Commercial banks have committed over 4.7 trillion VND (223 million USD) credits to viable business deals in the northwest, mostly in hydropower generation, mining, processing industry, transport and farm produce.

It will be announced at an investment promotion conference for the northwest slated for April 4 in northern mountainous Son La province, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Dao Minh Tu told the Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of a press conference in Hanoi on April 1.

At a similar conference in the northern province of Tuyen Quang in 2013, the sum hit over 20.1 trillion VND (957 million USD), roughly 5 trillion VND (238 million USD) of which was disbursed as of December 2014.

The funding is part of the banks’ ongoing credit incentives offered to underserved areas in the region, targeting large-scale and socio-economic development projects, including those developing regional and value chain connectivity.

Investment promotion conferences held for the northwest, Central Highlands and the southwest intended to bring together commercial banks, investors and authorities to examine potential deals and seeking sources of funding, he said.

Over the past two years, the SBV has hosted 40 dialogues between banks and regional enterprises, providing a platform for them to deal with any financial trouble.

It also requested a gradual shift from short-term lending to the medium and long term nature, which he said, has recently made up approximately 57 percent of the total lending in the region.

He described the current banking operation in the region as convenient to locals.

Asked about the regional credit quality, Tu revealed with satisfaction that the rate of non-performing loans currently stays below 3 percent and it goes down to 1 percent as recorded in social policy banking system, or even 0.3-0.4 percent in some areas.

He also mentioned the ongoing offer of preferential loans to the poor, ethnic minorities and workers seeking jobs abroad.

The SBV pledges additional low-cost loans for underdeveloped areas, making it easier for them to stimulate production and trading, Tu affirmed.-VNA