players through a recent government decree.
The decree issued July 5 permits local and international shippers, carriers, and navigation
operators to expand their activities in
an expected economic growth of 8 percent this year.
It also allows foreign companies to provide a cargo agency, freight forwarding, warehousing,
depot, and other services as agreed by
It permits international investors to own up to 49 percent in shipping joint ventures.
However, in piloting services, foreign ownership is restricted to 49 percent, while the piloting
vessels must be Vietnamese-flagged.
The decree is expected to provide significant business opportunities for foreign shipping and logistics companies, leading to the establishment of joint ventures and wholly foreign owned firms in
Vietnam Maritime Administration figures show that there are over 1,000 ships engaged in shipping
services, most of them with a capacity of less than 20,000 tons.
They have a combined capacity of 3.5 million tons, or just 20 percent of the domestic market.
Under the government strategy, a national shipping fleet will be set up to meet domestic
transport and 30 percent of the export cargo demand between now and 2010.
According to international marine groups,