WB chief reaffirms support for Vietnam’s development

World Bank managing director Juan Jose Daboub, at a meeting with Vietnamese leaders April 8, underlined the WB’s willingness to continue its support to Vietnam in ensuring that macroeconomic challenges in the aftermath of the global crisis are adequately addressed.

Mr. Daboub participated in the 14th ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting in Vietnam’s Nha Trang City along with the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

This file photo shows Ho Chi Minh City farmers grow vegetables. World Bank managing director Juan Jose Daboub reaffirmed April 8, 2010 the Bank’s support for development in Vietnam, where agriculture plays an important role. (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

On the margins of the meeting, he discussed with Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung and State Bank Governor Nguyen Van Giau recent economic and social developments in Vietnam, and how Vietnam and the WB can further strengthen their partnership in support of Vietnam’s development. 

Mr. Daboub reaffirmed the WB’s willingness to continue its support.

According to him, the WB will continue to assist the country’s transition to a market economy with country ownership, including through technical assistance to define needed reforms. 

The Bank will seek to scale up its financial assistance to Vietnam to help close the infrastructure gap, strengthen access to basic social services, particularly in poorer ethnic minority communities, and tackle emerging middle income country challenges such as building a strong skills base, strengthening  research and technology and expanding targeted social protection systems, said a WB statement seen April 8 from Nha Trang. 

The statement said the WB will also focus a significant part of its support towards helping Vietnam address the challenge of sustainable generation and access to energy.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hung and State Bank Giau expressed the country’s support for a World Bank capital increase, and hope that the World Bank will continue to provide Vietnam with valuable support for the country’s socio-economic development.

At the ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting, Mr. Daboub congratulated ASEAN on the coordinating role it played from the time the global economic crisis started.  He also conveyed to the Ministers that the developing countries of the East Asia & Pacific region are the first to emerge from the global economic crisis. 

On April 6, the WB announced from Washington that it approved US$682 million in loan and credits to help Vietnam’s reforms and pro-poor growth. The statement said Vietnam’s outstanding development results gain the country additional support.

“Vietnam’s development story is an inspiration for countries beyond East Asia,” Jim Adams, World Bank Vice President for the East Asia Pacific region, said in the April 6 statement.

“The challenge now is to ensure quality growth and stabilize the macro-economy. The Bank’s programs in infrastructure and human development will support important reforms in improving efficiency, sustainability and cleaner growth in the short term, while creating necessary conditions for longer term growth,” he added.

The approvals by the WB on April 6 include US$150 million for a poverty reduction project in northern Vietnam. Another approval of US$65 million is for health care in the north of the central region.

Besides, US$90 million will go to the Ho Chi Minh City Environmental Sanitation Project Additional Financing.

The Red River Delta Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project Additional Financing will receive US$65 million, according to the WB.

US$312 million is a loan for the First Power Sector Reform Development Policy, the WB said. The program is organized around four main policy areas essential to the reform of Vietnam’s power sector: development of a competitive power market by reducing the existing monopoly, power sector restructuring to offer customers more choice in services, electricity tariff reform to attract new investors, and improving energy efficiency.

By Tuong Thuy

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