ADB to help Vietnam improve road transport

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The Asian Development Bank will help increase efficiency in road transport administration and attract investment in Vietnam's transport network with a US$1 million grant, it said Monday.

The technical assistance grant, sourced from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, will provide the Transport Ministry and its support agencies with guidelines to "strengthen institutional and financial arrangements, operation and maintenance, and governance", the Manila-based bank said in a statement.

It said the assistance will also including improved funding for road projects in Vietnam, including the $17.9 billion North-South Expressway Project.

ADB said Vietnam's swift pace of economic growth is estimated to require as much as $16 billion annually in new infrastructure investments from 2011 to 2020, or 20 percent of projected gross domestic product (GDP).

Investments have been growing rapidly, accounting for 4.5 percent of GDP last year. However, inefficiencies need to be addressed if the country wants to meet infrastructure demand, the bank said.

"Vietnam needs to attract more investments into the road transport subsector," said Masahiro Nishimura, Transport Specialist in ADB's Southeast Asia Department. "Private sector participation, which is still developing, is crucial for bridging the huge financial gap between infrastructure demand and available budget."

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