Vietnam seeks foreign investors to manage major expressways

Thanh Nien News

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 A section of a 55-km expressway connecting HCMC and Dong Nai Province, which is among four roads to be put up for auction this year end. Photo: Mai Vong
The Ministry of Transport has approved a plan to sell the rights to operate four major expressways to foreign investors to defray some of the high costs, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported on Friday.
The four transport projects cost a total of US$5.8 billion and the ministry hopes that, over the next five years, it will be able to find the right investors for them. 
Two of the roads have been recently opened to traffic -- the country's most modern expressway between Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai Province, and a 245-km road running from Hanoi and through several northern provinces before ending in Lao Cai.
The other two are still under construction -- one connecting Da Nang City and Quang Ngai in the central region, and one running through HCMC, Long An and Dong Nai in the south.
The four projects are mostly funded by ODA loans from Japan, the Asian Development Bank, and the World Bank.
Mai Anh Tuan, CEO of Vietnam Expressway Corporation, which manages the expressways, was quoted as saying that his company will complete procedures for putting their operating rights up for auction later this year.
He said many EU investors have showed their interest in operating expressways in Vietnam.
Early this year, the transport ministry announced a plan to sell the operating rights for several airports around the country like the sole airport of Phu Quoc Island, and Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport. Its target investors were local businesses only.
Last month the ministry said it will need around VND288 trillion ($13.03 billion) for transport infrastructure projects till 2020.

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