November 22, 2017 19:55

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North-South highway investment: The first priority is to attract capital from the WB

10:53 | 23/10/2017

VCN- The North-South highway project could not further delay investment. what is worth discussing at present is the source of capital from where and what to note during the investment process to achieve the highest efficiency ... Around these issues, the reporter Customs has talked with the economist Luu Bich Ho, the former Director of Development Strategy Institute (MPI).

north south highway investment the first priority is to attract capital from the wb

Sir, in the period 2017-2020, there will be 713 km belonging to the project of North-South highway invested, separated into 11 component projects, of which 8 component projects in the form of PPP (Public Private Partnership), type of BOT contract and 3 public investment projects. Total investment is over VND 130,000 billion, of which VND 55,000 billion will be provided by the State. Could you say that the majority of component projects are invested in the form of BOT and the state capital spent on the project as above? Is it reasonable?

The investment in transport infrastructure in the form of BOT in the past time was still inadequate, there should be a summary on this issue. Many countries in the world only invest in BOT traffic for a certain time. when the State has enough investment resources, it stops or transfers into the private enterprise to fully take under management and close supervision of the state. However, with Viet Nam, in the frame of immediate time, at least for decades, the state budget is still difficult and the private sector is under-resourced, so the investment in transport infrastructure remains the expect of BOT.

On the issue of the state capital, the figure of 55 trillion VND equivalent to nearly 2.5 billion USD is quite a lot, it is afraid that the figure cannot be arranged. Of course, when the number is given, the Ministry of Transport has also calculated, but I still quite disturbed. Currently, ODA is no longer the preferential interest rates, and at the same time, the public debt is very high, it had better try to limit the use of state capital.

Recently, during a meeting with the Ministry of Transport, the World Bank delegate confirmed that it could support the North-South highway project with a package, not just pure Borrowing money that the WB wishes to support Vietnam in terms of technical issues, building institution, exchange and finding solutions to overcome the difficulties that the Ministry of Transport encountered when carrying out the projects of transport. Especially the investment projects in the form of PPP. How do you rate this move?

That WB offers such a solution is very good. Basically, if the WB is willing and balancing the appropriate factors, then it should be acceptable. WB has been our major partner for many years without any intentions and political conditions. In case the WB content in the overall support package is too difficult, considering carefully and negotiating to agree. However, in my opinion, with regard to institutional development, the WB support, Vietnam should receive, try to rise up, remove the bad, negative ...

Bank loans are not eligible for preferential treatment (IDA) but less preferential loans (IBRD), anyways we still have to accept.

With regard to North-South highway investment capital, it should be noted that one should not expect one strategic investor and it Is able to choose a combination. For example, a part of the state budget, a part of capital from abroad, part of mobilizing capital from enterprises, banks and credit institutions in the country.

In order to invest in the North-South highway project, the Ministry of Transport has proposed a number of specific options such as: Allowing to decide the service price frame from the beginning and the price is not adjusted according to "main the list of socio-economic development of the State in each period "; Allowing the application of many forms of investment, the type of contract in a project is divided into many component projects. " It allows you to determine the profit margin on the equity of the investor to calculate the initial financial plan to obtain 14% per year ... Do you comment on these specific options? Drawing from the experience of the investment BOT projects, the proposed special mechanism of the Ministry of Transport when the North-South highway project is based on basic and basically I agree. It is worth noting that when designing every specific mechanism, it is important to take into account the effects of such mechanisms. If the mechanism is too harsh, harmful to some sides, then it must be recalculated.

Reporter: It is easy to see that the project components of the North-South highway project are mainly implemented in the form of BOT. If the problem of investment capital is resolved, according to you what issues should be taken into account during the project implementation in order to avoid getting into the "faults" of many BOT projects during the past time? The criteria of investment are to be effective, open and transparent. In bidding for selection of contractors, the contractors must strictly comply with the Bidding Law. Recently, with many BOT traffic projects, the bidding process is very poor, it was almost only the appointment of contractors. With the North-South Expressway project, unless the funding partner, the loan provider requires the use of their contractor, it must be considered. Currently, the World Bank does not ask for it, but other countries like China and Japan do so. In case of accepting the use of the contractor of the lending country, it must also conduct publicity, transparency and strict evaluation. In the process of implementing the project, it is necessary to strive to both implement the work and to improve the mechanism, institution, and reform of the machinery related to BOT investment.

Thank you, Mr.!

Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Dong, Deputy Minister of Transportation: The North-South highway project is not easy to select investors

The North-South Expressway Investment Project has been carefully prepared by the Ministry of Communications and Transport, compliant with the order and procedures as prescribed. By the end of March 2017, the ministry submitted to the Prime Minister a report on the feasibility study of the project. The State Appraisal Board has also appraised the project pre-feasibility report and reported the appraisal result.

The National Assembly's Economic Committee has examined the pre-feasibility study the report and reported to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly and set up delegations to survey and inspect the sections of the project on the North-South Expressway. Recently, the delegation of the Party Committee of the Party, the Party Committee of the Ministry of Communications and Transport has submitted to the Politburo to consider the pre-feasibility study report of the North-South expressway project before submission. The Congress approved the project investment at the 4th session of the XIII National Assembly.

However, in the current context, it is not easy to select investors for this project. With the North-South Expressway, the Ministry of Transport has introduced various financial mechanisms. If the bidding is not organized in a synchronous manner, the project cannot be implemented.

Mr. Bui Danh Lien, Chairman of the Hanoi Transportation Association, said that when doing any things, it must ensure the interests of people and businesses.

Over time, a lot of mistakes related to BOT traffic projects, especially the situation that the BOT toll booths in the wrong place to recover, causing the strong reaction from people and businesses. If the North-South Expressway is built with more BOT toll stations, transportation costs and fees for people and businesses will increase. The concern is that the authorities only protect the interests as well as the best incentives for investors without regard to the interests of the people. Investing in infrastructure is a good thing, but investing in a way that is consistent with people's growth is another thing. It can not be put on the shoulders of people and transportation companies.

Attorney Nguyen Tien Lap, NH Quang and Associates Law Firm: had better invite the Chinese investors

In the North-South highway project, finding domestic capital is quite difficult because domestic companies have no financial capability. Previously, the investment in BOT traffic, the money of businesses mainly borrowed from banks.

For Chinese investors, my personal point of view, it should not be "sticky". Because many of the projects implemented by China have so far been largely capitalized and slow progress. Investing in Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway project (Ha Noi) is a typical example.

By Uyen Nhu/Bui Diep