Slashing corruption and profilgacy matters most: the case of National Highway 51

Mar 28, 2011. Apart from cutting public investment to combat inflation, Vietnam needs to tackle corruption and profligacy headfirst

National Highway 51, which links Bien Hoa and Vung Tau cities, has a 2.3-kilometer road section developed by Hai Chau Co., a private investor, under the form of build-operate-transfer (BOT). After nearly 12 years, this stretch of road and Co May Bridge, another project that Hai Chau Co. has embarked on, are still in good shape. In contrast, the road section developed by State-owned companies has been gripped by potholes shortly after its one-year anniversary. Last year, the Ministry of Transport even had to step in to rectify this bumpy problem.

National Highway 51 plays a crucial role in southeastern Vietnam and connects various industrial parks and ports in Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces. For all the immense socio-economic worth of this national highway, it is a shame, and an awful waste of resources, that the Government has to upgrade this road after just over a decade. This means the returns on the initial investment have dwindled, too.

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