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Urban transport planning and sustainability, technology advancements, transport financing and investments, intelligent transport systems, road safety as well as critical insights into Viet Nam's road and rail development plans have been highlighted during a two-day conference in Ha Noi which kicked off yesterday.

The conference known as Viet Traffic is supplemented by an exhibition which features solutions and technologies for railway infrastructure, highway construction and management, roadside accessories and public utilities, ITS for traffic management and safety, parking facilities and systems and management..

Delivering a speech at the conference, the director of the Foreign Investment Agency Phan Huu Thang told participants that the completion of a modem transport infrastructure system was one of the key missions of Viet Nam's Government.

He said that over the past few years, Viet Nam had made great strides in transport infrastructure development with a view to developing the country's socio-economy.

"We hope that by 2020, Viet Nam will become a modern industrial country with a developed transport infrastructure bringing economic benefits to all," Thang said.

"We strongly believe that through the conference and exhibition, participants will discuss solutions and share experiences in order to seek ways to make joint-venture businesses and co-ordinate to improve and develop Viet Nam's infrastructure facilities in the years to come."

Mai Anh Tuan, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Road Administration, told delegates about road development plans and future challenges. Viet Nam's land transport and services remained very poor and it wouldn't be easy to address the existing problems within a short period of time.

Regarding Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) investment in traffic infrastructure, Tuan said motorcycles remained an essential mode of transport for Vietnamese people. The Viet Nam Road Administration would seek ways to gradually to solve traffic problems due to the high ratio of motorbikes, while encouraging automobile development in an appropriate manner.

The number of cars would climb to around three million units by 2020 and motorbike would be between 33-36 million units.

He added that road fee collection remained unreasonable in the country and was lower than other countries. The Viet Nam Road Administration would revise road fee collection procedures so as to encourage B.O.T investment in road infrastructure. By doing so, support from both international and domestic professionals would be a need.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment's decision to allocate huge transport infrastructure funds before the end of this year signified a major demand for infrastructure support from both local and international players to cater to the rapid development of more transport projects in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam's robust economic growth is accompanied by an urgent need for a good transportation network and infrastructure. As a result, major projects are underway to build more ports, highways, railways, roads, bridges, tunnels, interchanges, overpasses, car parks and other auxiliary facilities.

The country plans to develop 6,000km of expressways by 2025, with 261km of expressways designed for high-speed travel to be built each year until 2025 at an estimated total cost of $22.8 billion.

Viet Nam's Government has set aside billions of dollars to be invested in numerous mega-scale road and rail projects. In HCM City alone, the total estimated investment capital needed for road, railway and waterway projects planned will be $13.9 billion while Ha Noi's total investment into transportation projects is estimated at about $13 billion.

Source: Vietnam News

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