Will Chinese investors bid on North-South highway project?
VietNamNet Bridge - Experts think that Chinese contractors may win the bid to implement the massive North-South Highway project.


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Under the plan approved by the government, the North-South highway, to be built in 2017-2020, comprises 11 sections. The first three sections will be built with capital from the state budget, while the remaining eight sections will be built with private capital. 

MOT will hold international bidding to find investors for 21 packages of eight component projects. It plans to issue bidding documents in April and announce the bidding results in July.

Deputy Minister of MOT Nguyen Van The told the local press that the ministry would allocate project sites to local authorities in April. It’s highly possible that VND7 trillion out of total VND15 trillion needed for site clearance will be allocated this year.

Deputy Minister of MOT Nguyen Van The told the local press that the ministry would allocate project sites to local authorities in April. It’s highly possible that VND7 trillion out of total VND15 trillion needed for site clearance will be allocated this year.

The North-South Highway is the first BOT road project to choose investors through international bidding. Many foreign investors have shown interest in Vietnam’s transport projects. However, the investors want the government to guarantee turnover and the exchange rate. 

“We have reported the issue to the government, but no final decision has been made,” The said.

MOT’s information portal several days ago reported that Chinese Pacific Corporation had a working session with the Vietnam Ministry of Transport (MOT), expressing its willingness to join the North-South Expressway project.

At the working session, the Chinese corporation suggested implementing the project under the mode of EPC or BTO.

In reply, Deputy Minister of MOT Nguyen Van Cong affirmed that Vietnam has decided to choose investors through international bidding instead of direct contracting. Therefore, if the Chinese corporation wants to participate in the project, it will have to attend bids to be opened by MOT.

Nguyen Huu Duc, a JICA consultant for transport projects, said Vietnam should choose investors who can execute the project with high quality, on schedule and at reasonable costs. 

Duc reminded the public of projects implemented badly by Chinese contractors. The projects ran too slowly and the capital turned out to be much higher than the initially estimated level.

“Vietnamese officials have to have high management capability, or investors will do something wrong,” he said, adding that Vietnam should learn a lesson from the Cat Linh – Ha Dong elevated railway.

Pham Xuan Mai from the HCMC University of Science & Technology commented that if referring to the applicable laws, Chinese contractors have great advantages over those from developed countries because they offer low bid prices. Japanese and European contractors set higher prices. However, Mai warned that the real cost of projects implemented by Chinese contractors will not be as low as people assume.


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Kim Chi

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