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Late metro projects could damage relations between VN, Japan

Update: February, 03/2018 - 09:00
HCM City continues to seek more funds for metro lines 1 and 2. — VNA/VNS Photo An Hiếu
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Bilateral relations between Việt Nam and Japan could be adversely affected if construction of the Metro Line No.1 continues to run behind schedule, according to HCM City authorities.

The chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, Nguyễn Thành Phong, said that completion of procedures needed for investment adjustment of two metro lines was important for the city’s capital plan for the next several years.

Poor allocation of capital from Japan could decrease Japan’s likelihood to support Việt Nam in upcoming Official Development Assistance projects, he added.

The city’s People’s Committee is seeking approval from National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân and Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to adjust investment and increase funding for the Metro Line No.1 and No.2 projects.

To ensure uninterrupted construction this year, the city has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to prioritise capital disbursement and pay contractors on time.

The Metro Line No.1 project, which extends from District 1’s Bến Thành Market to District 9’s Suối Tiên Theme Park, was initially approved in 2007 with a total investment of VNĐ17.4 trillion (US$766.4 million).

After reviews by consulting agencies in 2009, the amount was later adjusted to VNĐ47.3 trillion (US$2.08 billion).

Though the PM agreed to increase investment in 2011, with the amount reaching VNĐ47.3 trillion, approval from the National Assembly (NA) is required to proceed with the project.

The PM has instructed agencies to assist the city on the Metro Line No.1 project, and has assigned a different agency to work with the NA on investment adjustment.

The Metro Line No 2 project, linking District 1’s Bến Thành Market and District 12’s Tham Lương, has encountered a similar matter.

Its initial capital investment was expected to be VNĐ26.1 trillion (US$1.37 billion) in 2010.

However, a German consortium, which later revised the project design, suggested increasing the total investment to VNĐ40 trillion (US$2.1 billion).   – VNS


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