On Nov. 20, Bethann Rooney, port director at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hai Phong, Vietnam, solidifying a close collaboration aimed at growing trade between the two ports. The visit, led by Mr. Le Tien Chau, Secretary of the Hai Phong Party’s Committee represents an opportunity to promote cooperation between the Port of New York and New Jersey and partners in Hai Phong to support bilateral trade and investment between the United States and Vietnam.
Hai Phong is the largest port city in Northern Vietnam and one of the most important industrial hubs of the country. It is one of the fastest-growing Vietnamese cities in terms of gross regional domestic product (GRDP).
The Nov. 20 event follows a historic Sept. 10 meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to elevate U.S.‐Vietnam relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. A week after President Biden’s visit, port leadership hosted a gathering with Hai Phong provincial authorities and a consortium of companies doing business in Vietnam. At the meeting, the Mayor of Hai Phong and Chairman of Hai Phong People’s Committee shared the region’s seaport development strategy, discussing their master plan to develop a modern seaport system.
The $13.77 billion project set to be completed by 2030 will upgrade and optimize Vietnam’s port system to reduce dependency on road transportation and boost trade. The plan includes two special graded terminals: Nam Do Son in Hai Phong and Cai Mep in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, which will act as international hubs for direct transport of Vietnamese goods to Europe and the U.S., avoiding the need to send goods to intermediate hubs in other countries.
Hai Phong is the only city in northern Vietnam with five modes of transportation, including railways, roadways, airways, inland waterways, and maritime. The city has the potential to develop into a center of large-scale manufacturing, industrial parks, and economic zones across Southeast Asia. With an upgraded infrastructure system, a favorable geographical location, and government support, Hai Phong carries significant possibilities for foreign investment. It stands to serve as a significant partner for the Port of New York and New Jersey as the port looks to diversify its shipping base and solidify its standing as one of United States’ busiest cargo gateways.