Vietnam will derive significant economic benefits if it applies the experience of the world's leading cities without having to upgrade or alter much in the way of existing infrastructure, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Online Newspaper report, citing a study conducted by London-based consulting firm Credo.

Commissioned by Siemens, the “The Mobility Opportunity” study which was presented in Singapore on June 5, looks at transportation networks in 35 major cities around the globe and assesses how prepared cities are to meet future challenges, including population growth and higher competition.

The results: If all 35 cities studied would implement relative “best in class” standards, they stand to gain an economic benefit of up to 238 billion USD annually by 2030.

Extrapolating to all comparably-sized cities globally with a population of around 750,000 and greater, this suggests an economic opportunity of roughly 800 billion USD annually. This corresponds to about one per cent of global GDP. Today the potential benefit would be about 360 billion USD per year.

Although public transport in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, has traditionally been road based, heavy investment in a five line metro network forms a key part of the Vietnamese Government’s plans to encourage modal shift and generate social, environmental and economic benefits, as does Ho Chi Minh City’s six-line equivalent.

The big opportunity for Vietnam is to apply the experience of the world’s leading cities without having to upgrade or alter much in the way of existing infrastructure – particularly so with the metros. It will require significant investment over the long term, but the opportunities for Vietnam to develop world class transportation systems in its major cities are highly significant.

Transport is considered one of the major factors of a city’s competitiveness. However, lack of financial resources often constrains cities’ ability to invest in their transport networks.

This study is unique in seeking to put an economic value on the cost of inefficient transport, thus helping cities make the case for investment. Some of the factors considered were journey times, crowding and network density, all of which impact a city’s productivity.

In order to have a reasonable comparison, the study groups cities into three categories to account for different levels of wealth and development. According to Credo, the most cost-efficient cities are: Copenhagen, Denmark (Category “Well-established cities”); Singapore (Category “High-density compact centers”); Santiago, Chile (Category “Emerging cities”).

Then, Credo compared cities to the leading city in their category. The comparison enabled them to quantify the economic benefits that investments in transport would bring, such as higher productivity and new economic activity.

Finally, Credo has developed some key pointers on how cities can realise the potential economic uplift. Case studies show how potential investments can pay off.

"All cities can learn from the leading cities in their category in order to close the gap of their transport networks’ efficiency, reduce costs and increase productivity. Because the more efficient a city’s transport network is, the more attractive the city is to business and people", commented Chris Molloy, Partner at Credo.

"The best transportation systems are the ones that move people quickly, easily, and comfortably to their destination. The leading cities are already achieving this with efficient transport networks that feature modern infrastructure, easy connections across various modes of transportation, and, above all, a clear strategy of how to meet future needs,” said Roland Busch, CEO of the Siemens Sector Infrastructure & Cities and member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG.

Cities are the engines for future growth. They generate 80 percent of global economic output. However, in a globalised economy, with businesses and workforces increasingly able to relocate internationally, they must compete to offer the most attractive environment for economic activity.

The study “The Mobility Opportunity” is geared toward city decision-makers around the world so that they may use its recommendations to achieve the greatest economic benefit.-VNA