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Bitexco chosen for PPP project
Multi-industry group Bitexco has been selected by the Government and the World Bank as an investor of the US$757 million Dau Giay – Phan Thiet Expressway Project, the nation's first public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure project.
In a press release on Thursday, Bitexco said it would contribute a 60 percent stake to the project and would also take part in the country's programme to find, amongst several Asian nations, a second investor.
The four-lane, 100-kilometre expressway will connect HCM City to the south-central city of Phan Thiet and would be a critical link in the national north-south highway corridor.
The expressway, expected to be completed in 2019, will reduce traveling times between HCM City and neighbouring industrial areas and tourism sites in the central coastal region.
"I'm pleased that the public-private partnership model has attracted keen interest from investors around the world," said Bitexco chairman Vu Quang Hoi.
"We want to attract like-minded partners who are looking at long-term strategic opportunities in transport and infrastructure development, which will contribute to Viet Nam's growth," he said.
According to Hoi, the project will be showcased this month in India, South Korea and Singapore, all of whom have significant investments in Viet Nam.
Additional infrastructure projects, including aviation terminals, seaports and subways, will be constructed along the highway. "This is an important project for the nation," said World Bank's country director for Viet Nam Victoria Kwakwa. "There have been significant improvements in roadway capacity but demand still outstrips capacity. The new expressway will boost economic development in southern parts of the country," she stressed.
On Tuesday, a Viet Nam investment forum was held in the US to attract investment in construction projects and infrastructure development in Viet Nam.
Bui Quang Vinh, Minister of Planning and Investment, said US investors believed that Viet Nam was heading in the right direction with PPP and they appreciated the commitment and actions the Vietnamese Government had taken to implement this model.
Vinh also said that Viet Nam had established a Government steering committee on PPP, led by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, to boost the efficiency of the model.
Richard Shieldhouse from the Maryland-based Intervistas Company said Viet Nam's move to establish a risk prevention fund worth $1 billion, reserved for the PPP, will help international and private investors feel secure about their infrastructure investments.
He said the country would also introduce timely, new legislation on PPP investment, and he expected the National Assembly to soon pass a revised investment law, which would improve the quality of future investments.
At the forum, ministry officials said health-care and environmental projects were prioritised in Viet Nam's PPP infrastructure development portfolios.