|The signing ceremony between the Asian Development Bank and the Ministry of Finance on the $188m loan agreement to improve connectivity in the northwest. - Photo ADB|
HÀ NỘI — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday signed a US$188 million loan for a project which aims to improve roads between the Nội Bài – Lào Cai Expressway and northwestern provinces.
The loan will finance upgrades of 198 kilometres of roads that connect several towns and districts in the provinces of Lai Châu, Lào Cai and Yên Bái.
The project is expected to enhance economic opportunities for some of the poorest people in the area.
The Australian Government will provide a grant of $4.48 million to finance engineering designs and to implement road safety campaigns.
“The project aims to expand the benefits of the Greater Mekong Subregion corridors to the northwestern provinces,” said Eric Sidgwick, ADB country director for Việt Nam. “The improved connectivity will not only boost border trade, private investment and job creation in the region, but also provide better access to basic social services, such as education, healthcare, job training and emergency disaster relief for the people of the northwestern provinces, especially the poor ethnic minorities.”
According to the ADB, Việt Nam’s northwest region, a high mountainous region covering the provinces of Điện Biên, Hòa Bình, Lai Châu, Lào Cai, Sơn La and Yên Bái, lagged behind the rest of the country, with a poverty rate ranging from 18 per cent to 45 per cent in 2016. — VNS