Railway sector asked to improve competitiveness

In the first six months of the year, the railway corporation achieved revenue of 3.5 trillion VND (155 million USD), an increase of 3.8 percent compared to last year’s same period.(Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s working group has
called for the railway sector to raise its competitiveness in comparison with
other modes of transport.

Working with leaders of the Vietnam Railway Corporation in Hanoi on inspections
among other matters, Mai Tien Dung, Minister – Chairman of the Government Office, said
such inspections were carried out to check the implementation of measures to
ensure hitting this year’s GDP growth target.

The working day with the railway sector aimed to examine the implementation of
measures to promote business, to increase transport revenue and passenger and
cargo transport. It also hoped to detect difficulties and obstacles in order to
find measures to tackle these difficulties.

In the first six months of the year, the railway corporation achieved revenue
of 3.5 trillion VND (155 million USD), an increase of 3.8 percent compared to
last year’s same period, and only 45 percent of the year’s goal.

The working group, on behalf of the Prime Minister, said the corporation needed
to explain several matters.

The first issue is a 12 percent drop of the sector’s revenue in 2016, which was
6.5 trillion VND (289 million USD), compared to 2015.

“When compared to other transport types, railway transport is less attractive –
in terms of safety and quality. The facility is outdated. For goods transport,
storage and loading ports, connections with air and sea transport are not
convenient,” said Dung, who is also head of the working group.

“The Prime Minister said that leaders of the corporation should think about how
to improve all of these elements to raise competitiveness,” Dung said.

Another issue was safety and skills of the sector’s staff. The working group
cited recent incidents including accidents at Yen Vien station and an incident
when two trains travelled on the same track at Suoi Van station in Binh Thuan province.

Investment in the railway sector was also important. “It’s good that the sector
has already called on investment in storage, loading means and connecting
railways with industrial zones, airports and sea ports,” Dung said.

In response to Dung’s comments, Vu Ta Tung, Director of the Vietnam Railway
Corporation, admitted that the railway sector faces fierce competition on price
with air, road and waterway transport. The price depended much on the railway
sector’s infrastructure, he said.

“Many officials of the railway sector still have backward thinking,”
Tung said. However, to change the backward thinking and develop the sector, it
would be a long road, not a short one, he said.

The Prime Minister asked the sector to pay attention to managing and improving
railway crossings.

The final matter was the issue of equitisation. The working group said the
corporation had proceeded with this in good time but capital withdrawal has not
met requirements.-VNA



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