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World Bank eyes lending to expressway project in north-central Vietnam

World Bank eyes lending to expressway project in north-central Vietnam

Wednesday, November 29, 2023, 18:02 GMT+7
World Bank eyes lending to expressway project in north-central Vietnam
Vehicles travel on a section of National Highway 9, which is the main route connecting Quang Tri Province in north-central Vietnam with Laos and Thailand. Photo: Hoang Tao / Tuoi Tre

The World Bank is considering providing financial support for the Cam Lo - Lao Bao expressway project in Quang Tri Province, north-central Vietnam.

A working team of the World Bank on Tuesday made a trip to the province to discuss the expressway project, part of the mammoth north-south expressway.

The working team conducted an on-site survey of National Highway 9, which connects Quang Tri Province with Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar, on Monday afternoon.

“We saw container trucks filled with goods traveling between the two nations. This is the main route linking Vietnam and Laos and Thailand,” said Shige Sakaki, senior expert on transport at the World Bank.

During a meeting with the World Bank in September, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh expected the bank to expand its financial support for Vietnam to develop traffic infrastructure by raising its lending to US$3-5 billion in the coming years, he said.

The World Bank’s national director in Vietnam met with the Vietnamese minister of transport in October to count some infrastructure projects in its lending.

Among them was the Cam Lo - Lao Bao expressway project.

Shige Sakaki, senior expert on transport at the World Bank. Photo: Hoang Tao / Tuoi Tre

Shige Sakaki, senior expert on transport at the World Bank. Photo: Hoang Tao / Tuoi Tre

Sakaki underscored that the World Bank expects to continue the cooperation in several new projects in Vietnam, and that he was looking forward to deeper discussions about the funding for the expressway project.

At the first meeting with the leaders of Quang Tri Province, the World Bank team showed their interest in the project through a series of questions about capital mechanisms under the public-private partnership format, its roadmap, funding for site clearance, and other relevant policies.

Vo Van Hung, chairman of the Quang Tri People’s Committee, said that the province was appointed by the government as an authorized agency to implement the expressway project.

The 56-kilometer-long Cam Lo - Lao Bao expressway project starts at the intersection with the Cam Lo - La Son expressway and ends at the Lao Bao international border gate. The road was designed to have four lanes and allow a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour.

The provincial administration mapped out two capital solutions. As for the first solution, if the state budget covers 70 percent of the total capital, the project will carry a price tag of VND13.7 trillion ($565.9 million).

According to the second solution, the total cost of the project will stand at VND10.17 trillion ($420.5 million) if 50 percent of its total capital comes from the state coffers.

“The province expects to receive financial support from the World Bank in both solutions,” Hung said.

Vo Van Hung, chairman of the Quang Tri Province People’s Committee, expects the World Bank to provide financial support for the Cam Lo - Lao Bao expressway project in the province. Photo: Hoang Tao / Tuoi Tre

Vo Van Hung, chairman of the Quang Tri Province People’s Committee, expects the World Bank to provide financial support for the Cam Lo - Lao Bao expressway project in the province. Photo: Hoang Tao / Tuoi Tre

After the expressway is opened to traffic, it will help ease the burden on National Highway 9, shorten transport time between Vietnam and other nations, and reduce traffic accidents that frequently happen on the deteriorating highway.

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Tieu Bac - Hoang Tao / Tuoi Tre News

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