The State Bank of Vietnam has signed with the Asian Development Bank agreements for nearly 160 million USD in loans for improving the country's infrastructure.

The deals were inked by SBV Governor Nguyen Van Binh and Tomoyuki Kimura, the ADB's Vietnam country director, in Hanoi on May 8.

The first was for an additional loan of 147 million USD to complete the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway, a key road link between Hanoi and the north-western border with China.

The 244-km highway will mark the completion of the Kunming-Hai Phong Transport Corridor, a vital conduit for trade between Vietnam and China, according to Yasushi Tanaka, principal transport specialist at the ADB's Southeast Asia Department.

The additional assistance would ensure the project fully met its goals of supporting economic growth and employment in the northern mountains of Vietnam and reduce travel time and accidents on the route, he said.

The second agreement was for a 12.58 million USD loan for preparations for Beltway No 3 in HCM City. The loan will help conduct surveys and plan to invest in sub-projects like the Ben Luc – National Highway No 22 and National Highway No 22 – Binh Chuan sections.

The loan will also enable Vietnamese agencies to make technical plans for the Tan Van – Nhon Trach section and the road to connect this section with the National Highway No 1.-VNA