Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung (L) and ADB Country Director for Vietnam Eric Sidgwick sign the loan agreement in Hanoi on March 5 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Finance and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on March 5 signed a loan worth over 188 million USD for a transport connectivity project in northern mountainous provinces. 

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said the project is invested with 236.673 million USD in total, including 188.36 million USD loaned by the ADB, a grant of 4.481 million USD by the Australian Government, and 43.829 million USD sourced from Vietnam’s central budget.

The project will improve the road connectivity between Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway and northwestern provinces of Vietnam.

It will build and upgrade 198km of roads that connect several towns and districts in the provinces of Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Yen Bai with Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway – part of the Greater Mekong Subregion Kunming-Hai Phong Transport Corridor that links the Hanoi region with the north of Vietnam and with China’s Yunnan province. 

That includes about 147km of roads linking Lai Chau and nearly 51.4km of roads linking Yen Bai with the expressway.

The Finance Ministry said this project is scheduled to be completed in 2024, helping to improve the region’s transport network, ensure security-defence, boost socio-economic development, enhance regional connectivity, and ensure transport connectivity in the three provinces in case of severe flooding.

“The project aims to expand the benefits of the GMS corridors to the northwestern provinces,” said ADB Country Director for Vietnam Eric Sidgwick.

“The improved connectivity will not only boost border trade, private investment and job creation in the region, but also provide better access to basic social services, such as education, health care, job training and emergency disaster relief for the people of the northwestern provinces, especially the poor ethnic minorities,” he added.

By the end of 2018, the ADB had financed about 15.32 billion USD for more than 170 programmes and projects in Vietnam through official development assistance and concessional loans. These projects cover a wide range of fields such as transport, irrigation, poverty reduction, health care, education and urban development.-VNA