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Vietnam transport ministry plans over $17B to build expressways in 5 years

Vehicles on HCMC-Trung Luong, the only expressway now running across the Mekong Delta. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HANOI, Jul 31, 2020, Hanoi Times. Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport (MoT) has asked for funding of VND400 trillion (US$17.4 billion) from state budget to build a network of expressways across the country in the 2021 – 2025 period, Hanoi Times reported.

The construction of new expressways would help connect vital routes including expressways from Can Tho to Ca Mau, Hanoi – Huu Nghi border gate, Hoa Binh – Moc Chau – Son La, as well as expressways to Bac Kan and Mong Cai, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on July 30.

To ensure the timely implementation of those projects, the MoT has instructed project management units to draft feasibility study reports, The added.

A report from the MoT revealed as of June 30, the agency disbursed 33.7% of the target of VND39.76 trillion (US$1.73 billion) in public investment for this year, higher than the average national disbursement rate of 28.9%.

By the end of July, the MoT is set to disburse 41.7% of the target, including 48.5% from the domestic funds and 34.3% from foreign sources.

Vice Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong said one of the main bottlenecks to speeding up disbursement rate is the slow progress in site clearance, while complicated administrative procedures are making it hard for the MoT to accelerate the construction progress.

Among measures to boost disbursement of public investment in the remaining months of this year, the MoT suggested the government address issues related to site clearance.

At the meeting, Deputy PM Dung requested the MoT to speed up the construction of major projects, including the North – South expressway, Trung Luong – My Thuan expressway, My Thuan bridge, Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway, among others.

Public spending with a focus on greater disbursement of public investment is considered key measures to help Vietnam’s economy recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, the Vietnamese government targets to disburse VND700 trillion (US$30 billion), more than double the actual amount in 2019 at VND312 trillion (US$13.4 billion).

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