Market Intelligence
Ports Infrastructure and Services Vietnam

Vietnam Green Port Opportunities

Vietnam is a promising market for ocean industry with a seaport system of 286 terminals and coastline length of over 3260 km.

In recent years, as a country pursuing an export-oriented industrialization strategy, Vietnam has succeeded in becoming a top destination for foreign direct investment in Southeast Asia. Currently Vietnam has 14 Free Trade Agreements which has dramatically boosted trade. From 2014 to 2020, Vietnam’s total exports and imports have nearly doubled from $298.2 billion to $545.3 billion, with average annual growth rate of 10.9%. 

Vietnam total export-import volume from 2014-2020 (Source: Vietnam Customs)

Year Total Export-Import 
(billion USD)
Growth rate
2014 298.24 12.9%
2015 327.76 10.0%
2016 350.74 7.1%
2017 425.12 21.0%
2018 480.17 12.2%
2019 517.26 7.6%
2020 545.36 5.4%


The boom of export-import activities has driven the demand for seaport operations and infrastructure modernization. From 2014 to 2019, container port traffic in Vietnam had an average growth rate of 8.5%, the highest in the region. According to Vietnam Customs, in 2021, the volume of container cargo soared 18% in the first eight months, occurring mainly in Ho Chi Minh, Vung Tau, Quang Ninh, and Hai Phong City. 

Vietnam container port traffic from 2014-2020 (Source: World Bank)


Container port traffic 

(TEU: 20 foot equivalent units)

Growth rate
2014 10,009,360 18.4%
2015 11,089,560 10.8%
2016 11,086,140 0.0%
2017 11,965,610 7.9%
2018 13,008,500 8.7%
2019 13,658,930 5.0%

Recognizing the the rising challenges to maintain port operations while combating climate change, the Vietnamese government has determined that green port development is the key strategic pathway for domestic port systems to integrate with international marine systems. On October 27, 2020, the Vietnamese Ministry of Transportation issued Decision No. 2027/QD-BGTVT approving the green port development project in Vietnam. According to this project, Vietnam will strive to apply compulsory national standards of green ports to port development beginning in 2030. In the recently published plan by the Vietnamese Maritime Administration in July 2021, Vietnam will execute a green port pilot project in certain seaports from 2023 before expanding the model to other ports.

In order to realize this plan, Vietnam will allocate significant investments to create world-class ports in the next phase of its seaport master plan. In Vietnam’s seaport system development plan for  2021-2030, with a vision to 2050 held by Vietnam Maritime Administration (VMA), the total cost for Vietnam’s seaport infrastructure development through 2030 is estimated between USD 12.8 billion to USD 13.7 billion. The investment is expected to come from both the Vietnamese state budget and private sector.

Green ports in Vietnam will be constructed according to six main groups of criteria (focusing mainly on general ports and container ports) with a specific scale as follows: 

  • Green port perception (maximum score is 5 points), 
  • Resource usage (maximum score is 15 points), 
  • Environmental quality management (maximum score is 50 points), 
  • Energy use (maximum score 15 points), 
  • Information technology application (maximum score is 5 points), 
  • Emission reduction, response to climate change, sea level rise (maximum score is 10 points).

Seaports must achieve a score of at least 60% to qualify as a green port. Currently, Tan Cang - Cat Lai port managed by the Saigon Newport Corporation, the Ministry of Defense, is the first and only seaport in Vietnam that meets this criteria and has been awarded the Green Port Award 2018 by The APEC Port Services Network (APSN). Green port development in Vietnam will create potential opportunities in: 

  • Energy-saving, emission reduction, renewable energy solutions and industrial equipment
  • Environmental quality management solutions
  • Information technology applications

For further information, please contact our Commercial Specialist:  Anh Nguyen (Hanoi) at and Nga Hoang (Ho Chi Minh City) at