ADB to lend Vietnam $410 mln for highway from HCMC to delta

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The proposed new highway (black line) from Ho Chi Minh City to the western Mekong Delta. PHOTO: thesaigontimes.vn 

The Asian Development Bank has approved a loan of US$410 million for building a second highway connecting Ho Chi Minh City with the Mekong Delta.

The highway, to cost an estimated $860 million, will also get a grant of $160 million from the Australian Agency for International Development, and a loan of $260 million from the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

The Vietnamese government will put up the rest.

The new highway will include two cable-stayed bridges and run through the delta provinces of Long An and Dong Thap and Can Tho city before reaching Kien Giang.

It is expected to be finished in late 2017, reducing traveling time from HCMC to Long Xuyen in An Giang Province to 21/2 hours from the current 31/2 hours.

The work is expected to create 400,000 jobs.

News website VnExpress quoted Rustam Ishenaliev, ADB's transport specialist, as saying the project would boost economic development in the western delta.

The delta is the country's third largest industrial hub but also accounts for 60 percent of the country's agricultural output. 

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