With the right development plan inland waterway transport could be more efficient than both rail and roads, said a study mapping out possible growth strategies for the country's transport sector through 2030.
Waterway transport will help cut costs and ease road traffic gridlocks, according to the Comprehensive Study on the Sustainable Development of Transport Systems, which was released at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday.
Vietnam has 6,500 kilometers of navigable rivers but the potential of this mode of transport has not been tapped, the study said.
The research team said the government needs to spend more money improving waterway transport systems, estimating that around US$600 million would be needed.
The study was conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Ministry of Transport over a two-year period. It was a follow up to a previous study conducted in 1999, which was criticized by some experts for inaccurate forecasts.
Iwata Shizuo, head of the research team, said surveys would be conducted again after one or two years to provide updates on traffic developments in the country.