The Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro line in HCM City (Photo: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNS/VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities have called on local and foreign investors to invest in the city’s infrastructure.

The growing metropolitan area with 13 million inhabitants is facing problems caused by rapid urban development and struggling with climate-related problems, Le Thanh Phong, head of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre’s investment promotion division, said.

"The demand for urban infrastructure is forecast to grow as a result of the rapid urbanisation," he told the Infrastructure Vietnam Summit which was held in HCM City last week.

“Traffic problems and flooding have hindered social and economic development.”

The city is soliciting investment of 53 billion USD in 210 projects, mostly in infrastructure, according to the official.

The city requires 42 billion USD for 85 transport infrastructure projects, including 55 roads and bridges, seven in waterway transport, eight in railways, and 15 road works.

It also needs 4.9 billion USD for 36 urban technical infrastructure projects, including drainage systems and wastewater treatment plants.

It plans to develop a satellite city in each of the four directions to help reduce the population pressure and stress on infrastructure in the city centre.

Nguyen Quoc Hien, director of the project preparation investment unit under the Management Authority for Urban Railways, said as a metro and an economic hub HCM City urgently needed to build an urban railway system.

Under a master plan approved by the Government, the city would develop an urban railway system with a total length of 220 km at a cost of 26 billion USD, including eight metro lines, one tramway line and two monorail lines, he said.

“The 220km urban railway system is modest compared to the city’s rapid economic growth and urbanisation.”

"Three of the metro lines have received funding commitments but they account for only 10 percent of the total cost and the remaining 90 percent investment has yet to be tied up," he said.

Tran Duy Binh, Director of KPMG Legal Limited, said lengthy procedures and multiple approvals were among the key irritants faced by foreign investors coming to the country.

It was also difficult and time-consuming to find an appropriate local partner, he added.

As of last month investors from 106 countries and territories had invested more than 45 billion USD in numerous sectors in the city.-VNS/VNA