See bigger picture, HCMC told

Update: July, 27/2017 - 09:00
Deputy PM Trịnh Đình Dũng speaks at a conference on an adjusted master plan for HCM City and surrounding localities held on Tuesday in HCM City. Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Deputy PM Trịnh Đình Dũng on Tuesday asked HCM City to tap diverse resources to invest in major infrastructure projects to increase its global competitiveness and become a major player in Southeast Asia as well as the Asia-Pacific region.

Towards this, the city should also carefully consider improvements to its road infrastructure and implement an adjusted master plan to strengthen links with neighbouring localities, he said.

Top priority should be given to Belt Roads 3 and 4, the Long Thành International Airport, Cái Mép-Thị Vải seaport, and railway routes connecting industrial parks, economic zones and seaports, Dũng said at a conference held in the city.

HCM City and surrounding provinces, which are home to major international airports and seaports, have a total population of 19 million, contribute 42 per cent of national GDP and 51 per cent of the country’s exports, the meeting heard.     

HCM City Chairman Nguyễn Thành Phong said the administration planned to develop satellite cities to reduce population density in its downtown area.

One of the major challenges facing the city was inadequate transportation infrastructure, he said, adding that the city and other provinces had agreed to develop a railway line between the city and Cần Thơ in the Mekong Delta.

“HCM City aims to become an economic, trade and education hub in Southeast Asia. The city must be well connected with surrounding localities,” he said.

Lê Thanh Liêm, vice chairman of the Bình Dương People’s Committee, agreed that it was vital to boost connectivity between HCM City and surrounding provinces.

A project to build the HCM City-Bình Dương-Chơn Thành expressway, however, is yet to begin implementation, although it has been discussed for 15 years.

He also agreed that it was critically important to develop the railways sector to share the burden with roads and improve cargo transportation capacities in the region.   

Huỳnh Anh Minh, vice chairman of the Bình Phước People’s Committee, asked that the Government consider a trans-Asia railway network to improve transport connections with Cambodia and Myanmar.

Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, said he was concerned about the tardiness of transport projects in the city.

Nhân said the city should not develop transport projects based solely on State Budget and ODA (Official Development Assistance) funds, and should look to other investment sources.

Plan adjustments

Deputy PM Dũng said the project to adjust the master plan for HCM City and surrounding provinces had been studied carefully.

He praised the proposed development model, which ensures climate-change adaptation.

Besides HCM City, the region is divided into four sub-regions and key economic corridors, with the city expected to play a key role as the centre of the region.

The four subregions are: Bình Dương Province in the northern part of the region, Biên Hòa-Long Thành-Nhơn Trạch in the eastern part, Củ Chi-Hậu Nghĩa-Đức Hòa in the northwest, and Bến Lức-Cần Giuộc-Hiệp Phước in the southwestern area.

The adjusted master plan emphasises the importance of the eastern Biên Hòa-Long Thành-Nhơn Trạch area and the tourism potential of coastal areas.

Under the new plan, Bình Dương will be linked to National Highway 51 and National Highway 22 corridors, which are important gateways for seaports, airports and border gates.

The new plan should identify linkages between industrial parks, hi-tech agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourist resorts and heritage preservation areas as well as historic sites and biodiversity conservation areas, Dũng said.

It will also anticipate the risk of population concentration in central urban areas of HCM City, the effects of natural disasters and other adverse effects on the region’s development and recommend solutions, he said.

The Deputy PM asked concerned agencies to study and make proposals to the adjusted plan to ensure efficiency in implementation.

A Construction Ministry official said that it would work with agencies to collect ideas from the conference and complete the adjusted plan.

The original master plan, approved by the Government in 2008, provided an important scientific and legal basis for the development of investment plans for each locality and the entire region. However, the plan had to be adjusted to keep up with rapid changes on the ground, officials said at the conference. — VNS