Asean Summit: New network to encourage smart and seamless logistics infrastructure

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (centre) and other leaders attend the launching ceremony of the Asean Smart Logistics Network in Hanoi on Nov 14, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - A collaborative platform launched on Saturday (Nov 14) aims to integrate regional logistics development by strengthening supply chains and promoting competitiveness.

The Asean Smart Logistics Network, as it is called, is especially relevant now, given the challenges stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, said the YCH Group, a Singapore logistics firm.

The firm added that it will join forces with Vietnamese T&T Group, a multi-industry investment company, on the network's first project - the Vinh Phuc Inland Container Depot Logistics Centre.

YCH Group said the "SuperPort" will be the first of its kind, providing a multi-modal logistics hub that integrates dry port and advance supply chain nerve centre operations.

Its road, rail, air and sea links combined with its prime location near Hanoi will make it a key connection point for trade and supply chains between China, Vietnam, Asean, and other international markets.

Saturday's launch, which took place on the sidelines of the 37th Asean Summit in Hanoi, was attended by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh while Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong and Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing were virtual guests.

PM Lee said the "SuperPort" project - the largest logistics development by a Singapore company in Vietnam - will provide crucial infrastructure support for Vietnam's growing exports and contribute to its human resource development goals.

"This is a vote of confidence in Vietnam's and Asean's future, because despite the immediate challenges of the pandemic, we are confident that we will emerge stronger, and that our long-term prospects are bright," he added.

PM Lee noted that Singapore was the top Asean investor in Vietnam last year and that seven Vietnam-Singapore industrial parks have already attracted US$14 billion (S$18.9 billion) in investment and created in excess of 250,000 jobs in the country.

Artist impression of the SuperPort project. PHOTO: YCH GROUP

"(This) has been made possible because of the mutual trust and comfort our peoples and businesses have in each other," he said, adding that he was "encouraged that amidst the Covid-19 crisis, regional integration and cooperation have continued uninterrupted".

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