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Speculating on World-Class Transportation Infrastructure in Ho Chi Minh City
  • ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute
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Population, cars and motorbikes have increased at higher than expected rates in Ho Chi Minh City, leading to increased congestion and strain on existing transportation infrastructure. While the city has a transportation infrastructure plan, it lacks adequate funds and is reliant on official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI) to finance it. Amidst the backdrop of an opaque regulatory environment and intense competition among global ODA institutions, city officials speculate on multiple and contradictory transportation projects simultaneously. Conflicting interests between Bus Rapid Transit and Metro projects in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City exemplify the state's speculative forms of governance in capturing transnational flows of ODA capital to finance infrastructure and call into question dominant framings of infrastructure as rational processes and technologies that work against the so-called irrational and unplanned structure of the city.

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