forest protection and development and raising people’s awareness of forest protection.

The strategy also proposes building synchronous forestry infrastructure and modernising the forestry sector and logistics services. It is necessary to restructure concentrated production areas to develop key products in accordance with the advantages of each region associated with forest product processing zones and commercial services.

The sector will step up modernisation, mechanisation and synchronous automation in concentrated commodity forestry production areas. By 2030, the rate of mechanisation in land preparation, seeding, tree planting, care, pest control, forest fire prevention, timber and forest product exploitation and transportation is expected to be at least 30 per cent.

In the strategy, Việt Nam also hopes to become one of the leading manufactures and exporters of wood products in the world.

Per the strategy, the State will provide support and issue policies to encourage investment in the construction of at least three high-tech forestry zones in the north, central and south region to promote the development of the forestry sector in a modern way with the use of high technology. — 





High logistic costs hinder Delta agriculture exports




High cost of air transport and the inability to preserve fresh produce for a long time are among the logistic challenges that the Mekong Delta is facing. – Photo

MEKONG DELTA – Agriculture exports from the Mekong Delta are facing logistical challenges, affecting their competitiveness overseas.

Đồng Văn Thanh, chairman of Hậu Giang Province People’s Committee, said the Mekong Delta exports millions of tonnes of agriculture products every year but the region is facing many logistical choke-points.

The region is lacking key logistics hubs and storage areas for empty containers and products at ports. Goods have to be transported through many areas before reaching HCM City for export, which increases the cost.

Ngô Tường Vy, deputy director of Chánh Thu Fruit Export and Import Co. Ltd in Bến Tre Province, said that the cost of air transport of fresh fruits to the US and European markets have increased greatly over the years.

For example, the cost for air shipping fresh fruits to the US used to be around US$3.5 per kilo a few years ago, but now has risen to $6 per kilo.

This is affecting their competitiveness overseas and reducing the amount of fruit shipped there.

However, since preservation technology for many fruit products is not good enough, they have to rely on air transport.

The cost of ocean transport of fruit is 15 times cheaper than air, so better preservation technology to maintain quality on longer container trips is important, she said.

Phạm Tiến Hoài, general director of Hanh Nguyen Logistics, said that the logistics costs of Việt Nam’s agricultural products are high, usually accounting for around 30 per cent of their final prices, so they struggle to compete with goods from other suppliers such as China, Thailand and Indonesia.

Võ Thanh Phong, general director of Hậu Giang Maritime Service Co.Ltd , said the Government needs to continue its effort to improve and enlarge waterways in the Mekong Delta so that large vessels can easily travel through different regions, reducing transport time and costs.

Lê Tiến Châu, provincial party secretary of Hậu Giang, said that for 2021 – 2026 the province will invest around VNĐ18 trillion ($777.99 million) to improve traffic infrastructure and region connectivity.

Every year the Mekong Delta accounts for 90 per cent of the country’s rice exports, and 70 per cent of fruit exports. –


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Danang suspends BRT project due to its ineffectiveness



A BRT bus is seen at a bus station in Hanoi. The government of Danang City has decided to suspend its BRT project as the investment in the project has yet to bring about social advantages for the coastal central city – PHOTO: TPO

HCMC – The government of Danang City has decided to suspend its bus rapid transit (BRT) project as the investment in the project has yet to bring about social advantages for the coastal central city.

Huynh Anh Vu, deputy director of the Danang City Management Board of Prioritized Infrastructure Investment Projects, which is the project’s developer and operator, confirmed that the management board had reached a consensus with the World Bank, which serves as the lender of the project, on its suspension.

Instead, the management board will focus on completing works related to the development of subsidized bus routes in the city, Vu said, as reported by Lao Dong newspaper.

The decision is considered as the right move as the city’s transport infrastructure system still remains inadequate and measures taken to encourage the use of public means of transport among local residents have not proved effective.

The move was strongly backed by the locals and some of them cited the examples of other localities where trillions of dong were poured into BRT projects but they had failed to address traffic congestion and caused losses to the State budget.

In 2013, the Government approved a master project to develop Danang sustainably with five components: improving the rainwater and drainage system, piloting the BRT system, developing key urban roads, enhancing the capacity and supporting the execution of projects and works transferred from prioritized infrastructure investment projects.

The master project was expected to be completed in June this year, but it has been 84% complete to date with US$185 million spent. Specifically, the BRT project has been 33% complete, while the remaining components have basically been finalized.


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Some coastal hotels report full occupancy as tourists are on the rise



Tourists play outdoor games at a resort. Many hotels in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province have reported full occupancy as the number of tourists is on the rise – PHOTO: LDO

HCMC – Many hotels in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province have reported full occupancy as the number of tourists is on the rise, though the holidays of April 30 and May 1 are still a while away, signaling good news for the tourism sector.

Nguyen Van Tuan, manager of Long Hai Hotel in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, told Lao Dong Online that over the past one year, the hotel saw few guests and its highest occupancy rate at a mere 20%. However, for some days last week, the number of tourists who booked rooms at the hotel surged, with the occupancy rate at 90%.

For April 17 and 18, the hotel is fully booked, and it is the first time since the coronavirus pandemic that the hotel is seeing some 100 rooms in total fully booked, Tuan said, adding that the hotel was fully booked three weeks ago for the Reunification Day, April 30.

Last weekend, many guests fully booked rooms at Vietsovpetro Ho Tram, said a representative of the resort.

Many hotels at sea tourist destinations near HCMC such as Ho Tram, Long Hai, Vung Tau and Mui Ne are seeing the number of guests soar on weekends.

Do Van Thuc, deputy director of Dat Viet Tour, said that the firm had received rising tour bookings on weekends.

Recently, Dat Viet Tour has been seeing an average 1,500 guests book weekend tours to the sea each week, some 200 kilometers from HCMC, he said.

Apart from this, since March, when the coronavirus outbreak was brought under control in Vietnam, Alo Limo, a transport firm, has become busier on weekends, said Le Gia Thanh Tam, a representative of Alo Limo.

Over the past few weeks, each week has seen some 10-15 groups of tourists book limousines for their trips, mainly to Dalat, Phan Thiet and Vung Tau, Tam said.


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