World Bank pledges $1.8 billion for Vietnam in 2017 assistance


The World Bank (WB) will earmark US$1.8 billion for Viet Nam in the fiscal year of 2017 to support the nation’s poverty reduction, water resource management, agricultural development and urban improvement efforts.

Visiting WB CEO Kristalina Georgieva said this in Ha Noi on Thursday as she met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

Prime Minister Phuc said that the WB has played a valuable role in the country’s socio-economic development, especially poverty elimination.

He said the coming five years were important to the country because, apart from promoting economic growth and ensuring social welfare, Viet Nam would have to build a solid institutional foundation for realising set orientations and strategies.

He said the top targets are to stablise the macro-economy, promote implementation of strategic breakthroughs, restructure the economy according to reforms in the growth model, ensure social welfare, proactively respond to climate change, and strive for an average growth rate of 6.5-7 per cent between 2016 and 2020.

However, an array of challenges remained in the course of integration and economic development, as also the serious impacts of climate change. Therefore, the country needs assistance from sponsors, including the WB, to help achieve the set targets, the PM said.

Effective use of funds

Given the high demand for investment and other forms of support, Viet Nam hopes that other than assistance from the International Development Association, the WB would also step up contributions from its affiliates like the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and the International Finance Corporation, so as to maximize the effectiveness of support to Viet Nam, Phuc said.

He pledged that Viet Nam would use foreign loans, including those provided by the WB, in an effective fashion.

Georgieva said Viet Nam’s success was the result of sound policies. She thanked the Vietnamese Government and agencies for their close co-operation with the WB and hoped that the strong partnership would be maintained in the future.

The WB was willing to work with the Vietnamese Government to maintain its growth momentum as also help the country counter economic and natural disaster shocks, she said.

Viet Nam still had much room for economic development, she said, adding that the WB would continue co-operating with country.

WB’s assistance this year would focus on poverty reduction and urban improvement projects, she said.

Resource allocation

She also asked the Vietnamese Government to ensure that resources are allocated for projects using WB loans.

At a press conference yesterday, Georgieva said that WB’s financial assistance to Viet Nam in 2017 would mainly focus on poverty reduction, urban improvement and water resources management.

She suggested that Viet Nam pays close attention to factors that would strengthen the capacity to regulate, increase Government transparency and improve conflict resolution mechanisms.

“There are reforms (needed) that are quite critical in terms of governance, which are particularly relevant to the business community as well the citizens of Viet Nam as a whole,” she said. 


Photo: World Bank