Vietnam: Worth Looking Into

by Marshall Silver, Chief Technical Advisor; United Nations Development Program, Ministry of Water Resources, Vietnam,


Serial Information: Worldwide Projects, 1993, Vol. 1, Issue 2, Pg. 21-23


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: If it is to enter the world economy, let alone play catch-up with the booming economies of some of its neighbors, Vietnam requires massive numbers of infrastructure projects: roads, bridges, railways, seaports, airports, water supply, sewerage, irrigation, drainage and flood control. Traditional sources of money, like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, have not been lending to Vietnam because of U.S. opposition. This is expected to change, but in any event funds are scarce. The French have been the main bilateral donors, along with the Japanese, Scandinavians and Australians. Infrastructure planning is centralized in Hanoi: project generation starts at the appropriate ministry, goes through the local government body that needs the work done, and ends up at the powerful State Planning Commission. Advice is offered for foreign firms on dealing with the ministries' Foreign Cooperation Departments, looking for finance, and choosing a province with a good record on project implementation. Though the U.S. embargo is still in effect, it will be reviewed by the Clinton administration, and American firms should be setting up offices in Vietnam and signing contracts for future work. Vietnamese engineers appreciate Western technology and assistance; working conditions are not easy, but with the support of a ministry and a group of competent Vietnamese engineers helping, the country provides rewarding opportunities.

Subject Headings: Construction management | International factors | Infrastructure | Vietnam

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