Minister The said the ministry will also give special priority to developing coastal transport routes using river-sea vessels in order to fully tap strengths of river and coastal transport.
The ministry has always paid attention to developing water and coastal transport routes in order to take advantage of the country's long coastline and dense network of rivers and canals, he said.
However, waterway transport is not yet commensurate with the country's strengths and potential, and there is a big difference in waterway transport in the north and the south, The noted.
Currently, the rate of import and export goods transported via waterway routes in the south is 8.2 percent higher than that in the north.
To lift this rate, it is necessary to have solutions and policies to develop waterway and coastal transport by river-sea vessels, he stressed.
Bui Thien Thu, Director of the Vietnam Inland Waterways Department, reported that Vietnam has 2,360 rivers and canals with a total length of about 42,000 km, with nine major river systems pouring into the sea through 120 rivermouths. The total length of waterway routes being exploited nationwide is over 17,000 km.
Thu said waterway transport has the advantages of low freight rate, high safety and low pollution. It handles about 19 percent of the total volume of goods in the country, he added.