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Minister calls for traffic investment in southeastern Vietnam

By Thu Hang   July 9, 2022 | 05:30 am PT
Minister calls for traffic investment in southeastern Vietnam
A traffic jam on Cong Hoa Street of HCMC's Tan Binh District, which is near Tan Son Nhat airport. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Transport Minister Nguyen Van The called for more resources to enhance traffic in southeastern Vietnam as HCMC faces constant traffic congestion.

At a Saturday conference on socio-economic development in southeastern Vietnam, which includes HCMC and industrial neighbors Binh Duong and Dong Nai, The said traffic is the lifeblood of the economy, but over the last 20 years, traffic development in the region has slowed to a grind, bringing with it the speed of economic growth.

HCMC, while the largest metropolis in Vietnam and centerpiece of the southern region, sees traffic jams in all its entrances. Highways connecting it to other locations have not proven to be effective enough, and traffic jams also occur inside the city itself.

"If the situation doesn't improve, HCMC would surely become the most congested city of Vietnam, and maybe in all of Southeast Asia," The said, adding that the need for traffic development, especially in main routes and ring roads, is urgent.

There are several shortcomings to infrastructure in the region that prevented traffic networks from reaching their full potential. For example, Cat Lai, the best port for containers in the region, is frequently congested, especially during rush hour.

HCMC's Ring Road 2, while playing an important role in the traffic network, hasn't become a closed loop yet. Ring Road 3 has yet to be constructed, while Ring Road 4 is still on paper. Expressways connecting HCMC with key economic regions like Trung Luong-My Thuan to the Mekong Delta or Long Thanh-Dau Giay to Dong Nai and Vung Tau are all overloaded and congested.

Regarding aviation, Tan Son Nhat airport is also frequently congested.

The railways are outdated, while waterway transport is not ideal due to the presence of many low-hanging bridges, preventing containers from passing through, The said.

"Investment into the traffic of southeastern Vietnam and key economic regions in the south is urgent," he said.

The added without investments into its traffic, the region, Vietnam's economic powerhouse, could be weakened in the future and become an economic hindrance. He has requested HCMC to try to turn Ring Road 2 into a closed loop and cooperate with nearby localities to finish 98 kilometers of Ring Road 3 in the next four years, and the Bien Hoa-Vung Tau highway by 2025.

Some traffic routes have been recommended to be prioritized by the Ministry of Transport, including routes from HCMC to Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc. HCMC-Long Thanh expressway should be expanded, while HCMC-Trung Luong expressway should be upgraded. The also suggested HCMC to cooperate with the Ministry of National Defense to upgrade the Tan Son Nhat airport so it could serve 50 million visitors a year.

Regarding sea ports, The requested HCMC and other localities to utilize resources to form dedicated routes so these ports could be effectively exploited.

Southeastern Vietnam and key economic regions in the south comprise eight localities: HCMC, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Long An and Tien Giang. They are home to about 22 million people, contributing around 35 percent of the nation's GDP, 41 percent of contributions to the national budget and 30 percent to the nation's total export turnover.

 
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