Summary: In Vietnam, sustained high rates of growth in gross domestic product (GDP) averaging 7.2 percent per year over the past 20 years have resulted in higher demand for freight transport. As Vietnam looks to continue on a path of sustained economic growth, it faces the challenge of better aligning demand and supply of logistics services and improving the overall efficiency of its freight transport system. Given the existence of capacity constraints in the country's road network and the increasingly costly environmental impact of road use for freight movements, it is desirable for Vietnam to develop and maintain viable, competitive alternatives to road freight transport. A more intense use of waterborne freight transport can be a particularly effective way of both promoting growth and reducing emissions. The report has three objectives. The first is to identify targeted policy and infrastructure interventions in inland waterway transport (IWT) and coastal shipping that can enhance the competitiveness and environmental sustainability characteristics of Vietnam's freight transport system. The second objective of the report is to estimate the economic benefits and costs associated with the interventions identified, and to use that information to produce a prioritized list of evaluated recommendations for implementation. Finally, the report seeks to inform interested stakeholders, including public sector authorities, the shipper and carrier community, donors, academia, and the general public about the current status, composition, and key challenges and opportunities facing Vietnam's domestic waterborne transport sector. The report's scope comprises the three most important sources of freight activity in Vietnam, namely, road, IWT, and coastal shipping transportation. This report is structured as follows: chapter one gives introduction; chapter two gives stock taking of current developments and expected trends in IWT and coastal shipping from the perspective of market demand; and market supply is discussed in chapter three. Chapter four assesses, on an indicative basis, the environmental implications of transport trends. Chapter five defines and assesses the main bottlenecks impacting the development of inland and coastal waterborne transport. A preliminary strategy for developing IWT and coastal shipping is presented in chapter six. A set of specific IWT and coastal shipping interventions informed by the latter analysis, are developed and evaluated in chapter seven.
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