The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has emphasised the institution's continued assistance to Vietnam and their hope that this will help the country to reach upper middle-income status.

ADB Country Director for Vietnam Tomoyuki Kimura made the announcement at a conference on October 31 launching the organisation's country partnership strategy for the 2012-15 period.

Though Vietnam has made some major achievements over the past two decades, such as rapid GDP growth and reducing poverty, the ADB has said that the country's development has been constrained by some persistent structural rigidities.

The bank said that low productivity, low competitiveness and inefficiency in Vietnam 's economic management are long-term issues, while the country is also one of the countries most vulnerable to environmental degradation and climate change.

The country's efforts to increase transparency and consistency in economic policies – key to restoring market confidence – also need to be stepped up.

Throughout the 2012-15 period, ADB will support Vietnam's target of rising to upper middle-income status through achieving inclusive growth and enhancing economic efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The support provided will be based on principles that align with the priorities of the country's Socio-Economic Development Plan 2011-15, and the Socio-Economic Development Strategy up until 2020.

the new country partnership strategy, the ADB will focus its support on six core areas in the public sector: education, energy, finance, transport, water supply, and agriculture, natural resources and environment (ANR).

Total suggested lending for
the period will amount to 2.6 billion USD from ordinary capital resources and 1.2 billion USD from concessions granted by the Asian Development Fund. Funding for technical assistance will reach 8 million USD annually.

The transport sector will be the largest beneficiary, receiving 34 percent of the 3.8 billion USD in total. The energy sector comes next with five projects worth 700 million USD, while the ANR sector will receive 340 million USD.-VNA