The Ministry of Transport (MoT) and the Australian Government signed an agreement on February 9 to launch Aus4Transport, a new $24-million program to support the development of transport projects in Vietnam.
“Australia has a long history of supporting the development of the transport sector in Vietnam, starting with the original ‘Friendship Bridge’ at My Thuan [connecting Cai Be district in the Mekong Delta's Tien Giang province with Vinh Long city in Vinh Long province], in 2001, the country’s first cable-stayed bridge, and now with Cao Lanh Bridge [in the Mekong Delta's Dong Thap province], which we expect will open in the coming months,” Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Craig Chittick, said.
“Aus4Transport marks a new era in our assistance,” he went on. “We want to work with Vietnam to ensure its bankable projects attract international finance and make it to implementation more quickly. By supporting the right reforms, we are aiming to help Vietnam deliver better value for money in its own projects. This is a great example of Australia’s economic partnership with Vietnam in action.”
Aus4Transport will provide funding and expertise to develop new transport projects from the concept stage up to the start of construction. It will also strengthen partnerships between Australian transport institutions and MoT to help share Australia’s world-leading experience in areas like transport planning, infrastructure finance, and road safety.
“New investments in transport infrastructure are critical to sustaining economic growth in Vietnam,” Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said at the launch. “Aus4Transport will support us with flexible finance and the expertise necessary to ensure projects are developed to the highest quality.”
Aus4Transport will run from 2018 to 2022 and develop five new major road projects. Its impact, however, will extend far beyond these projects by demonstrating new models and policies that can improve value for money across all of Vietnam’s transport investments.
Since 1997, the Australian Government has provided nearly $300 million in total for transport projects (mainly via non-refundable aid) such as My Thuan Bridge, component project 1A under phase 1 of the Southern Coastal Corridor project, the Mekong River Delta Transport Infrastructure Development project, and Cao Lanh Bridge.