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November 23, 2008

ADB lends $1.3m for projects in Vietnam, Laos

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced its grant of $1.3 million for the preparation of a project to upgrade national highways in Vietnam and Laos, the Vietnam News Agency reported on Friday.

The money will go for a feasibility study for a project to upgrade 200 km of national highway in central Thanh Hoa province of Vietnam and 140 km of national highways in Houaphanh province of Laos, according to the press release by the Manila-based bank on Thursday.

The study will provide detailed cost estimates and consider the environmental and social impacts of the Second Northern Greater Mekong Sub region (GMS) Transport Network Improvement Project.

"By improving the efficiency of transport in the GMS northeastern corridor, the project will increase economic growth and reduce poverty in two of the poorer provinces of Laos and Vietnam," said Jeffrey Miller, Principal Transport Specialist with ADB's Southeast Asia Department.

The project will also help promote sub-regional economic cooperation, one of the pillars of ADB Strategy 2020 development agenda.

Laos and Vietnam will provide $150,000 each to help finance the feasibility study, which was estimated at $1.6 million.

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