|Developing infrastructure would help economic growth; boost productivity, competitiveness, collaboration, and innovation; enable investment; deepen labour and product markets; and develop new housing and business. — Photo baogiaothong.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — "Value for money" is always the touchstone for national infrastructure development, a British expert told a workshop that opened in HCM City yesterday.
James Ballingall, head of International, Infrastructure UK, said this did not necessarily mean building new infrastructure, with the first principle being to consider whether the country had used existing infrastructure effectively.
There was a three-fold approach to infrastructure: maintaining good performance through planned maintenance and smarter use of assets, addressing weaknesses through targeted action to tackle network stress points and develop networks, and transformational large-scale capital projects.
A national infrastructure plan (NIP) was needed to develop infrastructure in a country, and it was not only a planning tool but also a strategic, marketing and delivery tool.
The plan would ensure the right projects were prioritised and optimise allocation of taxpayer money, investment and donor support.
It also would facilitate a long-term strategic approach and provide a focus for the domestic market and investors and for tracking project delivery and accountability.
The function of an NIP could evolve over time.
"In the early days, the emphasis is on strategic planning and prioritisation. Then there may be greater emphasis on publishing specific projects and programmes for the benefit of contractors, lenders, and governments."
The emphasis was then placed on how the projects on the list were financed and the plan as a monitoring and delivery tool.
Finally, it could be used retrospectively as an audit tool.
Developing infrastructure would help economic growth; boost productivity, competitiveness, collaboration, and innovation; enable investment; deepen labour and product markets; and develop new housing and business.
The NIP was not just a collection of departmental projects, but a coherent strategy for development of a country's infrastructure frameworks over the medium to long terms.
Very few countries had such a plan, which made it hard to reconcile with the short-term political cycle.
The two-day workshop, titled "Engaging the private sector in infrastructure development," is being organised by the British consulate and Infrastructure UK.
Senior leaders and officials from HCM City, Ha Noi, and Quang Ninh are attending it. — VNS