Hau Giang Transport: Prerequisite for Economic Development

3:41:38 PM | 2/3/2007

Vietnam Business Forum interviews Mr. Nguyen Lien Khoa, Director of Hau Giang Department of Transport.
The transport system plays a crucial role in economic development. Could you describe several outstanding achievements of Hau Giang Province since it was separated from former Can Tho Province?
Hau Giang Province was set up on January 1, 2004. After splitting from former Can Tho Province, the locality encountered more difficulties than any other regional provinces because the starting point of its economy was low and the infrastructure system is weak, especially the transport system. The entire province has only three national roads running through (National Road 01, National Road 61 and Nam Song Hau National Road) but the road surface was not wide, limiting the travelling of people and the circulation of goods. In spite of a high density of roads, most of them were of poor quality (some 36 per cent surfaced by soil or weak materials and 74 per cent paved by asphalt). The road system was capable of supporting two-wheelers and small automobiles, not heavy-load vehicles. Despite these difficulties, the Department of Transport proposed many suitable measures improving the situation, including planning works, legal document build-up, infrastructure construction, traffic management, traffic safety and transport management.
Rural transport networks significantly contribute to narrowing the economic, cultural and social gap between rural and urban dwellers. How has Hau Giang addressed this issue?
Before splitting from Can Tho Province, the current Hau Giang Province was divided into two sub-regions with low investment concerns. To upgrade the rural transport system, the province mobilised local resources to resolve travelling issues and boost economic development in the countryside. In 2006, the entire province asphalted and concreted 298.6km of roads, strengthened 252.29 km of other types of roads and built 295 bridges (4,966.5m). Currently, the department is speeding up the construction of road systems capable of supporting automobiles in 10 communes. In 2007, the department will build similar roads for an additional seven communes.
After three years of implementing these plans, the face of rural transport has been beautified with wider roads and easier travelling, facilitating the travel of the people and the exchange of commodities.
As a pioneer in the industrialisation and modernisation process, how will Hau Giang transport sector attract investment capital, investment projects and human resources to realise its targets?
In the coming years, the transport sector of Hau Giang Province will synchronously develop its traffic infrastructure system to meet the demands of the industrialisation and modernisation process by building a complete transport system, in combination with other methods of transport and ensuring traffic from and to other localities. Hence, from now on, the sector will work with the project management units under the Ministry of Transport to speed up the construction pace and put into use key projects like the upgrading of national roads 1 and 61, Cai Tu Bridge, Nam Song Hau road and Quan Lo-Phung Hiep road section. The department will focus on the construction of roads leading to commune headquarters. At the same time, it carries out projects to upgrade local existing facilities and build new ones to meet the social and economic development demands, including constructing Tay Song Hau Road, Bon Tong - Mot Ngan traffic system and Vi Thanh-Can Tho road.
In addition, the sector will gradually upgrade its waterway transport conditions and irrigation systems.
To realise the above targets, Hau Giang Province needs to increase investment for infrastructure and transport systems from state-funded budgets, promoting its internal forces and attracting capital from other economic sectors under various investment forms like BOT and BT. The department will continue taking full advantage of official development assistance (ODA) capital from other countries. It will also apply suitable land site clearance and compensation methods to reduce investment costs for the transport system.
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