The Vietnam Railway Corporation (VNR) will cooperate with Vingroup in initiating steps to invest in the upgrade of railway stations.

This follows the Transport Ministry's call for investment in the railway sector from various economic sectors.

In a statement sent to Vingroup in response to the group's proposal to invest in upgrading and using Hanoi, Da Nang and Saigon stations, the VNR said it wanted Vingroup to become a strategic partner in using the railway infrastructure managed by it.

VNR said it would help in effective utilisation of the railway infrastructure, while reducing the pressure on the state budget.

Earlier, Vingroup sent a document to VNR in late June, proposing cooperation in upgrading rail infrastructure.

Vingroup has informed the Transport Ministry that it would submit a cooperation plan with VNR on upgrading Saigon and Hanoi stations before July 30.

The two sides have discussed measures to ensure the stations operate effectively and to improve financial efficiency.

Last week, Vingroup sent a letter to the Transport Ministry, expressing its interest in investing in a new railway station in the central city of Da Nang, as the authorities plan to move the existing station out of the city.

The proposed investments in the railways are in response to the government's policies allowing various economic sectors to invest in the sector to modernise it, and to ease the burden on public funds.

VNR said it spent 7 trillion VND (352.58 million USD) in the 2011-15 period to upgrade the network and introduce new technologies to manage the operations.

By 2020, an estimated 2 trillion (93.02 million USD) more will be needed for continued implementation of these plans, and 60 trillion VND (2.79 billion USD) for 12 projects to modernise the main routes.-VNA