The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a deal to lend Vietnam USD 1.1 billion to build a highway linking Hanoi with southern China, the most expensive project the bank has ever financed. Speaking at last week’s signing ceremony, Vietnam’s State Bank Governor Nguyen Van Giau said the project would help stimulate development and reduce poverty in northwestern Vietnam, one of the country’s poorest regions. The loan would go to building a highway to link China’s city of Kunming with Vietnam’s port city of Haiphong. It would cut the travel time between Hanoi and Lao Cai province bordering China to three hours from eight, Giau said. (AP, Reuters)

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