The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Vietnam with a 40 million USD loan to improve the quality, accessibility, efficiency and competitiveness of the country’s micro-finance sector, under the Micro-finance Development Programme (MDP).

An agreement to this effect was signed by the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), Nguyen Van Binh and ADB’s Country Director for Vietnam Tomoyuki Kimura, in Hanoi on September 7.

The 40 million USD policy based loan from the ADB’s Special Funds resources for Sub-programme 1 aims to ensure that poor people have access to sustainable financial services, especially in rural areas.

The MDP will seek to integrate micro-financing into the formal financial sector by nurturing emerging micro-financing institutions to become formal financial institutions licensed by the SBV. The programme will encourage the reform and restructuring of State financial institutions that are involved in micro-financing, such as the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies and the Central People’s Credit Fund.

It will also help to enhance the operational and supervisory capacities of micro-financing institutions; develop financial infrastructures; set up a training institute; introduce advocacy programmes, a consumer protection scheme and a credit information exchange system.

In response to the Vietnamese Government’s commitment to developing a market-oriented microfinance sector, the ADB has approved the first programme and also provided technical assistance.

The programme is just one of the projects in the latest ADB Country Partnership Strategy with the Vietnamese Government./.