$8.6 bln needed for Mekong Delta traffic infrastructure until 2025: transport ministry

By Cuu Long, Hoang Nam   March 14, 2021 | 02:00 am PT
$8.6 bln needed for Mekong Delta traffic infrastructure until 2025: transport ministry
Aerial view of a section of the Trung Luong - My Thuan Expressway in the Mekong Delta in 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam.
Over VND198 trillion ($8.6 billion) would be needed to upgrade Mekong Delta traffic infrastructure until 2025, the Transport Ministry said Saturday.

At a Can Tho meeting to discuss sustainable development in Mekong Delta to adapt to climate change, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The however said such a budget is not yet possible due to a lack of resources.

As such, the ministry has proposed to the government and agreed with the Ministry of Planning and Investment to distribute at least VND57.3 trillion to invest in Mekong Delta traffic infrastructure in the next five years.

The money would be spent to upgrade and complete several expressway projects, complete a project for a sea route allowing high-capacity ships to enter the Hau River, a tributary of the Mekong, and develop logistics and waterways across southern Vietnam, among other goals.

"By 2025, Mekong Delta traffic would have the opportunity to develop better, helping the area transform and sustainably develop," said The, adding the delta also needs a deep-water port as a gateway to trade with the rest of the world.

He also proposed for such a port to be able to receive ships of around 100,000 tons, with the budget derived from investors. Along with Can Tho International Airport and well-developed traffic infrastructure, the deep-water port would help the delta with economic restructuring, especially by turning salt-intruded land into industrial complexes.

Mekong Delta, spanning over 3.9 million hectares, covers Can Tho City and 12 provinces with over 17 million residents. It is one of Vietnam's most important economic zones, contributing 17.7 of the entire nation's GDP. In 2019, the region contributed 54 percent of rice, 70 percent of seafood and 60 percent of fruit output for the whole country.

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