Vietnam-to-China road to be builtbuild Hanoi-China highway in its biggest deal

HANOI, Vietnam: The Asian Development Bank announced its biggest-ever project Friday, a deal to lend Vietnam US$1.1 billion (€0.75 billion) for the construction of a modern highway linking Hanoi with China.

The expressway will link Hanoi with the Chinese city of Kunming following construction that is expected to finish in 2012, the bank said. It will reduce the trip to one day from the current two or three days.

Truong Tan Vien of Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport called it “a very significant project for the country.”

ADB officials, who said in a news released that road project was “single biggest project financing in ADB’s history,” said it would stimulate development and help alleviate poverty in northwestern Vietnam, one of the country’s poorest regions.

It would also reduce traffic on the region’s overburdened roads, thus reducing traffic fatalities, they said.

“Vietnam needs modern highways to help remove the country’s transportation bottlenecks, accelerate economic growth and ultimately expand economic opportunity for Vietnamese families,” John Cooney, the ADB’s infrastructure director in Southeast Asia, said in a statement.

The 244-kilometer (151-mile) highway will link Hanoi and the northern province of Lao Cai, which borders the Chinese province of Yunnan.

The highway will be a toll road that is expected to generate enough revenue to pay off the loans within a decade after it opens, the ADB said.

The new road will link companies in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, to the Vietnamese ports of Hai Phong and Cai Lan. It will ease shipping for Vietnamese firms exporting agricultural and maritime products to China, bank officials said.


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