Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – World Bank (WB) preferential loans during the 2017 fiscal year will be used for sustainable development, infrastructure, improvement of tertiary education, and disaster recovery in the central region, said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. 

Minh, also head of the National Steering Committee for Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Preferential Loans, made the statement while chairing a meeting in Hanoi on April 26 to review projects funded by ODA and preferential loans. 

In the first four months of this year, Vietnam signed agreements for a total 700 million USD of ODA and preferential loans. As of April 24, an estimated 410 million USD was disbursed. 

This is the last year that Vietnam will receive preferential loans from the WB’s International Development Association. The global lender committed loans to 14 projects and programmes in Vietnam worth 2.1 billion USD. After July 1, loans to Vietnam will be less preferential. 

However, disbursement speed has been inconsistent, with delay seen in some projects, making it difficult for those projects to complete their goals if the disbursement deadlines are not extended.   

Speaking at the meeting, Minh said the government will utilise preferential loans by transferring them from slowly-disbursed projects to fast-progressing ones. 

He asked agencies to work with the State Bank to complete preparations for projects for submission to authorities for approval, ensuring that negotiations with the WB are on schedule.-VNA