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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           18   August  2011

Cash shortage delays Vietnamese projects

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The Ministry of Transport is trying to speed up delayed traffic projects of all types, including Da Nang International Airport.

Work also needs to be done on National Highway 51, which links two key southern economic zones in Bien Hoa in Dong Nai province. Another unfinished work-in-progress is the Gie-Ninh Binh Highway near Ha Noi.

Minister Dinh La Thang said his staff would cooperate with the ministries of Finance and Planning and Investment to speed up the projects.

Thang said they would also provide mechanisms to mobilize capital for infrastructure, administrative procedures and investment models.

He has asked ministries to give guidance in paying for suspended projects according to Resolution 11, which required some projects to halt in order to stabilise the macro-economy.

Under the resolution, 116 ministry projects have been delayed. However, the ministry has not been able to implement administrative procedures because the Government did not specify which categories of project should be delayed.

Tran Quoc Viet, head of the Construction Management and Traffic Quality Department said a lack of oversight could make it difficult for investors to adjust prices and determine the time frame.

Deputy general director of Project Management Unit 1 Nguyen Quoc Binh said the project to upgrade the section of National Highway 6 through Tuan Giao District in northern Lai Chau Province was given VND75 billion (US$3.6 million) from the ministry while its total investment was VND2.4 trillion ($115 million).

Binh said the money was not enough to pay contractors and the project had a debt of VND100 billion ($4.9 million).

"All of our 15 packages had broken ground and mobilised the machines to be ready for construction under signed contracts. Slow-moving projects caused congestion in the process," he added.

Deputy general director of Project Management Unit 2 Lam Van Hoang agreed, saying they did not have the funds to finish the project, and the incomplete work could be destroyed at any point due to floods and storms.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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