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Airport should broaden financing

Update: November, 11/2015 - 09:46

Truong Van Phuoc, vice chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission, speaks to newspaper Hai Quan (Customs) about the need to diversify capital investment for the Long Thanh International Airport project.

The Dong Nai Provincial People's Committee recently asked the Government to provide some funds for land clearance and infrastructure in order to resettle residents affected by the future construction of Long Thanh International Airport. How do you respond to the committee's proposal?

Investment in infrastructure development is one of our economy's breakthroughs. However, finding funding sources to begin construction of the Long Thanh airport is an urgent need, particularly when it comes to relocating people affected by the project.

Dong Nai's proposal could be met to pay for the clearance and resettlement of about 5,000 households. The Long Thanh International Airport is a big and important project for the country's economic development, and that's why it is deserves special treatment. However, we should think of some alternatives to utilise capital investment from other sources, including instalment payments to affected households within a given time frame.

Could you further elaborate on the option to mobilise capital investment from the people?

In my opinion, mobilising the people's money to build the airport can be done in the form of selling Government bonds, including households affected by the project. For example, for a household that will receive about VND5 billion (US$222,000) in compensation, the Government should provide them with VND2 billion ($88,800) upfront while the remaining VND3 billion ($133,300) will be paid in bonds with maturation times between three and five years. Of course, the bonds will have a good interest rate.

Paying in Government bonds has been practised in our country for dozens of years in the construction of many projects. So for the case of the Long Thanh International Airport, why don't we apply this model?

The Ministry of Transport has proposed the idea of transferring the Management and Operation (M&O) right over certain facilities of existing airports in Viet Nam in order to mobilise funds for the Long Thanh Airport. Do you think that idea is feasible?

Our national macro-economy has been stabilised, so the diversification of the capital market is totally feasible. This is one way to make the capital market develop and mobilise more capital from various sources to invest in infrastructure projects that have great potential for development.

I would not be surprised if the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport or other ministries mobilise available capital resources within Viet Nam, or even to ask for official development assistance (ODA) and commercial loans from foreign countries.

In my opinion, it is feasible to allow the partial M&O of Vietnamese airports or infrastructure in order to have money to invest in the construction of the Long Thanh airport. This has been done in many foreign countries. But, what's most important is to harmonise interest between the parties involved. In addition, Viet Nam has to amend and supplement its legal corridor to attract more investors. — VNS

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