Vietnam’s blue economy is a relatively new concept that encompasses economic activities related to oceans and seas while improving livelihoods and preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.

The sea and coastal areas of Vietnam account for approximately 47-48 percent of the country’s GDP. Vietnam Briefing highlights some distinct characteristics of the blue economy as well as opportunities for investors.

The development of Vietnam’s blue economy is a relatively new concept but is necessary to address the environmental issues, its carbon footprint, and the exploitation of natural resources along its coastlines.

The blue economy is a relatively new term. It means the assurance of economic growth and the development of marine ecosystems while ensuring the reasonable exploitation of natural resources with lesser environmental impact. It also means the construction and development of infrastructure adaptable to climate change and extreme weather.

The World Bank describes the blue economy as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth while improving livelihoods and preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.

As such, the blue economy is the central point to enable Vietnam achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 with vision to 2045, with the environment being one of the pillars of this development.

The blue economy would also help meet Vietnam’s climate change goals. Recent studies show that a 1-meter rise in sea level would impact 11 percent of Vietnam’s population and 7 percent of its agricultural land. Depending on the severity of sea-level rise, climate change may eventually expose 38‐46 percent of Vietnam’s population to flooding.

The development of the blue economy, however, must be based on a balanced growth of six industries: fisheries and aquaculture; oil and gas; marine renewable energy; coastal and marine tourism; the maritime sector; and environment and ecosystems.

Vietnam’s long coastline is advantageous as it is situated near international and regional maritime routes. Vietnam’s coastal areas lie in areas with high economic growth rates and serve as a bridge between several regional trading partners and shipping routes.

These are favorable conditions for Vietnam to develop its maritime sector, shipbuilding, and logistics industries, given its 114 estuaries, and 52 deep-sea gulfs along the central coast (gulfs, bays, and lagoons stretching over 60 percent of the coastline), and over 100 positions for construction of big seaports.

Vietnam is home to several natural resources and contains about 35 minerals of various groups: fuel, metal, building materials, precious and semi-precious stones, and liquid minerals. Sand mines under sea beds in Quang Ninh province and Hai Phong city have a deposit of over 100 billion tonnes and nearly 9 billion tonnes respectively.

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This article was first published by VietnamBriefing which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers may write to [email protected].

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ASEAN Briefing features business news, regulatory updates and extensive data on ASEAN free trade, double tax agreements and foreign direct investment laws in the region. Covering all ASEAN members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam)

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