JICA vows to support Vietnam’s long-term strategies hinh anh 1Konaka Tetsuo, Chief Representative of JICA in Vietnam (Photo:VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has pledged to support Vietnam in its long-term strategies such as making plans at central and local levels.

JICA is committed to back Vietnam in promoting the building of the Socio-Economic Development Strategy to 2030 and the Socio-Economic Development Plan to 2025.

Speaking at a press conference on October 17, Konaka Tetsuo, Chief Representative of JICA in Vietnam, said that his agency has cooperated with the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, the People's Committee of Nghe An province and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) to implement specific projects in a bid to support the development of plans at the central and local levels as well as look for opportunities to design suitable projects.

Konaka Tetsuo emphasized that along with the strong changes in the world political and economic complexion and Vietnam's gigantic growth, Japan's ODA for Vietnam needs to be changed to suit the new situation. In that context, JICA has been implementing many new forms of assistance, such as cooperating with the World Bank (WB) in a knowledge sharing programme to develop elderly care models, organizing a workshop on infrastructure investment in the form of public-private partnership (PPP), supporting the building of e-government, and strengthening cyber security.

The enforcement of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in early 2019 and the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in June 2019 have created a boost for Vietnam’s integration into the global economy, he said.

Furthermore, the relations between Vietnam and Japan continued to thrive over the past time thanks to visits and working sessions between the two countries’ senior officials as well as cooperation programmes and projects between localities, non-governmental organisations, and universities, he added.

According to the JICA official, his agency has been adopting new forms of assistance to Vietnam to suit the new situation in the country.

While evaluating the official development assistance (ODA) projects between Japan and the Vietnamese Government, Konaka said many new ODA projects on technical collaboration and non-refundable aid packages carried out by JICA have been signed and implemented smoothly.

He also mentioned the delay in some projects which were signed in 2018, and the slow disbursement of capital in underway projects, adding that the Vietnamese Government has been working to address those problems by improving relevant legal institutions and creating more favourable conditions for investors businesses to carry out projects.

He called on Vietnam to promote its pioneering role in such global issues as climate change, universal health coverage, and sustainable development goals.

JICA will continue implementing cooperation projects to address issues not only in Vietnam but also at regional and international scale, in line with the Japanese Government’s free and open Indo-Pacific strategy and the high-quality infrastructure policy, he added.

JICA vows to support Vietnam’s long-term strategies hinh anh 2Source: VietnamPlus

He also appreciated government and agency efforts to address these problems. In June 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh chaired a meeting of the ODA Steering Committee to identify challenges and come up with solutions for ODA projects. Moreover, the decline in Vietnam’s public debt and the Government’s increased focus on improving the efficiency of public spending had highlighted the need to improve conditions for ODA project implementation.  

“Vietnam should be careful not to excessively carry out public debt control as it might restrain the economy’s growth and negatively impact development projects,” he said.

From April to September 2019, JICA’s total disbursement for ongoing projects in Vietnam reached 8.8 billion JPI (80.87 million USD)./.

Progress of underway and completed JICA projects from April to September 2019

- ODA projects: 28 underway projects, with no new loan agreements signed

- Total value of disbursed loans was nearly 8.8 billion JPY (80.87 million USD)

- Technical cooperation projects: one completed project and 33 ongoing projects, including two new ones.

- Non-refundable aid projects: four underway projects, including one new project.

- Projects and programmes proposed by Japanese businesses: four completed projects and 51 ongoing projects, including 19 new ones.

- Development partnership programmes: three completed projects and 25 underway projects, including 10 new ones.

- Volunteers: 55 active volunteers, 13 of whom have just been sent to Vietnam.