Politburo to Consider Investment Policy on High-speed Railways in 2023

9:11:02 AM | 3/14/2023

The Politburo set to complete and approve the investment policy for the North-South high-speed railway project by 2025, start construction on two prioritized sections first and complete the entire railway before 2045.

In its recently announced Conclusion 49-KL/TW, the Politburo targeted to develop a modern and synchronous railway transport system to accelerate rapid and sustainable socioeconomic development and realize the goal that Vietnam will be a high-income developed country by 2045. Accordingly, railway transport plays a key role in the North-South Economic Corridor, main East-West transport corridors and passenger transport in big cities.

The Politburo assigned the Party Personnel Affairs Board of the Ministry of Transport to conduct research, speed up the completion of the investment policy on the North-South high-speed railway construction project and submit it to the Politburo for consideration and decision.

Priority to Hanoi-Vinh and HCM City-Nha Trang sessions

Referring to specific goals, the Politburo is determined to complete and approve the investment policy on the North-South high-speed railway project by 2025 and start construction of prioritized sections in the 2026-2030 period, including Hanoi-Vinh and HCM City-Nha Trang.

By 2030, existing railways will be renovated, upgraded and operated effectively.

At the same time, Vietnam will continue to invest in urban railways in high-demand localities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; start construction of railways to international seaports such as Hanoi-Hai Phong and Bien Hoa-Vung Tau; to international border gates like Hanoi-Lao Cai and Hanoi-Lang Son; and to international airports like Thu Thiem-Long Thanh.

A ring railway in the east of Hanoi (Ngoc Hoi-Lac Dao-Bac Hong-Thach Loi) and Ho Chi Minh City-Can Tho railway will be invested in the public-private partnership (PPP) or other suitable investment methods. In addition, the Hanoi-Ha Long route will continue to be completed.

Besides, by 2045, Vietnam will complete key railways in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; railways to major traffic hubs (seaports, industrial parks and economic zones) and Central Highlands provinces; coastal railways; and trans-Asia railways.

Prioritizing State funds, boosting PPP investment

To achieve the above-mentioned goals, the Politburo required a new mindset in leadership, direction, communication, education and perception of all levels of Party committees, organizations, authorities, enterprises and people about the role, position and advantages of railway transport to create unity and high determination in railway transport development.

Viewpoints, goals, tasks and solutions regarding railway development will be synchronized with transport development. Railway transport planning will be aligned with the overall national planning and regional planning to have resources allocated in the process of national industrialization and modernization.

Competent authorities will promulgate mechanisms, policies and laws on land use for railway infrastructure construction and railway infrastructure leasing.

They will research and issue appropriate mechanisms, policies and solutions to remove obstacles and accelerate the investment process of national and urban railways. Railway standards, regulations and norms will be completed.

In the coming time, authorities will prioritize allocating resources in the medium-term public investment plan, increase revenue and economize annual expenditure, effectively utilize resources from the land fund and non-State resources for railway transport development.

Besides, Conclusion 49-KL/TW states “diversifying capital sources, forms and methods of railway investment, promoting PPP investment forms, including BT, BOT, BTO and TOD contracts.”

Competent authorities will study, develop and issue policies on the partial operation of railway infrastructure to recover the investment fund from projects invested from loans, including ODA and government bonds.

The focus will be placed on planning urban areas and industrial parks with railways and stations to create new development space, improve competitiveness and enhance effects in fundraising, operation and transportation of railways.

Capacity will be enhanced for railway transport companies, associated with privatization, equitization and divestment of transport business and support services for railway transport. All economic sectors will be encouraged to invest in vehicles and support services for railway transport.

Also at Conclusion 49/TW, the Politburo assigned the Party Personnel Affairs Committee of the Government to lead and direct the formulation and implementation of the railway network development planning and key railway projects; propose appropriate policies and prioritized resources for the implementation of the Conclusion; and complete documents on railway transport development within its jurisdiction.

By Phuong Anh, Vietnam Business Forum