Sweden’s Export Credit Corporation (SEK) has offered to loan Vietnam $1bn towards the $4.8bn cost of Long Thanh International Airport’s first phase, on condition that 30% of it is spent on Swedish technology and equipment.
The Vietnamese government is considering the offer. Vu Dai Thang, deputy minister of planning told a conference last week that the project was in need of “huge investment capital”, and that “financial support from other countries, including Vietnam’s development partners like Sweden, is very important”.
At the conference, held to consider the airport’s funding, SEK proposed a loan with an interest rate of 4.2% a year. The possibility of Swedish involvement in Long Thanh was first mooted during Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Sweden in May.
Work on the first phase of the project is planned to begin in April 2021 and to be complete in 2025, creating a facility with a capacity of 25 million passengers a year. Later phases will expand this to 100 million, enabling the airport to compete to become a southeast Asian aviation hub.
When complete, the airport is expected to have a total construction cost of $16bn.
Long Thanh is about 40km east of Ho Chi Minh City. The Airports Corporation of Vietnam is presently carrying out a feasibility study into the project.
Vietnam, which experienced a 20% growth in international tourism in 2018, has assigned up to $200bn for infrastructure development between 2021 and 2025.