ADB loan signed to improve connectivity in northwestern mountain provinces

07-Mar-2019 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Vietnam today, March 5, signed a $188 million loan for the northern mountain provinces’ transport connectivity project.

The project will improve the road connectivity between the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway and the northwestern provinces of the country, enhancing economic opportunities for some of the poorest people in the project area.

The loan will finance the improvement and upgrade of 198 kilometers of road that connects several towns and districts in the provinces of Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Yen Bai to the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway, a part of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Kunming-Hai Phong Transport Corridor that links the Hanoi region and the north of Vietnam and Yunnan Province in China, according to ADB’s statement.

The Australian government will provide a grant of $4.481 million to finance the detailed engineering design of the project roads. The grant will also support programmes for axle load control, HIV/Aids and human trafficking and awareness campaigns for road safety to help local people in these disadvantaged areas anticipate the increased traffic speed and noise on the expressway.

“The project aims to expand the benefits of the GMS corridors to the northwestern provinces,” Eric Sidgwick, ADB country director for Vietnam, said in the statement. “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.”

Vietnam’s northwest region, a mountainous region comprising the provinces of Dien Bien, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Son La and Yen Bai, lags behind the rest of the country, with a poverty rate ranging from 18-45 percent in 2016. The region relies on small-scale industrial companies, such as stone and metal ore exploitation and processing.

The improved network connectivity with the ADB-financed Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway, considered the backbone of the northwest region’s road network, will further spread the benefits of the existing expressway to the people living in the northwestern region.

The project will ensure high standards for road construction and address the risks posed by climate change, including adding climate resilience features such as slope protection measures in areas prone to landslides and rock falls.


Category: Economy, Vietnam

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