|Transport Minister Nguyễn Văn Thể and Australian Ambassador to Việt Nam Craig Chittick (middle) sign an agreement to launch Aus4Transport, a US$24 million programme to support the development of transport projects in Việt Nam. — VNS Photo Bích Hường
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Transport and the Australian Government on Friday signed an agreement to launch Aus4Transport, a US$24 million programme for the development of transport projects in Việt Nam.
The programme will provide funding and expertise to develop new transport projects from the concept stage to the beginning of construction.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Australian Ambassador to Việt Nam Craig Chittick said Australia had a long history of helping develop Việt Nam’s transport sector.
“Since the 1990s, Australia has supported Việt Nam to develop the infrastructure that has underpinned the country’s remarkable economic transformation,” he said.
One example is the Mỹ Thuận Bridge, the first cable stayed bridge in Việt Nam, which crosses the Tiền River and connects Tiền Giang and Vĩnh Long provinces. It was opened in 2001 and has helped improve connectivity for 20 million people in Mekong Delta to HCM City.
Additionally, the Cao Lãnh Bridge in Đồng Tháp Province is expected to open for traffic this year, helping reduce travel time from Long Xuyên Province to HCM City.
The ambassador said that Aus4Transport marked a new era in Australia’ assistance and they wanted to work with Việt Nam to ensure its projects attract international finance and to implement them faster.
Transport Minister Nguyễn Văn Thể said Việt Nam appreciated Australia’s assistance which helped create milestones in the country’s transport infrastructure and development and also improve technical expertise of Vietnamese staff.
“Investments in transport infrastructure are critical to sustaining economic growth in Việt Nam and they are considered driving engines to boost development of other industries,” Thể said, adding that Việt Nam wants engagement from the private sector and foreign investors in transport projects.
Aus4Transport will run from 2018 to 2022 and aims to develop five new major road projects. It’s expected that the programme’s impacts will extend far beyond these projects by demonstrating new models and policies that can improve value for money for Việt Nam’s transport investments. — VNS