Water investments are exciting because water is so central to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Clean water and sanitation, no poverty, good health and well-being, and gender equality, are all closely linked to the prudent management of water.

Viet Nam needs more such investments. Daily production of urban water is expected to grow from 10.9 million cubic meters in 2019 to 20 million cubic meters by 2030, according to the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association.

Estimates for the water sector's investment needs range from $1.3 billion to $2.7 billion over the next 10 years. Viet Nam will need new sources of financing to reach even the lower end of that range.

In principle, private investors should be interested.

Demand for water tracks economic growth, and Viet Nam with its consistent growth of 6 per cent to 7 per cent and strong handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most dynamic economies in Asia. However, to attract private investors, reforms are needed.

A version of this article appears in the print on July 8 2021, of The Himalayan Times.