The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance on Tuesday signed a loan worth US$188 million for the upgrade of a major expressway and improvement of traffic connectivity in the northern region.
The credit will fund a project aimed at renovating the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway, which links Hanoi and the northern province of Lao Cai.
The project is also intended to boost connectivity between northwestern provinces and the Vietnamese capital, thus enhancing economic opportunities for poor localities in the region.
The renovation is expected to focus on making improvements to 198 kilometers of roads that connect several towns and districts in Lai Chau, Lao Cai, and Yen Bai Provinces with the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway.
According to Eric Sidgwick, ADB country director for Vietnam, the improved connectivity will help facilitate border trade and private investment, create jobs, and provide better access to education, healthcare, job training, and emergency disaster relief for the people of the northwestern provinces, especially the ethnic minorities.
ADB believed that the project would expand the benefits of the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway to these residents, Sidgwick added.
Stretching approximately 254 kilometers, the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway was first open to traffic in late September 2014. It runs from Hanoi’s Noi Bai through the provinces of Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho and Yen Bai before reaching Lao Cai.
ADB operations in Vietnam totaled $15.83 billion in 531 projects as of December 31, 2017, according to the institution’s website.
The bank is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members, 48 from the region.