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Bridging gap for financial centre

Bridging gap for financial centre

Property developer Dai Quang Minh has been named the investor for a pedestrian bridge over the Saigon River linking Ho Chi Minh City’s business district and Thu Thiem New Urban Area, which has been designed to house Vietnam's emerging financial centre. 

The city administration has selected the Vietnamese firm as the project owner for the bridge to Thu Thiem peninsula under the Build-Transfer (BT) format. 

The pedestrian bridge plan had been part of a bigger Thu Thiem project that included the new urban area’s central square and the riverside park. However, the Thu Thiem Investment and Construction Authority had separated it because the bigger project as a whole was not appealing to investors, said Trang Bao Son, deputy chief of the authority. 

Tran Ba Duong, the chief executive officer of Dai Quang Minh, said his company was just seeking ideas for design of the bridge via a competition, so a clear image was still unknown. Further details for this investment were not revealed by Duong, who is also chairman of Vietnamese automaker Thaco – French automaker Peugeot’s new partner in an alliance set up this April to assemble and distribute Peugeot cars in Vietnam.

One edge of the bridge will be located at Bach Dang Wharf in the business district, according to the Thu Thiem authority.

The Thu Thiem New Urban Area, now under construction, is seeking investors for various projects. In late April, a consortium between Dai Quang Minh and Vietnam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Co. (VIDIFI) started the construction of the four main roads on the peninsula under build-transfer contracts and "land in exchange for infrastructure" formats. Also that time, Dai Quang Minh broke ground for a low-rise housing project in Thu Thiem.

The Thu Thiem New Urban Area, designed by the US’ Sasaki Associates, covers 657 hectares and is intended to replace District 1 as the city’s financial centre. It is already connected with the current business district by the six-lane Thu Thiem Tunnel under the Saigon River and several bridges, including Thu Thiem Bridge. 

Vietnamese group Vinaconex planned to start construction of Thu Thiem 2 Bridge in May or June 2014, said Thu Thiem Authority chief Nguyen Anh Tuan. 

By Tuong Thuy 

 

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