Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attended a groundbreaking ceremony on June 26 for a 450-million-USD project to develop an infrastructure system in Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park on the outskirts of Hanoi.

The project, which was approved by the Government in 2010, is funded through 400 million USD from Japan ’s official development assistance (ODA) and the balance from the Vietnamese Government.

In March 2012, the Ministry of Finance and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement worth over 15.2 billion JPY (123.2 million USD) for the project. The second deal valued at 30 billion JPY (243.1 million USD) is scheduled to be signed in 2016.

The project is expected to be completed in 2018 with all five contract packages scheduled to commence this year.

Addressing the ceremony, the Government leader stressed the significance of the project for the development of the park.

He said he hopes that after the project concludes, the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park will become a smart urban area serving science-technology research, appliance, creation and transfer.

The PM thanked the Japanese Government for its ODA to Vietnam with about 27 billion USD over the past two decades, mostly in socio-economic infrastructure, becoming Vietnam ’s largest ODA provider.

He said he hopes Japan will continue considering Vietnam a priority in its ODA plans, affirming Vietnam will exert every effort to work with Japan in bolstering the bilateral strategic partnership.

High-quality human resources and advanced science and technology are among the key factors for sustainable and rapid growth in the current context of globalisation, international integration and fierce market competition, he said.

The PM added that the Party and State consider science and technology together with education and training to be breakthrough strategies to speed up national industrialisation and modernisation.

He asked the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Management Board of the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park to closely coordinate to ensure the progress and quality of the project as well as propose policies to attract investment projects to the park.

He also urged Hanoi authorities to complete ground clearance on the remaining 300 hectares of the park.

The Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park was set up in 1998 to host hi-tech research, development and application; nurture hi-tech enterprises; provide human resources training; and produce and trade hi-tech products.

The nearly 1,600-hectare park, which is expected to become a leading park in the northern region, consists of a hi-tech education and training zone, a research and development zone, a software park and an industrial zone.-VNA