Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung cut the ribbon to open the new Highway No. 3, linking Hanoi and the northern mountainous province of Thai Nguyen, for safety testing at a ceremony in the capital on January 18.

Addressing the event, PM Dung stressed that the highway, which is scheduled to open for traffic in April this year, will play an important role in the industrialisation and modernisation process of the localities it goes through, including Hanoi, Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen.

He asked the Ministry of Transport and construction units to accelerate the pace of the project to ensure it is ready on time.

The leader thanked Japan for providing official development assistance to Vietnam for the project, at a time when the two countries are marking the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

The partly Japanese-funded project, costing 10 trillion VND (476.19 million USD), began in 2009.

The 64km long, 34.5 m wide, four-lane highway is one of the nation’s key projects and will be one of seven major roads leading to the capital city.

Once operational, Highway No. 3 will help ease traffic congestion, reduce travel time and transport costs. It will particularly help boost trade exchange between Hanoi and neighbouring localities, thus strengthening investment attraction and socio-economic development in the northern provinces.-VNA