HANOI, May 31 (Engineering Daily) -- Viet Nam is in need of over VND995 trillion (US$44.6 billion) to upgrade the national transport infrastructure in the next five years.
The requirement was expressed by Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong at a meeting yesterday outlining upcoming tasks for the transport sector between 2016 and 2020, reported by Giao thong (Transport) online newspaper.
Truong said the capital would be raised from the State budget, official development assistance (ODA) as well as from Government bonds.
The first major tasks include building more than 1,500 km of expressway throughout the country and upgrading the north-south railway in an effort to raise the average speed of passenger trains from 80km per hour to 90 km per hour; and freight trains from 50km per hour to 60 km per hour by 2020.
The ministry would demolish all houses or building works encroaching on railway safety corridors in the localities of Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, HCM City and Dong Nai during this time, he said.
The total capital needed to implement these plans is estimated to be about VND227 trillion ($10.2 billion).
The second task would be to target infrastructure around a range of international airports including Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Da Nang, Can Tho, and Cam Ranh and mobilize capital to construct the Long Thanh International Airport, expected to be built in southern Dong Nai Province, he said.
Upgrades were also planned for main inland waterways connecting the Mekong Delta with HCM City, and other routes in the rivers of Tien, Hau, Hong and Thai Binh, he added.
Global transport infrastructure index constantly rises in 2011-15. Also at the meeting, Truong pointed out the achievements of the sector between 2011 and 2015.
In a report announced by the World Economic Forum late 2015, the Global Competitiveness Index's Transport Infrastructure Sub-index ranked Viet Nam 67th out of a total 140 countries. The rank is 36 levels higher than in 2011.
The raise in position was thanks to the re-structuring of the transport sector, the building of many major expressways and bridges, and the improvement of rural roads across the country, the ministry said.
Statistics from the ministry showed more than 300 important works have been completed during that time, for example, the Noi Bai – Lao Cai Expressway, HCM – Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway, Ha Noi – Thai Nguyen National Highway No 3, Nhat Tan Bridge and Dong Tru Bridge.
The highlighted works help to shorten travel time and save money for road users. It also raises the domestic transport-infrastructure quality index, the ministry said.
This year, the ministry has asked to the Government to invest additional capital of VND10 trillion as counterpart funds for ODA ongoing transport projects.