Construction Continues on Vietnam’s Thu Thiem New Urban Area

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May 16 – Construction began last month on four main roads in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area, a development located near the heart of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).

Construction of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area has been steady, with 99 percent of the seven square kilometer area already cleared, with the adjacent Thu Thiem tunnel and bridge already having been completed. Construction is currently expected to be completed by 2025, with its developers promoting the area as the future financial and cultural hub of Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

Economic recession, however, has slowed the development of other key infrastructure projects in the area. At the Conference on Investment Promotion held earlier this month, investors voiced their concerns, citing worries over the slow infrastructure development in addition to the high land prices and restrictive administrative regulations.

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“The infrastructure that connects the Thu Thiem area with the city is very important, but we still do not have anything but the Thu Thiem bridge and tunnel,” noted Vo Sy Danh, a representative for real estate development and investment company Tien Phuoc Co.

Seeking to address these concerns, HCMC officials have agreed to expand public utilities in the area and also extend the planned road infrastructure. They hope that the recent road construction will help rekindle investor excitement. The HCMC government has also asked relevant agencies to offer further incentives for investors to lure greater investment into the area.

The road construction project will connect the eight functional zones of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area and will feature a main six lane avenue, a two lane road running along the Saigon River, a four lane riverside road and an overpass spanning the area’s eco-forest. It is expected to cost VND10 trillion (US$480 million) and be completed by 2016. The project is financed by the Vietnam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Joint Stock Company under a build-transfer agreement.

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