Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the Ministry of Transport’s proposal to give Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) the authority to approve investment policy decisions for the HCMC-Moc Bai Expressway project.

Phuc has asked the people’s committees of HCMC and Tay Ninh province to report to their people’s councils that the HCMC People’s Committee will be in charge of making investment decisions.

The 53.5km-long HCMC-Moc Bai Expressway will link Ring Road No 3 in HCMC’s Hoc Mon district with Moc Bai International Border Gate between Vietnam and Cambodia in Tay Ninh province.

The expressway project will be divided into two investment phases.

Its total capital is estimated at nearly 13.6 trillion dong ($586 million), including cost for site clearance sourced from the state budget.

The first stage will cost 10.7 trillion dong under Public-Private Partnership investment.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2025 with at least four lanes, and will be expanded to six or eight lanes by 2045.

A cooperation agreement between HCMC and Tay Ninh province on the implementation of the HCMC-Moc Bai Expressway project was signed in October last year.

Under the agreement, the HCMC People’s Committee will be in charge of compensation for ground clearance in the city, while the Tay Ninh province People’s Committee will be responsible for compensation in the province.

The two localities plan to complete site clearance and compensation for the affected local residents next year and selection of investors before March next year.

HCMC and Tay Ninh province are among eight provinces and cities in the southern key economic zone.

The expressway is expected to ease traffic congestion and facilitate economic growth in the southern region, especially in industrial parks, export processing zones and the Moc Bai Border Gate Economic Zone in Tay Ninh province.