The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will hold its 44th annual meeting in Vietnam for the first time, in Hanoi from May 3-6, 2011.
The meeting will bring together 5,000 delegates from 67 countries and territories, international organizations, multilateral financial institutions and non-governmental organizations as well as academics and entrepreneurs from around the world.
At a press conference in Hanoi on May 28, the ADB’s General Secretary Robert Dawson said that nowadays the bank tends to choose the venues for its annual meetings from developing countries, the recipients of the aid. This move reflects the ADB’s appreciation of the role, position, opinions and achievements of its member developing nations.
Dawson said that Vietnam had been chosen to host the meeting thanks to the active part it plays in ADB’s operations. He went on to say that the ADB also chose Vietnam because of the huge achievements it has recorded in socio-economic development, especially its efforts to reduce poverty, as well as its growing position in the global community.
“Vietnam is vivid evidence of the effective cooperation between ADB and its member nations,” he stressed.
The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, Nguyen Van Giau, said that by hosting the conference, Vietnam can show that it is an active and responsible member of the ADB’s community.
It will also help Vietnam to promote its image as well as its potential for development, cooperation and investment to the rest of the world, said Giau.
Topping the agenda will be a wide range of measures to prevent risks affecting long-term socio-economic development, foster sustainable and environmentally friendly growth, step up regional cooperation and initiate a joint response to climate change.
Founded in 1966, the ADB currently has 67 members, including 48 countries from the Asia-Pacific region alone. Vietnam officially became a member of the bank in 1966. After interrupting its credit ties with ADB for a few years, Vietnam resumed relations with the bank in 1993.
Vietnam is now the third largest recipient of soft loans from the ADB, after Bangladesh and Pakistan. At the ADB’s Consultative Group (CG) meeting in late 2009, it pledged to provide Vietnam with loans worth 1.6 billion USD, which made it one of the largest providers of official development assistance to the country.
By the end of November 2009, the ADB had funded 87 programs and projects in Vietnam with a combined capital of more than 8 billion USD. Of these projects 38 received 3.1 billion USD in capital.
The ADB has funded projects to eradicate hunger, reduce poverty, improve people’s living conditions, reform polices, enhance institutions, develop the country’s infrastructure and train workers. In 2010, the bank plans to sponsor 16 projects to the tune of over 1.3 billion USD.
The ADB has also earmarked 117 million USD for Vietnam to support 229 technical assistance projects, which will benefit several ministries and sectors.