VN’s long­est ex­press­way opens

The road cuts the seven-hour drive from Haø Noäi to Laøo Cai in half

Viet Nam News - - Front Page -

LAØO CAI — Prime Min­is­ter Nguyeãn Taán Duõng in­au­gu­rated the 245 km Noäi Baøi-Laøo Cai ex­press­way, the long­est of its kind in Vieät Nam, yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing at the open­ing cer­e­mony, PM Duõng stressed that the ex­press­way played a cru­cial role in the so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the north­west re­gion. He in­structed the Trans­port Min­istry and north­west­ern prov­inces to en­sure that provin­cial high­ways could eas­ily be con­nected to the ex­press­way.

He also asked the Trans­port Min­istry to quickly fin­ish the 19 km sec­tion that links Lao Cai to the bor­der with China and ex­pand the Yeân Baùi-Laøo Cai sec­tion from two to four lanes.

Nguyeãn Vaên Vònh, party sec­re­tary of Laøo Cai Prov­ince, reaf­firmed the ex­press way’s im­por­tant role in help­ing the prov­ince at­tract in­vest­ment and trade, as well as re­duc­ing the load on the Haø Noäi-Laøo Cai rail­way route.

The ex­press­way crosses through the cap­i­tal as well as Vónh Phuùc, Phuù Thoï, Yeân Baùi and Laøo Cai prov­inces. The Haø Noäi-Yeân Baùi sec­tion has four lanes for ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling 100 kph while the Yeân Baùi-Laøo Cai sec­tion has two lanes for ve­hi­cles trav­el­ling 80 kph.

The project, which broke ground in 2008, has to­tal in­vest­ment of nearly US$1.5 bil­lion, in­clud­ing $1.03 bil­lion from the AsianDevel­op­men­tBank(ADB)’s Or­di­nary Cap­i­tal Re­sources, $236.21 mil­lion as soft loans from the Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB)’sAsianDevel­op­men­tFund and $ 170.31 mil­lion as the Gov­ern­ment’s coun­ter­part cap­i­tal, which was spent on site clear­ance. At least 25,000 house­holds were cleared for the project.

The ex­press­way will shorten the travel time from Haø Noäi to Laøo Cai from the cur­rent seven hours to 3.5 hours, in ad­di­tion to re­duc­ing the time it takes to drive from Haø Noäi to Tuyeân Quang and Haø Giang.

PM Duõng also in­au­gu­rated the open­ing of a cast iron and steel plant in Tang Long In­dus­trial Com­plex in Bao Thang Dis­trict yes­ter­day.

The joint ven­ture be­tween Vieät Nam Steel Cor­po­ra­tion, Laøo Cai Min­eral Company and Kun­ning Steel and Cast Iron Joint Stock Company was com­pleted in three years and will ini­tially pro­duce 500,000 tonnes of cast iron per year. Part of a longterm de­vel­op­ment plan for the coun­try’s steel sec­tor, it will pro­vide jobs for about 1,000 lo­cals.

PM Duõng stressed that the new plant would help the do­mes­tic steel sec­tor meet de­mand and re­flected the on­go­ing co-op­er­a­tion be­tween Viet­namese and Chi­nese com­pa­nies.

Also as part of his work­ing visit to Laøo Cai, PM Duõng re­minded lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to take ad­van­tage of tourism to pro­mote sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment dur­ing a work­ing ses­sion on Satur­day with provin­cial au­thor­i­ties.

In ad­di­tion, he asked the lo­cal­ity to foster the min­eral ex­ploita­tion and pro­cess­ing in­dus­try as well as agro-forestry pro­duc­tion and said the prov­ince should take more dras­tic mea­sures to im­ple­ment the na­tional strat­egy pro­gramme on build­ing new-style ru­ral ar­eas.

Re­gard­ing a de­vel­op­ment plan for the popular tourist des­ti­na­tion of Sa Pa, the PM said Laøo Cai should in­vite for­eign con­sul­tants if nec­es­sary so that the plan could op­ti­mise Sa Pa’s po­ten­tial and ad­van­tages while pre­serv­ing lo­cal cul­tural char­ac­ter­is­tics, nat­u­ral land­scape and her­itage and pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. He sug­gested lo­cal au­thor­i­ties work out poli­cies to mo­bilise re­sources for de­vel­op­ing trans­port in­fra­struc­ture and tourism ser­vices.

Laøo Cai’s eco­nomic growth was es­ti­mated at 13.7 per­cent in the first nine months and the num­ber of tourists rose 33 per­cent from the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to chair­man of the provin­cial Peo­ple’s Com­mit­tee Doõan Vaên Höôûng.

Au­thor­i­ties aim to de­velop the area into a tourism zone cov­er­ing around 363 ha and com­pris­ing ur­ban res­i­den­tial ar­eas, tourism sites, agri­cul­ture zones and the Hoang Lien Na­tional Park.

PM Duõng also in­spected the con­struc­tion site of a cable car line that will carry vis­i­tors to the top of Mt. Fan­si­pan, Vieät Nam’s high­est peak. The line is sched­uled to be com­plete by April 2015. —

Ve­hi­cles travel on the 245km Noäi Baøi - Laøo Cai Ex­press­way, which con­nects Noäi Baøi in Haø Noäi and Laøo Cai Prov­ince. The ex­press­way opened to traf­fic yes­ter­day. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Huøng

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