Vietnam must strive to become a strong and rich nation and benefit from the resources held within its territorial waters. In the near future, the marine economy is expected to account for 53-55 percent of the country’s GDP and 55-56 percent of its total export turnover.
This target was set out in a resolution on the nations maritime strategy until 2020 adopted at the 4 th Meeting of the 10 th Party Central Committee in 2006.
To reach this target, in March 2008, the Government set up the Vietnam Sea and Islands General Department (GDSI) under the Ministry of National Resources and the Environment, which is responsible for managing all issues relating to the country's waters and islands, including coastal areas.
The department is accelerating the building of a law on marine resources and the environment to manage sea-borne operations and the country's islands as well as a master plan on the use of marine resources and the maritime environment.
The GDSI Director, Nguyen Van Cu, stated that the agency will work together with ministries, localities, economic associations and enterprises that intend to exploit the marine resources to help establish Vietnam 's maritime trademarks and gradually raise them to international standards.
The GDSI will host Vietnam ’s second Sea and Islands Week from June 1-8 this year to raise public awareness of the strategic position and role the sea and islands play in the national defence and construction, he said.
Vietnam is a coastal nation at the eastern edge of the East Sea , with over 3,260 kilometres of coastal line and more than 3,000 islands.
Vietnam 's coastal areas are always sunny and have an abundance of white sandy beaches, together with beautiful forests and river deltas, as well as possessing unique maritime socio-cultural factors. These all provide an enormous potential for the country to develop different marine economies.
The marine and coastal economy accounted for 48 percent of the country's total GDP in 2005 and most of its revenues came from oil and gas, seafood, shipbuilding and maritime tourism. However, the use and exploitation of these resources in Vietnam remains ineffective and unsustainable due to a lack of overall investment plans in coastal areas as well as few development plans. This is especially important when dealing with the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels.