The Asian Development Bank and Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance have signed an agreement on funding the improvement of transport connectivity in northern mountainous provinces of Vietnam. The bank will lend $188 million to the $237 million project, with $43.8 million funded by Vietnam’s government budget and the remaining being a grant of the Australian Government.
The project will build and upgrade 198km of roads that connect several towns and districts in the provinces of Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Yen Bai with Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway. The project will begin immediately and project completion is scheduled for 2024
The 265-kilometer expressway is part of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Kunming-Haiphong Transport Corridor that links the Hanoi region with the northern regions of Vietnam and with China’s Yunnan province.
Some of the road upgrades will create economic opportunities for some of the poorest people in the project area, the bank said.
Eric Sidgwick, ADB’s Country Director for Vietnam stated at the agreement signing that “The project aims to expand the benefits of the GMS corridors to the northwestern provinces.”
Sidgwick added, “The improved connectivity will not only boost border trade, private investment and job creation in the region, but also provide better access to basic social services, such as education, health care, job training and emergency disaster relief for the people of the northwestern provinces, especially the poor ethnic minorities.”