Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai launched the construction of Ho Chi Minh City’s Metro line No.2 on August 24, which will eventually link Ben Thanh market in the city centre and Tham Luong in district 12.

Hai highlighted the important role the project plays in the city’s socio-economic development as it is the nation’s most populous city and constantly plagued by traffic jams.

He called on all executive agencies to focus on the quality of the project whilst still keeping on schedule.

Nguyen Do Luong, the Head of the Urban Rail Management Board, said that the 20 km long Metro line will use European technology. In the first phase, from now to 2016, almost 11.5 km of tunnel will be dug at a depth of 18 m and include 11 stations.

The cost of almost 23.7 trillion VND (over 1.2 billion USD) will come largely from international official development assistance (ODA) provided by the Asian Development Bank, the German Reconstruction Bank (KfW) and the European Investment Bank. Vietnam committs almost 3.8 trillion VND (roughly 198.9 million USD) to the project.

The project will have additional investment supplied by the Clean Technology Fund.

German Ambassador Rolf Schulze and ADB Country Director Ayumi Konishi both pledged to work closely with domestic agencies to speed up the preparatory steps for signing the credit and consultancy contracts./.