PM Pham Minh Chinh has called for speeding up work on three expressways and sections of two others in the central and Central Highlands regions to improve connectivity.
Speaking at a conference on socioeconomic development in the region in the resort town of Da Lat on Sunday, he said work on the Quy Nhon – Pleiku, Khanh Hoa – Buon Ma Thuot, Gia Nghia – Chon Thanh, Tan Phu – Bao Loc, and Bao Loc – Lien Khuong expressways must be completed before 2030.
The 160 km Quy Nhon – Pleiku Expressway links Pleiku in Gia Lai Province in the highlands with the beach town of Quy Nhon down below in Binh Dinh Province.
The Khanh Hoa – Buon Ma Thuot Expressway will run 116.7 km from Khanh Hoa Province to the Central Highlands’ Dak Lak Province.
The Gia Nghia – Chon Thanh Expressway will connect the neighboring Central Highlands provinces of Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc, running 38 km section in the former province and 102 km in the latter.
Two sections of the Dau Giay – Lien Khuong Expressway will run 140 km between Dong Nai Province and Lam Dong Province, home to Da Lat tourist town and Lien Khuong airport.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the five will cost VND156 trillion (US$6.25 billion) and construction will be carried out in two phases: 2021-25 and 2026-30.
They have received approval for funding from official development loans or public-private partnerships.
The Central Highlands spreads 54,500 sq.km, comprises the five provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Lam Dong and has a total population of six million.
It has many rare and valuable resources, including one million hectares of basalt soil, three million hectares of forests that account for 36% of the country’s total and 10 billion tons of bauxite reserves, the raw material for making aluminum.
A socio-economic development plan approved by the government envisages the Central Highlands growing at an annual rate of 7-7.5% in 2021-2030 and achieving an average annual income of VND130 million by 2030.
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