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Hong Kong telecom firm dumps cable venture   2008-12-24 - ThanhNien

Tricom Asia, a Hong Kong-based telecom infrastructure company, has quit its US$60 million joint venture with Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) because of the global economic turmoil.


The company is closing its business in Vietnam three years after signing a Memorandum of Understanding to build a 1,050-km submarine cable network joint venture with VNPT for the Vietnam-Hong Kong Cable (VNHKC). Tricom had committed to funding 49 percent of the venture.

“Amid the world financial crisis, UK financiers may not have the required budget for such a project and the silent attitude of VNPT to push forward the project made Tricom Asia decide to give up,” a former Tricom Asia official told Vietnam Investment Review newspaper last week.

However, VNPT Group claimed the project had not come to an end, saying the two sides had not reached an agreement on financial terms.

The long-stalled VNHKC network was planned to become operational by the end of last year.

“Tricom Asia may come back once the conditions are better to invest in other telecom projects,” the Tricom Asia official said.

The VNHKC project was one of three planned international cable projects to link Vietnam to other regions.

The other two projects are the Asia America Gateway, which will link Vietnam to the US. The $560 million venture, backed by VNPT, Viettel and Saigon Postel Corp., is set to be operational by mid next year.

Electricity Vietnam (EVN) Telecom is also investing about $50 million in a $200 million intra-Asia submarine cable linking Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines, due to be operational in the first quarter of next year.`

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