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Vietnam seeks private partners to build highways
Publication Date : 20-09-2013
The government wants to encourage public-private partnership (PPP) cooperation in infrastructure projects, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai during a pre-application conference yesterday in Ha Noi. to allow potential investors to participate in the construction of the Dau Giay Phan Thiet Expressway, the first PPP project in Vietnam.
Targeted for completion in 2019, the four-lane, 100-kilometre expressway will connect HCM City to the south-central city of Phan Thiet significantly reducing travel time between HCM City and industrial development destinations as well as tourist attractions in the central and coastal areas.
The country plans to offer many incentives to investors, including $107 million for land clearance, said Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong. The shareholders will have a 30-year concession to operate the expressway, after which it will be handed to the Ministry of Transport.
Speaking at the conference, the Deputy PM made clear that the project was part of an aggressive effort to develop the country's south as an economic hub, saying he hoped that the highway would serve as a model for PPP in the future.
The multi-industry group Bitexco has already been selected by the Government and the World Bank as an investor for the US$757 million Dau Giay – Phan Thiet Expressway Project (DPEP). Bitexco holds 60 per cent equity interest in the project.
The roadshow was conducted to look for a second investor to hold the remaining 40 per cent equity interest in the ground-breaking infrastructure project.
"I'm pleased that the PPP model has attracted keen interest from investors around the world," said Bitexco chairman Vu
Quang Hoi. "We want to attract like-minded partners who are looking at long-term strategic opportunities in transport and infrastructure development, which will contribute to Vietnam's growth."
This conference, held by the Ministry of Transport, the World Bank in Viet Nam and Bitexco Group, is the fourth time the project has wooed investors. It follows the successful conclusion of roadshows in Mumbai, Seoul, and Singapore in July, which attracted a diverse mix of participants from top-tier infrastructure developers, infrastructure operators, private equity firms, global banks and other financial investors.
Mark Moseley World Bank's Task Team Leader for the project said that the "strong level of investor interest" displayed in the previous roadshows made the organisation "confident of securing the most suitable partner for Bitexco".
DPEP, he made clear, was an important project that had "chalked up impressive development in infrastructure, especially in transportation and power" in the past 20 years. He hoped that it would also "boost economic performance in the southern parts of Vietnam".