HCMC – Following meetings between Chinese contractor China Railway 6 Bureau Group and the Vietnamese transport authority, the Chinese contractor has withdrawn its request of US$50 million for the operation of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project in Hanoi.
The two sides have reached an understanding on the issue, said Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong.
The Vietnamese transport authority fully understands the obstacles encountered by the Chinese contractor but the payment of this sum of money is unjustifiable. The Vietnamese side only makes payments based on the regulations of the engineering procurement and construction contract and in line with Vietnam’s laws, Dong said.
In addition, the transport ministry has requested the relevant agencies to expedite the project so it can be put into service this year, as requested by the prime minister.
Regarding the return of Chinese personnel to Vietnam after travel restrictions due to Covid-19 were eased, Deputy Minister Dong confirmed that 28 Chinese experts have arrived in Vietnam. The remaining 100 Chinese personnel are following certain procedures to return to the country.
The Chinese experts are expected to enter Vietnam by train through the northern province of Lao Cai. Upon arrival, they must make health declarations, undergo health checkups and be disinfected before moving to Hanoi to be quarantined for 14 days.
Aside from them, three French consulting experts are yet to arrive in Vietnam due to the travel restrictions. The Transport Ministry is working with the Vietnamese Embassy in France to facilitate their return.
According to the transport official, the French experts play a crucial role in the project, and the trial operation of the railway depends on the evaluation of the French team.