Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines will pour big bucks into Vietnam's port and shipping-related indus-tries as the country's forth-coming entry into World Trade Organization (WTO) will open up new opportunities, a top executive said.
President Akimitsu Ashida told reporters in Hanoi yesterday that his company would focus on eight services in Vietnam, comprising port logistics, forwarding, seamen’s training, ship repair, marine piloting, transshipment and tourist services.
Ashida said the shipping line operator would decide the time and the scale for each investment plan depending on conditions available in the country.
He noted Vietnam's transport market had reached high growth owing to the fast increase in the number of foreign investors. Besides, Ashida forecasted there would be an influx of big Japanese investors to Vietnam in the future.
Therefore, the company plans big investments to tap business opportunities here, he said.
"Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is carrying out a research for building a depot in Cai Mep port complex in the southern province of Baria-Vung Tau. Besides, we plan to join forces with local partners in training sailors there," Ashida said.
The top leader of MOL also said his company had selected Vietnam as the destination for building a ship repairing center.
The center should be able to meet 10% of demand on maintenance and repair for the national fleet of 750 vessels now and 900 vessels in 2009, he said, adding MOL experts were looking for a location in Baria-Vung Tau.
"MOL wants to establish a closed-cycle service network in the transport sector to help saving cost and enhancing investment efficiency, particularly in Vietnam where infrastructure is poor and cost is high," Ashida said.
He added many investors were facing logistic and infrastructure problems. Therefore, the Vietnamese Government should take full advantage of ODA loans financed by Japan for improving infrastructure.
After 10 years opening its representative office in Vietnam, MOL has seen business grow 64 times in forwarding. The volume in goods trans-port is expected to amount to 6,400 containers this year, generating an estimated revenue of 4 billion Japanese yen.
MOL owns a fleet with total capacity of 41.5 million DWT. The company's turnover is targeted at US$ 14 billion this year, with profit expected at USS1 billion.
Source: SGT-HANOI - 3 Oct 2006