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New cities fail to lure investors

Update: January, 09/2012 - 10:18

 

Thien Duong Bao Son's housing project in Hoai Duc District, Ha Noi, has failed to find customers due to a shortage of investment in transport and support infrastructure. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Lam
HA NOI — Lack of investment is holding up the development of satellite cities around Ha Noi, said vice chairman of Ha Noi Urban Planning and Development Association Dao Ngoc Nghiem.

Under the city's master development plan until 2020, with a vision to 2030, Ha Noi will have five satellite cities, each specialising in different fields.

It is planned that Hoa Lac will focus on science, technology and training; Son Tay will be a city of culture, history, resorts and tourism; Xuan Mai will specialise in services and support industries and handicrafts; Phu Xuyen will be a hub for industry and transport; while Soc Son will specialise in services for Noi Bai International Airport, the Kunming-Ha Noi – Quang Ninh economic corridor and Soc Son.

However, almost all projects planned for the satellite cities have either failed to get off the ground or are progressing at a snail's pace, while huge sums have been spent on transport infrastructure to connect the satellite cities with Ha Noi city centre.

For example, Thang Long Boulevard, linking the city centre with districts to the west has been open for a year but no significant change has been seen in the new Hoa Lac urban area, which the road runs through.

Within the boundary of Hoa Lac New Urban Area, the construction of National University has been held up for decades, despite investment totalling trillions of dong. Another project involving ethnic cultural villages in Viet Nam on hundreds of hectares of land in Hoa Lac High Tech Zone has yet to be put into practice.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Doan Hoan, chairman of Thach That District People's Committee, said a plan to develop Hoa Lac New Urban Area launched 10 years ago still lacked adequate investment.

He said the majority of local residents still worked in the agriculture sector, earning just VND20 million (US$950) per person annually, far less than those living in the inner districts, he said.

"To develop satellite cities, it was crucial to offer policies and mechanisms that attract investors and labour," Nghiem said.

Meanwhile, Ha Noi has given the green light to about 700 urban development and construction projects, mostly in inner districts or suburban areas, which made the proposed satellite cities less attractive to investors, he said.

Furthermore, the transport network linking satellite cities with each other and the Ha Noi City centre still needed to be completed, Nghiem said, adding that attracting enough finance would be a challenge.

By 2030, Ha Noi is expected to have a population of more than 9 million people, with farmers making up a third of that number. — VNS

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