The mid-term Meeting of the Consultative Group (CG) for Vietnam 2012 opened in Dong Ha city in the central province of Quang Tri , on June 5.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai and co-chaired by Minister for Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and the World Bank’s Country Director in Vietnam , Victoria Kwakwa.

When addressing the meeting, Deputy PM Hai thanked the community of donors for helping Vietnam to develop as well as their commitment to support moves to reduce poverty and deal with the effects of natural disasters in the country’s central region.

“The meeting is an excellent opportunity for the Vietnamese Government and donors to discuss ways of boosting socio-economic development, reducing poverty and mitigating natural disasters in the central region, which boasts a great deal of potential but also faces a lot of difficulties,” he said.

In the past, the Party and State have always paid attention to socio-economic development in the central region, he said, adding that many policies issued by the government have helped to boost regional development and regional economic development planning, as well as improve the local people’s standard of living.

Despite its achievements in socio-economic development and poverty reduction, the central region still faces a lot of difficulties and challenges. He said that the region houses 20 percent of the country’s total population but its GDP is only 14 percent.

He said that high poverty levels, unsustainable economic growth and a poor infrastructure are hindering the development of central provinces , adding that every year the region suffers badly from natural disasters and climate change.

To boost socio-economic development in the central region the government has introduced a number of policies to turn the region into a dynamic, economically developed one, to improve people’s living conditions.

The Deputy PM also stressed that the central provinces have received a lot of assistance from international donors with a range of projects from enhancing the region’s institutions, developing its infrastructure, reducing poverty levels, dealing with natural disasters to promoting sustainable environmental development, which has contributed a lot to socio-economic development in the region.

The Vietnamese government highly values the assistance its donors provide and pledged to use the aid in an effective and transparent manner and prevent corruption.

In his opening speech, Minister Vinh said that this year the CG has focused its attentions on poverty reduction and disaster mitigation in the central region.

The meeting also discussed the agenda for the next CG meeting as well as at other forums.

This is the 20 th CG meeting since the first one was held in Paris in late 1993.-VNA