HA NOI — The fourth meeting of the 11th Party Central Committee has issued a resolution on infrastructure construction in an attempt to advance Viet Nam's goal of becoming an industrialised and modernised country by 2020.
Though the Party and Government have paid great attention to infrastructure development in recent years, systems remains poor, unco-ordinated, and with low connectivity, e.g., transportation between ports and industrial zones.
Urban infrastructure is of low quality and overloaded, while social infrastructure is short in quantity and low in quality, inefficient, and fails to meet basic demand for social services like health and education.
The resolution identifies both objective and subjective causes for these shortcomings, including slow changes in thinking about infrastructure development, over reliance on State budget resources, and incomplete legal system, ineffective supervision and management, and poor quality planning.
The resolution stresses the need to prioritise projects for investment, with all social resources to be mobilised for key projects, ensuring their capacity to attract foreign and other sources of investment. State budget resources would only be allocated to the most essential projects.
The resolution would set the highest priority on transport, energy, irrigation, and urban development projects, as well as projects needed to address the impacts of climate change.
Infrastructure development would be carried out with assurances of national defence and security, shortening distances and travel times between areas, saving arable land, protecting the environment, and anticipating climate change.
Under the resolution, the country would resolve major areas of traffic congestion and have completed a modern infrastructure system by 2020 that supports rapid, sustainable growth and increased international integration.
The resolution would target construction of about 600km of roadway by 2015, bringing about 2,000km of highways into use. Priority would be given to upgrading Highway 1A with a view to substantial completion by 2015 and full completion by 2020. Maintenance and upgrade of highways would be implemented in a manner that ensures smooth traffic flow.
The resolution also emphasises the need to develop modern public transport, including urban elevated and underground railways, striving to serve 25-30 per cent of the urban population with public transport by 2020.
Upgrading and modernising the existing north-south railway line would also be given priority, and the resolution called on relevant offices to make feasibilty studies for a possible express railway.
Investment in seaports would be continued, with priority given to development of the Lach Huyen international port in Hai Phong and the Cai Mep-Thi Vai international port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Foreign investors will be sought to finance construction of the Van Phong deepwater port.
Developing electricity plants of 1,000MW upward and renewable sources of energy like wind power would also take priority under the resolution. The Ninh Thuan I and Ninh Thuan II nuclear power plants, the nation's first such facilities, would be operational by 2020 and have the capacity to generate 10,700MW by 2030.
The resolution also outlines development orientations for irrigation and climate change-related projects, including dikes, saltwater prevention systems, floodwater drainage systems and others to cope with rising sea levels in the Hong (Red) River Delta, Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta and central coast provinces.
In the area of urban development, the resolution orders that rice-growing land not be condemned to build new industrial parks. Meanwhile, the current shortage of housing, childcare, schools and clinics would be resolved for industrial park workers by 2015.
The resolution also touches on development orientations for commerce, information technology, education and training, science and technology, health, culture, sports and tourism. — VNS