South­ern re­gion looks ahead to ASEAN Com­mu­nity

With support from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, sev­eral prov­inces in south­ern Vieät Nam have up­graded in­fra­struc­ture to pre­pare for the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity, which will be­gin next year.

Outlook - - CONTENTS - By Löu Vaên Ñaït

With support from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment, sev­eral prov­inces in south­ern Vieät Nam have up­graded in­fra­struc­ture to pre­pare for the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity, which will be­gin next year.

Vieät Nam's south­ern prov­inces, which are part of the south­ern and south­ern-coastal cor­ri­dors that tra­verse sev­eral South­east Asian coun­tries, are build­ing roads, bridges and ports in an­tic­i­pa­tion of greater growth next year when the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity (AEC) fi­nally be­comes of­fi­cial. The prov­inces of Long An, Ñoàng Thaùp and Baø Ròa-Vuõng Taøu, which have roads link­ing to Route R10 (called the South­ern Coastal Cor­ri­dor) and R1 (the South­ern Cor­ri­dor) ex­pect that up­graded trans­port in­fra­struc­ture will at­tract more in­vestors to their ar­eas.

Dur­ing a study trip taken re­cently by re­gional lead­ers along Route R1 from HCM City to Bangkok, it was agreed that poor in­fra­struc­ture was one of the main hur­dles to fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the coun­tries.

Traàn Höõu Phöôùc, deputy chair­man of Long An Prov­ince's Peo­ple's Com­mit­tee, said the prov­ince had up­graded in­fra­struc­ture for bet­ter cul­tural and eco­nomic ex­change with other South­east Asian coun­tries.

In Long An, the sec­tion of High­way 62 that con­nects to Route R1 at Bình Hieäp Bor­der Check­point to Cam­bo­dia and Thai­land has been ex­panded.

How­ever, con­struc­tion on a large Taân Taäp in­ter­na­tional port in Caàn Gi­uoäc Dis­trict has been slow, he said.

Be­sides the Taân Taäp Port in the Soaøi Raïp River, the prov­ince has built sev­eral river ports that can ac­cept ships of un­der 10,000DWT. Long An now has 28 in­dus­trial zones and 29 in­dus­trial clus­ters.

The Taân Taäp Port is ex­pected to meet the de­mands of Thai en­ter­prises which pre­fer to trans­port goods by boats along the Mekong River and to the sea through Vieät Nam, as the Con­sul Gen­eral of Thai­land in HCM City, Papi­mon Suwan­napongse, has said.

Phöôùc, how­ever, said that Route R1, although good, should be fur­ther up­graded as travel de­mand is ex­pected to in­crease next year when the AEC takes ef­fect.

The route plays an im­por­tant role for fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion be­tween coun­tries in the re­gion, the Thai diplo­mat said.

The south­ern prov­ince of Ñoàng Thaùp has had sev­eral projects funded by both lo­cal and cen­tral gov­ern­ments. High­way N2 and the Cao Laõnh Bridge and Vaøm Coáng Bridge, along with the newly built High­ways No. 30, 54 and 80, will cre­ate ad­van­tages for road traf­fic to other prov­inces and to Cam­bo­dia.

Sev­eral other provin­cial roads have been put on the up­grade list un­til 2020, said Nguyeãn Thanh Huøng, deputy chair­man of Ñoàng Thaùp Peo­ple's Com­mit­tee. The prov­ince has a 48-km long bor­der with Cam­bo­dia and seven bor­der check­points, in­clud­ing two in­ter­na­tional bor­der check­points.

Be­sides road im­prove­ments, the prov­ince has also dredged and en­larged the depth of the Tieàn and Haäu rivers so that larger ves­sels can get ac­cess. The Cao Laõnh Sa Ñeùc and Traàn Quoác Toaûn points along the Tieàn River are ac­ces­si­ble to ves­sels up to 5,000DWT, fa­cil­i­tat­ing goods trans­porta­tion across South­east Asia, he said.

The ca­pac­ity of Sa Ñeùc and Traàn Quoác Toaûn ports, which are un­der man­age­ment of HCM City's Taân Caûng port au­thor­ity, will be ex­panded soon for bet­ter con­nec­tions with the coun-

Traàn Höõu Phöôùc, vice chair­man of Long An Prov­ince's Peo­ple's Com­mit­tee (left), and Huyønh Vaên Töôi, Long An Prov­ince's Peo­ple's Com­mit­tee's vice chief of of­fice (mid­dle), talk about Thai­land's Leam Cha­bang Port dur­ing a trip in July.

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