New lease of life for delta development

June 29, 2022 | 22:00
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Based on the strong infrastructural development and billions of investments pouring in the next few years, the Mekong Delta is highlighted to be an ideal destination for investors.
New lease of life for delta development
The delta is undergoing infrastructure changes, including being able to welcome larger ship capacities

At the conference over a week ago on announcing the delta’s master plan and investment promotion in the 2021-2030 period in in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Elsbeth Akkerman highlighted the role of the private sector.

“In order to develop the Mekong Delta to become liveable land for all, we should put the private sector at the forefront for further innovation,” said the ambassador.

The ambassador would like to continue working with the government, private sector, scientists, and non-governmental organisations in Vietnam to successfully implement the integrated master plan to help people, the economy, society, and nature in the Mekong Delta region flourish.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the total state budget for the Mekong Delta in the 2021-2025 period is estimated to be about VND460 trillion ($20 billion). Besides that, Vietnam has just signed a cooperation agreement with a six-development-bank group to provide around $2.2 billion of official development assistance to this region.

“In addition to the public investment, funding from the private sector is a critical resource for the deployment of the master plan, in the direction of harmonious and comprehensive development towards ecology, civilisation, and sustainability,” explained MPI Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Phuong.

Thereby, the public-private partnership (PPP) model will be utilised for some major infrastructural projects, such as the highways at Trung Luong - My Thuan - Can Tho, Can Tho - Ca Mau, and Chau Doc - Can Tho - Soc Trang.

It will also shore up construction of coastal roads, some key dynamic axes connecting Ho Chi Minh City with the southeast, airports, and irrigation works for water supply, storage, and also salt control.

Specifically, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said that with the drastic change in transport infrastructure, there will be 400km of highways additionally for the Mekong Delta by 2025. In addition, Tran De Deepwater Port in Soc Trang province will create a lot of favourable conditions for the breakthrough development of the region.

The minister highlighted such breakthroughs as ensuring the arrival of ships with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes to Can Tho Port and adding Tran De Deepwater Port into the planning, which is considered the main gateway to the west where ships of 80,000-100,000 tonnes can run.

Around $3.74 billion of the state budget has been agreed to develop expressways in the Mekong Delta. Currently, 90km expressways are being developed and 30km more will be developed as soon as possible.

“The expressway must connect for economic development,” the MoT minister emphasised. “With a system of highways connecting to Tran De Port, along with Can Tho International Airport, we believe that the delta will be a favourite destination in attracting strong investment, high performance, and it has enough potential and conditions for breakthrough development.”

In addition to roads, the Mekong Delta will also develop sea and railway transport to connect to Ho Chi Minh City. For airways, in addition to Can Tho Airport, the three airports of Phu Quoc, Ca Mau, and Rach Gia will also be upgraded to be able to receive Airbus A320 aircraft with up to 250 seats.

Generally, according to the master plan, by 2030 the region will invest in building and upgrading about 830km of expressways; about 4,000km of national highways; four airports; 13 seaports, 11 passenger ports, and 13 inland waterway cargo ports.

“The infrastructural projects are opening up thousands of opportunities for the private sector and investors to develop the projects in the PPP model, as well as carry out new projects in the area like ecological and organic agriculture, agro-tourism, processing and manufacturing, renewable energy construction, logistics, real estate, and more,” said MPI Deputy Minister Phuong.

By Nguyen Huong

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