HA NOI, VIET NAM (18 December 2017) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $150 million loan to help improve economic connectivity and raise living standards in four of Viet Nam’s northeastern provinces by enhancing basic infrastructure and services. The assistance is expected to help over 212,000 people.

“Viet Nam has been experiencing remarkable growth over the last few years. However, the majority of economic gains have accrued in the urban areas, with rural areas, including provinces in the northeast, lagging behind,” said Eric Sidgwick, ADB’s Country Director for Viet Nam. “We are confident the project will help realize the great growth and development potential of the northeastern part of Viet Nam, particularly in trade, agriculture, and tourism.”

The provinces of Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, and Lang Son—the project area—have significant potentials to be trade hubs due to their strategic location, at the nexus of the People’s Republic of China, the capital Ha Noi, the Hai Phong port, and the ADB-supported Greater Mekong Subregion North–South Economic Corridor. However, these potentials are yet to be fully realized, with gross domestic product per capita of the four provinces in 2015 remaining at $1,160, almost half of the $2,036 national average.

The Basic Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth in the Northeastern Provinces Sector Project will help unlock the binding constraints through the development of basic infrastructure across key sectors including trade, transport, health, and agriculture.

Specifically, the project will improve road connectivity among the provinces by upgrading about 121 kilometers (km) of provincial and 144 km of district roads, provide rural water supply, benefiting 42,300 people, and improve agriculture value chain infrastructure in Lang Son province through farm-to-market connectivity and support to local businesses. It will also strengthen the capacity of the provincial governments, particularly on public asset management.

Total cost of the project is $195.9 million, with the Government of Viet Nam contributing $45.9 million. The project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

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