Government okays $2 bln for Mekong Delta infrastructure development

By Dat Nguyen   November 9, 2020 | 06:00 am PT
Government okays $2 bln for Mekong Delta infrastructure development
A section of the 51-km Lo Te-Rach Soi Expressway connecting Can Tho City with Kien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long.
The government has approved a five-year $2 billion allotment for infrastructural development in the Mekong Delta.

Planning and Investment Minister Nguyen Chi Dung told the National Assembly Monday that his ministry’s proposal has been approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the money will be used to complete a coastal road network in the region.

Apart from the stage budget, funding will be sourced from beneficiary localities and private companies, Dung said.

One of the important infrastructure projects planned is an expressway network that connects Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and Can Tho. This is set to be completed by 2025, he said.

Dung had said last year that the region’s infrastructure has not received sufficient investment from the government, as evidenced by the lack of several structures like deep-water ports and railway routes.

Lawmakers and officials have also been saying for years that infrastructural connectivity between Ho Chi Minh City and numerous Mekong Delta provinces was badly lacking, and this was proving to be a development bottleneck for the region.

As of October this year the government has planned seven major expressways totaling 1,000 km and costing VND150 trillion ($6.49 billion) for the Mekong Delta.

The Mekong Delta is home to around 20 million people, or a fifth of theVietnam’s population. It is known as the country’s rice basket that supplies 90 percent of its annual grain exports. It is also a national aquacultural hub that is the source of most of the nation's seafood exports.

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