Under the National Assembly Resolution No 52, from now to 2021, 654 kilometers of the railway will be built in 11 projects, including three state-funded and eight BOT projects.
Domestic investors are incapable of undertaking the eight projects. No investor from France, the US, UK and Japan has shown interest, while only Chinese investors are willing to implement the projects.
“Only investors from one country are interested in all eight sections of road, spreading through the north-south backbone. This is really worrying,” commented Le Cong Nhuong, a National Assembly Deputy from Binh Dinh province.
Nhuong went on to say that it is necessary to reconsider Vietnam’s policies related to the development of the projects.
“Are the policies reasonable and attractive enough to attract Vietnamese and foreign investors,” Nhuong said.
Foreign investors have complained about Vietnam’s management policies, complicated procedures, embezzlement and lack of transparency. Vietnam prioritizes investors who offer low prices, while foreign investors require high costs for high-quality execution.
“Experts pointed out that the current bidding policy is unreasonable. It allows Chinese contractors to easily satisfy the requirements as they always set low bidding prices, but it doesn’t allow Vietnam to find the best contractors.
“What do management agencies do to settle the problem?” Nhuong asked.
“If problems still exist that make foreign investors find it difficult to attend the bids for BOT projects, relevant ministries need to put the problems into discussion before the National Assembly,” he said.
Pham Van Hoa, a National Assembly Deputy from Dong Thap province, commented that Chinese implemented many transport projects in Vietnam, and know what they need to do to make profit.
Affirming that Vietnam welcomes all investors, Hoa stressed that Vietnam needs to be cautious when selecting contractors.
“The tricks played by Chinese contractors are no longer surprising to Vietnam. We sprang the traps set by some Chinese contractors in some civil construction works and we must learn lessons from these,” Hoa said.
Meanwhile, an analyst has warned that it ‘would be dangerous’ assigning all the projects to Chinese investors.
“The north-south expressway will be the artery of Vietnam which connects the north and the south and plays a special strategic role in social and economic development and in national defence. Therefore, a monopoly must not exist,” he said.