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JICA president expects early completion of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line

JICA president expects early completion of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line

Tuesday, December 19, 2023, 12:56 GMT+7
JICA president expects early completion of Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) meets with president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Tanaka Akihiko (L) in Tokyo on December 18, 2023. Photo: Vietnam Government Portal

President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Tanaka Akihiko, during a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Tokyo on Monday, expressed his hope that the first metro line project in Ho Chi Minh City would soon be completed.

The metro line project, which stretches from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City, has been primarily financed through Japanese official development assistance (ODA).

Tanaka urged Vietnamese PM Chinh to direct relevant agencies to fast-track work on the metro line in accordance with the fourth Japanese ODA loan agreement for the project.

Last Saturday, Vietnamese PM Chinh and his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio witnessed the exchange of cooperation documents regarding the 41 billion yen (US$285.7 million) loan.

“I have many memories of [working on] the project 10 years ago when I was JICA vice-president. I have paid much attention [to the project], [hoping] it can be completed early,” Tanaka said.

PM Chinh also shared his support for the project’s early completion, saying he would ask relevant agencies to finish early.

“I will require the leaders of ministries and agencies to coordinate with JICA to fix the project’s shortfalls. We will learn from our experience and conduct new-generation ODA projects faster and more effectively,” the Vietnamese prime minister said.

At the meeting, the Vietnamese government chief affirmed Japan’s ODA loans as proof of the good relationship between the two nations, contributing to Vietnam's poverty alleviation, education and healthcare development, industrialization, and modernization.

He suggested that JICA continue working closely with Vietnamese government, ministries, and agencies to discuss further cooperation.

“We expect to receive more new-generation ODA loans with more incentives and simpler procedures to serve key sectors,” PM Chinh said.

Vietnam needs JICA’s support in strategic infrastructure projects, including traffic, healthcare, and education, specifically airports, seaports, expressways, railways, digital transformation, green transition, response to climate change, improvement of the manpower quality, and labor cooperation.

JICA president Tanaka said the agency has explored new-generation ODA loans for Vietnam, anticipating that the Southeast Asian country will achieve high-income status in the coming years.

He endorsed Prime Minister Chinh's proposal to enhance cooperation projects quickly and effectively, committing to collaborate with Vietnamese ministries and agencies to examine specific and suitable projects.

The meeting between PM Chinh and JICA president Tanaka was part of the former’s visit to Japan for the Commemorative Summit for the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.  

Ho Chi Minh City’s first metro line, which is currently over 96 percent complete, will be put into commercial operation in July 2024, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Management Authority for Urban Railways, the project investor.

Work on the 19.7-kilometer-long metro line started in 2012 at a total cost of VND43.7 trillion ($1.8 billion).

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Thanh Ha - Le Kien / Tuoi Tre News


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