The banking sector will provide the Northwest region with about 4.7 trillion VND (218 million USD) for projects on hydropower plants, mining, processing industry, transportation, and agriculture.

The announcement was made by Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Dao Minh Tu during a press conference held on April 1 in Hanoi to introduce the Conference for Investment Promotion and Social Security for the Northwest, scheduled to be organised on April 3-4.

According to the SBV, the banking sector, in accordance with the Party and Government’s policies towards Northwest region, has gradually helped alleviate hunger and poverty, raise living standards, ensure social security, and upgrade technical infrastructure and rural areas.

By December 31 last year, bank branches in the region’s 12 provinces mobilised nearly 113.2 trillion VND (5.31 billion USD), rising 21.35 percent from a year earlier and accounting for 2.54 percent of the entire economy.

Total outstanding loans were estimated at close to 149.4 trillion VND (7.02 billion USD), representing an annual increase of 16.1 percent and 3.76 percent of the country’s total lending last year.

At the 2013 Conference for Investment Promotion and Social Security for the Northwest, held in Tuyen Quang province, commercial banks signed 14 credit contracts for over 20 trillion VND (940 million USD) worth of loans for the region.

The Northwest is considered the poorest region in Vietnam and consists Hoa Binh, Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Lang Son, Tuyen Quang, Phu Tho, Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Ha Giang and part of Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces.-VNA