At the signing ceremony (Photo VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
 The Ministry of Transport and the Australian Government on February 9 signed an agreement to launch Aus4Transport, a 24 million USD programme for the development of transport projects in Vietnam.

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 Vietnam Craig Chittick said Australia had a long history of helping develop Vietnam’s transport sector.

“Since the 1990s, Australia has supported Vietnam to develop the infrastructure that has underpinned the country’s remarkable economic transformation,” he said.

One example is the My Thuan Bridge, the first cable-stayed bridge in Vietnam, which crosses the Tien River and connects Tien Giang and Vinh 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 Lanh Bridge in Dong Thap province is expected to open for traffic this year, helping reduce travel time from Long Xuyen province to HCM City.

The ambassador said that Aus4Transport marked a new era in Australia’ assistance and they wanted to work with Vietnam to ensure its projects attract international finance and to implement them faster.

Transport Minister Nguyen Van The said Vietnam appreciated Australia’s assistance which helped create milestones in the country’s transport infrastructure and development and also improve technical expertise of Vietnamese staff.

The minister added that Vietnam 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 is 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 Vietnam’s transport investments.-VNA