Construction of North-South high-speed rail route to begin by 2030

Wednesday, 01/11/2023 16:32
The Vietnamese Government has initiated plans to begin construction of a North-South high-speed rail route by 2030 and put it into operation by 2045, according to VOV News.
Vietnam is expected to begin construction of a North-South high-speed railway route by 2030 and put it into operation by 2045. 

This goal has been set by the Government in a plan of action on orientations for the country’s rail service development to 2030 with a vision ahead towards 2045, which was issued on October 31.

The Government has assigned the Ministry of Transport (MoT) to draft the project this year which will be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration and approval by 2025.

It has assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) to prioritise allocating capital for rail infrastructure projects, including the high-speed route, between 2025 and 2045.

Furthermore, it has also asked the MPI to review and amend the Investment Law to attract further investment in this key project by encouraging public-private partnerships.

In conclusions made in March, the Political Bureau requested that the North-South high-speed railway project be approved by 2025 and begin construction before 2030. Priority will be given to construction of the Hanoi - Vinh and Ho Chi Minh City - Nha Trang high-speed railway sections between 2026 and 2030. The entire North-South route is anticipated to come into operation before 2045.

In late 2019, the MoT submitted two options to the Government with regard to developing the North-South high-speed railway route.

The first option will see Vietnam build a double-track railway with a track gauge of 1,435m at a total length of 1,545km for only passenger trains that are designed to run at a maximum speed of 320 km/h. The existing railway route that has a track gauge of 1,000m will be upgraded to transport goods. The total expected investment for this option is about 58.71 billion USD.

In the second option, the country will construct a new double-track railway with a track gauge of 1,435m for both passenger and freight trains to run at maximum speeds of 180 km/h and 120 km/h, respectively. The project is likely to cost about 64.9 billion USD.

On October 18, the Government Office announced conclusions made by Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha who requested that the synchronous and modern development of the North-South high-speed railway occur in accordance with world trends. The route will support trains at a designed speed of 350 km/h and will become the backbone of the national transport system.

Vietnam's tourism sector earns 23.7 billion USD in ten months

Vietnam welcomes 1.11 million foreign visitors in October. (Photo: VNA) 

Vietnam’s total revenue from tourists is estimated at 582.6 trillion VND (23.7 billion USD) in the first ten months of 2023, Vietnam News Agency quoted figures of the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism.

In the period, the country welcomed 10 million foreign tourists, exceeding the target of 8 million for the whole year, and served 98.7 million domestic holiday-makers. In October alone, the tourism sector served 1.11 million foreign visitors and 5.2 million domestic tourists.

According to the nine-month socio-economic report announced released by the General Statistics Office, the service and tourism sector grew by 6.24%, contributing 53.34% of the total overall growth of the country's GDP.

In November, localities across the nation have plans to organise various events and festivals to attract more tourists, including Hanoi Tourist Gift Festival, Ninh Thuan Tourism and Culture Day in Can Tho city, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Tourism Week, and Mang Den Culture Festival in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum.

 A beach in Phan Thiet city of Binh Thuan province. (Photo: VNA)

Travel companies in Vietnam are preparing to anticipate opportunities of the peak season of both inbound and outbound tours.

At present, the Republic of Korea, China, Taiwan (China), and Japan are widely sought after by tourists thanks to good tour prices. A representative of Saigontourist – one of Vietnam’s largest travel companies, said that tours with new destinations or offering new experiences are attracting tourists, many of whom are willing to spend large amounts of money to enjoy new experiences.

Nguyen Nguyet Van Khanh, a representative of Vietravel – also a major Vietnamese travel firm, stated that with some tours that draw attention by a large number of Vietnamese tourists, such as those to China, the company always proactively links and cooperates with tourism promotion agencies, and localities to step up promotion activities and introduce tours at good prices so as to bring many impressive experiences to customers.

Online travel platform Agoda on October 24 for the first time announced Vietnam’s New Horizons – a list of new emerging destinations in the country that few tourists have known.

The list is made based on the results of comparing search data for the same period in 2022 and 2023 about emerging destinations, increasing interest from both domestic and foreign tourists.

On the top of the list is Tam Dao resort in the northern mountainous of Vinh Phuc with search traffic increasing by 279% over the same period last year.

Other destinations are Bac Ninh - a spiritual city in the North with a 234% increase in search volume; Sam Son coastal city in the central province of Thanh Hoa, 228%; and Phu Quy - a small island off the coast of Binh Thuan province. The coastal city of Quy Nhon with its romantic beaches and unique cuisine is also included in the list.

Vu Ngoc Lam, Director of Agoda in Vietnam, said that in addition to the most popular and famous destinations in Vietnam which many tourists visit regularly, Agoda found that some places with fewer visitors had a clear increase in searches.

Agoda wants to take advantage of this opportunity to introduce new places and find out what attracts those who love to explore destinations that few tourists have come to.

He said Vietnam has many interesting things to explore, in which second- and third-class destinations are increasingly sought after. Therefore, Agoda regularly introduces many incentives to help tourists have the best experiences when travelling to Vietnam.

Petrol prices go up on November 1

Illustrative image (Photo: VNA) 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ministry of Finance on November 1 decided to continue raising the retail prices of petrol products, according to Vietnam News Agency.

Accordingly, the price of E5 RON92 rose by 249 VND to no more than 22,614 VND (0.92 USD) per litre, while that of RON95-III was up by 416 VND to 23,929 VND per litre.

Meanwhile, the prices of diesel oil, kerosene and mazut were adjusted to 21,940 VND per litre, 22,305 VND per litre, and 16,240 VND a kilogramme, down 549 VND, 448 VND and 373 VND, respectively.

With this price adjustment, the ministries decided not to use the petrol and oil price stabilisation fund.

Vietnam's seaport throughput rebounds in 10 months

Vietnam’s seaport throughput rebounded in the first 10 months of this year, reaching over 624.55 million tonnes, up 3% year on year, reported Vietnam News Agency.

 At Cat Lai port in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VnExpress)

Accordingly, the volume of exports decreased slightly by about 1%, but imports showed a stronger growth of around 5%.

During the January-September period, the total volume of goods passing through seaports hit nearly 565 million tonnes, up 3%. Of which, exports dropped by 1% to over 132 million tonnes while imports rose by 5% to over 165 million tonnes. Domestic cargo also went up 3% to more than 264 million tonnes, and transshipment cargo reached 2 million tonnes.

After several months of decline, several areas saw an annual increase in seaport throughput, such as Ho Chi Minh City with a 2.72% rise, Quang Ninh 4.8%, and Hai Phong 0.8%

The volume of container cargo through seaports in the first 10 months fell by roughly 3% to 20.29 million TEUs.

The provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Dinh, Dong Thap and Nghe An posted growth of between 10-68% in container cargo volume./.