Business wants HCMC to focus on logistics infrastructure

By Vien Thong   March 24, 2022 | 02:30 am PT
Heads of major companies have exhorted HCMC authorities to improve the city's logistics capacity, with some signaling an interest in investing in the sector.

At a conference with businesses Tuesday, city people's committee chairman Phan Van Mai said development plans for the next decade are focused on innovations in management, infrastructure and business.

He called on investors and businesses to "join hands with the city to... implement [new initiatives]" and be "co-authors of the city's development."

Many of the executives responded by saying logistics infrastructure is the key to achieving those goals.

A birds eye view of HCMCs Cat Lai Port, Vietnams main gateway to international trade. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

A bird's eye view of HCMC's Cat Lai Port, Vietnam's main gateway to international trade. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, chairwoman of conglomerate SOVICO and CEO of budget airline Vietjet, called for investing in transport and logistics infrastructure to turn the city into a hub for supporting industries and training for tech-based sectors.

"[I] propose developing more mechanisms to attract investment from the private sector such as PPP (public–private partnership) and BOT (build–operate–transfer)."

The heads of logistics firms KCTC Vina and MSC Vietnam agreed on the need for upgrading Cat Lai Port in District 2.

Park Hyun Bae of KCTC Vina said he was looking forward to an AI-based information system to enhance managerial effectiveness, and MSC Vietnam’s Boris Cohen advocated upgrading Cat Lai and other nearby ports to international standards.

Cat Lai, Vietnam's largest port, handles 60 percent of the country's total containers and is its main gateway to international trade.

Chairman of conglomerate Imex Pan Pacific Group (IPPG), Johnathan Hanh Nguyen, said his company is seeking approval to build a logistics services hub in Thu Duc City.

The hub will fits IPPG's plans to have warehouses throughout the country to serve the cargo airline it is setting up, IPP Air Cargo.

Underlining the importance of human resources for the logistics sector, head of Gemadept, Nguyen Thanh Binh, said authorities should plan for innovation and setting up training centers.

The delegates also proposed ideas to improve industrial and digital infrastructure.

Dragon Capital's deputy chair, Tran Thanh Tan, said the fund is "ready to provide the city with technical and financial assistance to build the [international financial hub]."

It is also willing to help develop mechanisms for the fintech sector, he added.

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