Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attaches the Labour Order (first class) onto the flag of Agribank (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 26 asked the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) to strive to become one of the leading commercial banks in the region.

He made the request while attending a ceremony in Hanoi marking the 30th founding anniversary (March 26, 1988) of Agribank, the only commercial bank whose charter capital is completely owned by the State.

Agribank now owns nearly 2,300 branches and transaction offices with almost 40,000 employees. It is also the only commercial bank to be present in nine island districts nationwide. 

The bank is the partner of more than 30,000 businesses and millions of farmer households. It has also sent over 600 mobile banking vans to all corners of the country to bring bank credits to rural residents.

Agribank reported that it spends about 400 million – 500 billion VND (17.6 million – 22 million USD) each year on social activities, especially education and health care, the fields that directly influence people’s daily life.

Congratulating the bank’s excellent achievements, PM Phuc said Agribank has done a good job of providing finance for and supporting agriculture, farmers and rural areas. It, along with the banking system nationwide, has helped turn Vietnam from a food importer into a leading rice exporter in the world.

He also applauded the bank’s breakthroughs in supplying credits for farmer households, thus greatly contributing to poverty reduction and becoming a trustworthy partner of farmers. It has also actively engaged in the restructuring of credit organisations and settlement of bad debt.

Pointing out some shortcomings of Agribank, he asked the bank to push ahead with restructuring credit organisations and solving non-performing loans, which is also a key task of the whole banking sector.

It needs to better carry out the task of promoting the development of agriculture and rural areas so as to bring about more benefits for farmers and help attain socio-economic development targets set by the Party and the State. It also needs to step up providing loans for cooperatives and micro and small enterprises in rural areas.

In his speech, PM Phuc told Agribank to implement synchronous measures to increase charter capital, improve its financial capacity, and ensure that its safety standards are in line with international norms.

Notably, he requested the bank to absorb the lessons of recent problems, augment internal inspection and auditing, increase capacity, and enhance the fight against corruption and negative phenomena. It should also press on with IT application to improve its competitiveness, develop high-quality manpower, and reform governance.

At the ceremony, PM Phuc presented the Labour Order (first class) to Agribank to recognise its outstanding performance.-VNA