Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and WB’s Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa (Source: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged the World Bank (WB) to continue its financial and technical support for Vietnam during his meeting with the WB’s Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa in Da Nang on June 27.

The Government leader asked for the bank’s transitional support to help Vietnam with the International Development Association (IDA) graduation, thus maintaining the country’s achievements in socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

Phuc said the WB’s adjustment of its forecast of Vietnam’s economic growth from 6.5 percent at the end of 2017 to 6.8 percent in 2018 would help improve investors’ confidence in Vietnam.

 He informed Kwakwa about Vietnam’s smooth disbursement of the WB’s loans, especially during 2012-2016, saying the Vietnamese Government has urged localities and agencies to speed up the implementation of the projects.

Talking about the World Economic Forum on ASEAN to be hosted by Vietnam in September 2018, the PM expressed his hope that the WB will send representatives to this important event.

Kwakwa, who is in Vietnam to attend the sixth Global Environment Facility (GEF 6) Assembly, said Vietnam’s hosting of the GEF 6 and other big international events recently has reflected its increasing role and prestige in the international area.

She congratulated Vietnam on its high economic growth, with the figure recorded in the first quarter of 2018 being the highest year-on-year increase over the past decade.

To increase the economy’s resistance against external shocks, Vietnam should push forward with reforms, including financial reforms, she suggested.

Recalling PM Phuc’s request for the WB’s support for Vietnam’s renewable energy projects, Kwakwa said the bank hopes to cooperate with the country in this promising sphere.  

The same day, PM Phuc hosted a reception for President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao, who is also in Da Nang to attend the GEF 6.

The PM appreciated the high priority given to Vietnam by the ADB and Takehiko Nakao himself, affirming that the bank is an important partner of Vietnam and one of the leading providers of capital, technical support and consultation for the country, significantly contributing to spurring national socio-economic development.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao (Source: VNA)

The leader stressed that the Vietnamese Government consistently pursues the goals of stabilising macro economy; curbing inflation; limiting public debt at below 65 percent; developing institutions, infrastructure and human resources; combating climate change and ensuring social welfare.

Vietnam commits to finishing the disbursement of the remaining 613 million USD sourced from the Asian Development Fund (ADF) in 2018 before graduating from the ADF in 2019, he said, adding that the Government has approved five projects and programmes included in the 2018 list, covering health care, agriculture, tourism and transport.

PM Phuc called on the bank to provide more technical support and policy consultations for Vietnam, while joining hand with the GEF and other donors to mobislise capital for the combat against climate change as well as socio-economic development in the country.

He also urged the ADB to arrange more capital in order to reduce interest rates of loans given to Vietnam in the fields of climate change, infrastructure, agriculture and rural development, education, health care and poverty reduction.

In reply, Nakao lauded Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements over the past time, saying the ADB is happy to provide loans to for Vietnam.

Praising the Vietnamese Government’s ratification of the five above-mentioned projects, the President said the ADB wishes to cooperate with Vietnam to speed up the implementation of these projects.

Nakao informed his host that after consideration, the ADB has decided to delay the payment of ADF loans for Vietnam to at least January 2023. In 2022, the bank will continue to consider whether Vietnam has to begin debt payment from 2023 or not.

The ADB will continue to closely coordinate with Vietnam to accelerate the effective use of ADB loans, he said, noting that the bank has received Da Nang city’s request for support in coastal erosion prevention and infrastructure development.

Also on June 27, PM Phuc met with CEO of Unilever (UK) Paul Polman on the sidelines of the GEF 6.

Paul Polman pledged to work for sustainable development in Vietnam, increase exports from the country and encourage European businesses to invest in the Southeast Asian nation.

Unilever has been doing business in Vietnam since 1995 with investment totaling 300 million USD so far.-VNA