As much as 70% of national highway projects in Vietnam are built and reinforced thanks to official development assistance (ODA).
|Chief Representative of the JICA Vietnam Office Shimizu Akira (C) at the press conference on Oct 21. Photos: JICA|
Road projects largely help connect domestic regions and Vietnam with ASEAN countries, shared by Chief Representative of the JICA Vietnam Office Shimizu Akira at the mid-term press conference of the Fiscal Year 2021 held on Oct 21.
In the second term of the Fiscal Year 2021 (from October 2021 to March 2022), JICA will continue supporting infrastructure and manpower, two key fields in Vietnam’s post-Covid recovery plans.
Support in the aforementioned focal points will greatly enable Vietnam to speed up its economic development while containing the virus.
Accordingly, the agency will continue construction of major projects like the Noi Bai International Airport, Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Lach Huyen International Seaport together with intercity transport projects along with the National Highway No.1 and bridge repair on the North-South Railway.
Among them, road projects in Nghe An Province that border Laos would smooth transport between Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, boosting the economic connectivity and trade, and drawing inflows of foreign investments in Vietnam as well.
Works on other big projects including the Ho Chi Minh City Metro, suspended for several months due to Covid-19, have resumed.
In Hanoi, the Mai Dich – South Thang Long Section of Hanoi City Ring Road No.3, which was opened to traffic in October 2020, will help mitigate the increasing traffic congestion after six loading bridges come into completion in October.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance’s public debt report announced in October 2020, Japan lent Vietnam US$14.51 billion as of the end of the 2019 Fiscal Year, becoming the biggest creditor of Vietnam.
In terms of developing manpower, JICA in partnership with the Vietnam-Japan Human Resource Cooperation Center (VJCC) and Vietnam-Japan University (VJU) has conducted a project on training labor force, which will meet requirements for high-qualified human resources. It will fuel Industry 4.0 and the era of 5G in Vietnam.
Currently, JICA is providing technical support on research capacity to Can Tho University to make it a training hub in the Mekong Delta with advanced lab devices, and joint training and research programs.
In addition, a group of around 300 Vietnamese students and graduates coming to study in Japan annually will be high-qualified human resources when they return to the country.
It can be said that developing manpower is one of the major issues that has received JICA’s expanded assistance since 1990. So far, the number of Vietnamese-trained workforces surpasses 27,000.
Acknowledging the impact caused by Covid-19 on manpower, JICA is engaging in more financial supporting programs to timely address issues in this sector, according to Shimizu Akira.
Other support for the recovery plans will include water treatment and power projects. Japan-invested contributions have resulted in about 10% of Vietnam’s total power volume.
In the face of Covid-19, JICA has intensified assistance in Vietnam’s healthcare system by improving the capacity of central hospitals like Cho Ray Hospital, Bach Mai Hospital, and Hue Central Hospital with training and equipment.
Another mission is improving measures against infectious diseases. The field became essential during the coronavirus outbreak over the past months. In fact, JICA-funded testing and controlling capacity at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) and manpower training in Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute have benefited the healthcare system in affected areas.
Moreover, JICA-funded facilities include a PCR testing system in NIHE, an air conditioning system to curb transmission in Bach Mai Hospital, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system in Hue Central Hospital, and equipment for Covid treatment in Cho Ray Hospital.
In addition to the donations worth JPY800 million (US$7 million), JICA has also purchased cold storage boxes via UNICEF for the vaccination in Vietnam.