Representatives of international donors have appreciated Vietnam’s effective use of official development assistance (ODA), and pledged to continue to cooperate with and support the country in its future development.

They made the commitment at a meeting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the development cooperation between Vietnam and donors in Hanoi on October 17.

World Bank Country Director in Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa said that Vietnam has recorded gigantic development achievements over the past two decades.

From one of the poorest nations in the world with a per capita income of about 100 USD per year and low social development indexes in 1993, Vietnam has now become an emerging middle-income country with a gross domestic product (GDP) of nearly 154 billion USD and per capita income of 1,700 USD, she said.

The rate of poor households decreased from 58 percent in 1993 to 10 percent in 2012, with more than 30 million people escaping from poverty, she added.

The country’s social welfare indexes are now higher than those of countries with the same income and even some higher-income countries, she said, citing better education for the majority of locals.

Victoria Kwakwa noted that Vietnam has fulfilled five out of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is on the way to accomplish the two others by 2015. In 2010, the country ranked sixth in the globe on MDGs fulfilment.

The WB representative attributed Vietnam’s success to the vision and determination of the Government as well as the diligence of the local people.

According to Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, the country’s progress has been recognised globally and serves as an encouragement for other nations.

She, however, noted that despite achievements, Vietnam still faces a lot of challenges ahead and needs continued and strong support from international development partners.

She also spoke highly of the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to define these challenges and include solutions to them in the country’s socio-economic development plans.

The UN will continue to coordinate with relevant parties in researching aid sources in order to help the country improve public financial management and use the capital more effectively, she stressed.

J.A. Nugent, head of the Asian Development Bank’s Southeast Asia Department, affirmed that Vietnam ’s 20-year achievements are admirable and his bank is proud of being a part of this successful development story.

As global integration brings both opportunities and risks, Vietnam should take careful management steps and strengthen reforms, he said, adding that ADB will continue to be a reliable partner of the country in the next two decades.

As the largest ODA provider for Vietnam with over 20 billion USD, Japan highly values the Vietnamese Government’s effective use of this capital, said Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Hiroshi Fukada.

Japan pledges to continue to strongly support Vietnam in its institutional building, legal reform and economic restructuring efforts, he stressed.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Vietnam Jun Daejoo affirmed that the international community sees Vietnam as one of the spectacular successes.

Looking towards another 20 years, the RoK will continue to back Vietnam’s efforts to become an industrialised country, he said, adding that his country is willing to share development experience with Vietnam .

In October 1993, a round-table conference on ODA for Vietnam was held in Paris, France, marking the official resumption of development cooperation between Vietnam and international donors.

ODA received by Vietnam from 1993 to 2012 amounted to 80 billion USD, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.-VNA