Mekong area needs $3.8b for projects

Friday, Dec 18, 2015 09:00

A corner of Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City in the Cuu Long (Mekong ) Delta region. The Mekong Delta region will need more than VND86.3 trillion (US$3.83 billion) in the 2016-20 period to develop key infrastructure projects to fuel its economic growth. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
CAN THO (VNS) — The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region will need more than VND86.3 trillion (US$3.83 billion) in the 2016-20 period to develop key infrastructure projects to fuel its economic growth, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Around VND65 trillion ($2.8 billion) of the total funding will go to road projects. The remaining money will be spent on waterway developments and aviation facilities.

"Infrastructure projects play an important role in the region's economic and social developments. Local authorities should diversity investment methods to attract investors," said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, head of the Southwest Steering Committee, speaking at a recent conference in Can Tho City.

According to Ninh, the sources spent on developing and upgrading the region's facilities from 2010 to 2015 were 2.7 times more than the amount in the 2005-10 period.

More than VND58.7 trillion ($2.6 billion) from the State budget was spent on completing transport projects in the last five years.

Five projects with the total investment of over VND39.3 trillion ($1.76 billion) funded by the Official Development Assistance (ODA) were completed, including the project linking Rach Gia City of Kien Giang to Ca Mau Province, Vam Cong and Cao Lanh bridges in Dong Thap Province.

Additionally, seven projects with total investment of VND22.8 trillion ($1 billion) under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) are under construction.

The ministry has worked with local authorities to develop 34 road projects to build and upgrade 1,036 kilometres of road and 60 km of bridge, which worth VND52.5 trillion ($2.3 billion).

These projects, including HCM City-Trung Luong Highway, Quan Lo-Phung Hiep National Road, Can Tho and Ham Luong bridges, play a key role in social-economic developments and national defence in the region and country in general.

The first phase of the waterway project Cho Gao Canal has been completed with investment capital of VND787 billion ($35 million).

The construction of both Can Tho and Phu Quoc airports has helped link localities in the region and other parts of the country and the world.

Local transport vehicles attracted 4.6 billion passengers and over 468 million tonnes of products from 2010 to June 2015, a year-on-year increase of 4.4 and 4.9 per cent, respectively.

The ministry is working on 24 projects with funds from different sources, including the State budget, governmental bonds, ODA and BOT.

Major transport projects will be put into use next year, including the upgraded National Highway 91, the expanded National Highway 63 section in the centre of Ca Mau, the National Highway 61B section from Vinh Tuong Intersection to Long My Town in Hau Giang Province, and the National Highway 54 section in Dong Thap Province.

It will also build and upgrade local waterway and marine systems to contribute to developing the country's marine economy.

Ninh said the ministry should conduct research on climate change and the rise of sea levels to guarantee the projects'sustainable growth.— VNS

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