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Vinh Long in need of ODA funds
Date: 12/3/2014 12:49:03 PM
The Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long is seeking investment capital to accelerate its economic and technical urban development during 2015-2020, with official development assistance playing a crucial role. Phu Khoi reports.

Vinh Long has directly benefited from the state-of-the art cable-stayed My Thuan and Can Tho bridges

 Vinh Long covers nearly 1,500 square kilometres and consists of seven districts and one city with a population of more than one million.

Its mainstay products include rice, Nam Roi grapefruit, high export value fresh-water seafood and clay and sand deposits. The province is also home to famous craft villages producing tiles and bricks, pottery and other handicrafts.

From 2001 to 2010, Vinh Long received official development assistance (ODA) funds for eight projects worth some $21.7 million, focusing on water supply, rural environmental sanitation, transport, water conservation, and healthcare.

The province has so far directly benefited from ODA-funded key government projects such as the state-of-the art cable-stayed My Thuan and Can Tho bridges whose completion has made significant contributions to pushing forward development and gearing the provincial economy to shift towards a lower proportion of agriculture-forestry and fishery and an increased percentage of industry, construction, trade and services.

In terms of the implementation of ODA-funded projects, this year the province has plans for six projects, including one new and five already underway with capital allocation this year surpassing VND113 billion ($5.3 million).

In the remaining months of this year, Vinh Long has continued implementing the six projects, in which two projects (one on ensuring education quality at schools and the other on building a six kilometre road stretch crossing Mang Thit district funded by the World Bank) are expected to be put into operation before the year-end. In regard with the remaining four projects, efforts hve been made towards completing their capital disbursement plans for this year.

In a recent visit to the Mekong Delta, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Manh Hien praised the efficiency of the VLAP project on modernising local land management system and pledged to promote the model in the region in the upcoming time.

Besides, Vinh Long is calling for ODA funds to capitalise the construction of Vinh Long city waste-water treatment plant with the daily capacity of 50,000 cubic metres valued at VND550 billion ($26.2 million) in the total investment capital. The project is expected to contribute to give Vinh Long city a facelift.

Pipelined projects

Next year, Vinh Long is considering carrying out five projects (four already existing, and a new one which involves equipment upgrades for Vinh Long general hospital). The capital plan for next year is an estimated VND297.8 billion ($14.1 million), with VND211 billion ($10 million) from ODA funds and the remainder from government bond capital.

The prime minister has approved Vinh Long ’s socio-economic development plan until 2020, aiming to make the most of the province’s natural advantages, increase international integration and tackle challenges, striving to form a modern economic structure which can compete on a domestic and international basis.

The development planning in this area also highlights the need to combine socio-economic development with building a strong political system, ensuring defence, security and social order to transform Vinh Long into a beautiful, green and clean urban area. The plan also aims to create a balance between rural and urban areas, gradually improving people’s standards of living and shaping a knowledge-based economy based on quality human resources.

Another important content is boosting links with the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to form an economic, training, cultural, science and technology hub in the region.

To realise these ambitious goals, Vinh Long would need about VND240 trillion ($11.4 billion) in investment capital during 2011-2020. A sum of VND70 trillion ($3.3 billion) will be required for the 2011-2015 period, and the rest for the next phase from 2016 to 2020.

As a province with strong advantages in agricultural production, Vinh Long has paid due heed to developing technical infrastructure serving agricultural production, promoting trade exchanges to boost consumption, and mitigating the impact of climate change. The province has developed a comprehensive investment programme for technical infrastructure development during 2011-2015 with orientations until 2020. ODA is regarded as an important source to help the province reach its goals.

The province is also increasing efforts to upgrade and develop 1,580km of district and provincial roads, as well as roads in rural areas, reaching 2,080km of roads by 2020.

The existing Vinh Long road needs further expansion coupled with greater efficiency in the operation of the Binh Minh and An Phuoc ports.

Another important task is upgrading and building the channel, dyke and jetty system to ensure water supply for an additional 10,000ha of agricultural land, as well as promoting aquaculture. Investment must be put into tackling flooding and striving to ensure sufficient water for agricultural land.

The province intends to effectively tap existing water plants and build new systems to ensure 60 per cent of households in rural areas have access to clean water supply by 2015, increasing to 85-90 per cent by 2020.

Urban development

Amid the rapid pace of urbanisation, developing an urban area network has become an imperative demand in the province.

Existing urban areas will receive further upgrades with revisions to the general planning of Vinh Long city to achieve grade II city status, turning Binh Minh town into a city, and upgrading Vung Liem and Tra On towns to reach grade IV city standards.

Another task is establishing four new urban areas at Tan Quoi (Binh Tan), Phu Quoi (Long Ho), Cai Ngang (Tam Binh) and for Huu Thanh (Tra On) to reach grade IV city standards.

In respect of social housing development, the province intends to provide 1,500 apartment units for low-income people in urban areas, ensuring accommodation for 55 per cent of students and half of the industrial zone (IZ) workers.

Regarding the average housing area, the target is a floor area of about 15 square metres per capita in urban areas, while in rural areas the target is 25sq.m per capita by 2015.

To ensure sufficient investment, the province has set forth plans to tap diverse capital sources. This plan will ensure the effective use of domestic sources and will take advantage of external sources to modernise the infrastructure network, particularly in rural areas.

In addition, ensuring power supply for production at the province’s IZs and industrial clusters, as well as at craft villages and serving people life is also a must. It is also crucial to scale up efforts to attract ODA funds and create a more attractive investment environment in the province through tax and fee policies and building better IZ infrastructure facilities.


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