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“Attention should turn to Vungtau, Vietnam again”
Opened briefing session on overseas logistics investment
Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 10:45:43 Paul Yoon
Attention turns to the Vungtau Port Development Project (VPDP) in Vietnam which is singled out as investment-worthy though suspended due to various external problems in last 2009.

Dr. Lee Sung-Woo, International Logistics Research Center (ILRC) in the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI), emphasized the need of resumed investment, raising new possibility of VPDP during the ‘Briefing Session on New Investment in Overseas Logistics’ held on Oct. 17 at the main conference room on the 4th floor of Seoul Railway Station.

VPDP was suspended for various reasons in 2009, but the largest practical factor among others was alleged to be the lowest possibility of its successful development. The port was considered to have the slimmest chance for its successful development with the terminals of six global players including Hutchison, PSA and others concentrated near Vungtau with an uncertain prospect of cargo inducement at the on-going global economic slowdown.

Nevertheless, Dr. Lee pointed out that a new approach is needed to VPDP in the port’s latest changing climates. The biggest change in the climates he argued is the possibility of cargo flow from Cambodia into Ho Chi Minh Port. Dr. Lee, who said he surveyed on Cambodia showing its rapid economic growth, the adjacent Vungtau Port can attract the growing cargo flow from Cambodia into Ho Chi Minh Port on a tributary of Mekong River.

Dr. Lee disclosed that in comparing two different routes of Ho Chi Minh and Singapore from distribution center of agricultural products in Northern Cambodia and its central manufacturing complex in respect of navigation time and transport cost, the Ho Chi Minh route through Mekong River is found more competitive.

As Dr. Lee pointed out, it is necessary to make a new approach to development of Vungtau Port because of the high possibility to make use of the port for transshipment with the rapidly growing container and bulk trade from Cambodia.

Besides Vungtau, he singled out Haiphong Port, the gate way to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and Danang Port in the central Vietnam as worthy of new investment in Vietnam.

Together with Vietnam, Dr. Lee presented Indonesia as new countries worthy of considering new investment. He described Indonesia as an appropriate area for investment with the 4th world-largest population, short of its logistics infrastructure including port facilities, inland logistics terminals, railways and roads amid its rapid economic growth of late. He further singled out Maloy, Dedbage and Jula Enok Port as investment-worthy areas in Indonesia.

On the other hand, Dr. Lee Sung-Woo said that the importance of Vietnam and Indonesia and other South-east Asian countries as logistics market is highly rising of late, stressing that we should make intensive investment in a preemptive move into these areas. He added that since the investments in South-Eastern Asian countries are likely to often create disputes, it is desirable for investors to be associated, if possible, with the government agencies, KMI (ILRC) and the like, citing that investors should capitalize on international logistics investment fund, global infra fund and ODA.

Dr. Lee also said that he would present in H2 this year another briefing session on possible investment in other South-East Asian countries than Vietnam and Indonesia and that he would unveil specific areas worthy of investment in such areas during H1 next year.
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