Ho Chi Minh City needs to promote public-private partnership (PPP) investment to develop infrastructure, said Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh.
He told the city to work out rules for the private sector to conveniently carry out this investment.
“As for what the private sector can do, just fully facilitate it to do [it].”
The city administration agreed it would select some transportation projects attractive to the sector for PPP investment on a trial basis.
Vinh said he knew the PPP investment form was not easy to carry out and a better legal framework was needed.
Demand for public infrastructure is high in the country, but a lack of legislation has discouraged PPP investment.
Between 2011 and 2025, Ho Chi Minh City needs about $42 billion for infrastructure development and Vietnam needs some $160 billion to build the transport system in the 2010-2020.
At a PPP seminar in Ho Chi Minh City recently, lawmakers and economists called for a better legal framework for this partnership.
National Assembly deputy Tran Du Lich said Vietnam needed a law on PPP investment with transparent and clear regulations. An absence of such a law makes domestic and foreign investors believe it is risky to invest in infrastructure development.
Vu Thanh Tu Anh, from the Fulbright Economics Teaching Programme, said time-consuming and complicated bidding procedures slowed PPP projects.
The city has used PPP investment to develop infrastructure, with several projects carried out under the build-operate-transfer form.
However, more than 20 infrastructure and public service projects around the country suggested for PPP investments are staying still or moving at a snail’s pace because of an incomplete legal frame, according to reports heard at the seminar.
The country only has a decision issued in 2010 by the prime minister to serve as legislation for this investment format.
Lich said Decision 71 deals with attracting PPP investments, was not enough to lure investors.
Nguyen Dang Truong, deputy chief of the Bidding Management Department, said 20 projects had submitted to the government by localities and ministries, but only a few were feasible.
He said it would take much time to make such the law. To facilitate the current PPP projects, the ministry would propose the government to revise Decision 71 or issue a new one.
Many seminar participants shared the idea that the private sector should partner with the government in developing infrastructure as the state budget for basic development was limited and official development assistance funds had shrunk because Vietnam was a middle-income country.
Nguyen Trong Hoa, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies, said it was necessary to work out ways to lure other sources of investment funds.