Vinalines asks Government to help it overcome difficulties

Friday, Dec 13, 2013 17:37

Vinalines reported promising signs from maritime logistics services, as nearly 32 logistics businesses have become profitable. Photo
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) has proposed that the Government adopt preferential polices to help domestic shipping fleets overcome difficulties, according the online Vietstock newspaper.

In a report sent to the Central Economic Committee, Vinalines asked the Government to direct banks and credit institutions to extend its debt limit and reduce loan interest rates in an effort to help it successfully carry out the restructuring plan approved by the Prime Minister early this year.

Vinalines General Director Nguyen Canh Viet said he expected the State-owned banks to lend floating capital to shipping businesses, which are facing difficulties, during the 2013-15 period.

Viet also supported this proposal, explaining that the South Korean Government had sought to assist the country's shipping sector. In August, the Government granted a loan of US$187 million through the Korea Development Bank to rescue STX Pan Ocean Co., one of the country's largest maritime transport companies, from bankruptcy.

Further, in a recent question and answer session with National Assembly deputies, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang said Vinalines had restructured a debt of VND7,855 billion ($374 million) at Vietnam Development Bank and VND20,412 billion ($972 million) at other credit institutions.

Vinalines also proposed the Government reduce taxes, including value-added taxes and import taxes for ships, and exempt the value-added tax of 10 per cent for ship building projects which are designed for international maritime transport.

Raising market share

To increase its market share in export and import good transports for the Vietnamese shipping fleet, Vinalines asked the Government to reserve the right of transport of import and export goods, which are the country's natural resources paid by the State budget, for the national shipping fleet. At the same time, it is necessary to exempt and reduce a number of taxes and fees at the country's seaports until the maritime transport market has recovered.

Vinalines took the Philippines, as an example, which has supported its domestic maritime transport industry as its Government levied taxes on foreign ships transporting the country's goods for export.

Vinalines also asked the Vietnam Social Insurance Corporation to allow shipping companies to delay paying debts from social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance from 2012 and previous years.

"In the context of the world economy's degradation, most ship owners have been suffering large losses. If there is no support from the Government, many companies will become bankruptcy and incapable of refunding the banks," said the report.

For example, Vinalines Rubi, with a loading capacity of 1,800TEU, suffered a loss of about US$16,000 per day because payments for its freight were not enough to compensate for costs. Similarly, Inlaco Express earns about $5,000-7,000 per day, on average, while its daily costs have increased to $14,000.

In spite of the many long-term difficulties and challenges, Vinalines reported promising signs from maritime logistics services, as nearly 32 logistics businesses have become profitable. — VNS

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