Illustrative image (Source: duongbo.vn)
Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested the Ministries of Transport, Planning and Investment, and Finance to prioritise investments in transport infrastructure in the northwestern region.

Speaking at a conference to review five-year investment in transport in the region on December 31, Phuc, who is head of the Steering Committee for the Northwestern Region, affirmed that there will be no economic development without roads.

He noted that travel time to the region has been cut by at least one third thanks to intensive investment in transport networks from roads, railways and waterways to aviation.

However, the improvement is not enough to meet demands due to the complicated terrains and the vast area of the region.

Weak regional connectivity, overloaded vehicles’ damage to roads and the high level of traffic accidents are challenging the region, he noted.

The Deputy PM asked northwestern localities to make mid-term plans and a list of priorities in transport to facilitate investment allocation and perfect mechanisms to attract investment from all economic sectors.

He instructed relevant ministries to allocate capital and ODA to develop key routes in the region, and revise the existing transport networks to seek the most suitable mode for local transport.

Transport Minister Dinh La Thang emphasised the importance to build roads linking with the Noi Bai-Lao Cai expressway to facilitate the development of regional localities like Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang and Lai Chau.

The region has nearly 153,000km of roads, four railways with a total length of 700km, and four airports in Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Son La province. Several localities have waterway linkages with others in the region and in the Hong (Red) River delta.-VNA