Vietnam seeks private investment for $721 million highway

By Quang Minh Nhut, Thanh Nien News

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a plan to attract private investment for a highway project in the Mekong Delta with a cost estimate of VND16.34 trillion (US$721 million), the government office said on Wednesday.
According to the plan, submitted by the transport ministry, selected developers will build the six-lane road connecting Can Tho City and Vinh Long Province under a built-operate-transfer arrangement.
At least two local construction companies FECON and Cotecons have expressed their interest.
My Thuan-Can Tho, as the road is officially known, is one of 21 highways that will be built around the country in the next 15 years, according to a national plan for traffic infrastructure. 
Struggling to fund new transport projects, including roads and airports, Vietnamese government has been opening the sector to private investors in recent years.
Latest figures from the finance ministry showed Vietnam will need around VND1,000 trillion ($44.52 billion) for transport projects over the next five years, and the government can take care of less than 29 percent.
Built-operate-transfer is a partnership model that allows private investors to join public projects in exchange for the operating rights for a certain amount of time, before the infrastructure is handed back to the state.

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