|Airplanes wait for passengers at Phu Quoc International Airport in Kien Giang Province of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta Region. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh
HCM CITY (VNS) — Rapid development of transport system in the last five years in the Mekong Delta has improved passenger and cargo transportation and contributed to regional growth.
Since 2010, total regional passenger transportation has reached 4.6 billion, an annual increase of 4.4 per cent and 468 million tonnes of cargo, an annual growth of 4.9 per cent.
During the 2010-2015 period, the central government invested around VND59 trillion (US$2.6 billion) for transport construction in the Mekong Delta.
In addition, other financial resources were channeled into transport and infrastructure construction, including five ODA projects with a capital of VND39 trillion (nearly $1.73 billion) to link Rach Gia city, Mekong Delta provinces of Kien Giang and Ca Mau , Vam Cong and Cao Lanh Bridges in Dong Thap Province.
Seven other projects under the BOT model at a total investment of VND23 trillion ($1.02 billion) are under construction.
The Ministry of Transport has finished four aviation projects at investment of VND5.4 trillion ($240 million), with annual growth of 16.5 per cent for passengers and 187 per cent for cargo in airline transport.
The completion of Can Tho and Phu Quoc International Airports has created favourable conditions for Mekong Delta to approach the rest of the world.
"In the past, waterways were the most popular means of transportation from the Mekong Delta region to HCM City and other regions. But now, local residents can fly abroad from Can Tho or Phu Quoc. It's fantastic," Nguyen Van The, secretary of Soc Trang Province's Party Committee, was quoted as saying in the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper.
"If the Mekong Delta wants to develop, transport infrastructure must be good enough, especially for domestic waterways, the strength of the Delta," Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said.
He said the seaport system and waterway routes were the most convenient and cheapest transportation.
In the coming time, the Government will continue to invest in important construction projects in the region, and complete a legal framework to lure more social capital.
During the 2016-2020 period, public investment will be reduced and more ODA and other capital resources will be sought. Total needed capital will be VND86.5 trillion ($3.8 billion), of which VND65 trillion ($2.88 billion) will be spent for road systems.
Domestic waterways will receive more attention, and a railway system will possibly be built in the region. — VNS