Vietnam has used financial support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) very effectively.

Both Deputy Finance Minister Truong Chi Trung and IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze agreed this at their meeting on the sidelines of the 35th session of the fund’s Governing Council that opened in Rome on Feb. 23.

Trung gave the IFAD President a briefing on Vietnam ’s socio-economic achievements, particularly in reducing poverty.

He stated that the Vietnamese government and people sincerely appreciated the IFAD’s efforts and the support it has given to Vietnam in the past. IFAD technological assistance to Vietnam as well as its projects are a sound financial resource and they also create models that can be rolled out in other parts of the country.

According to Deputy Minister Trung IFAD projects benefited targeted areas and were then extended to many other regions, especially to areas where there large numbers of ethnic minority people live.

Trung said that Vietnam is expecting to receive the fund’s approval of a number of projects in the near future.

He added that Vietnam will find it hard to borrow money from the fund as the country has just been included on the list of counties with an average per-capita income of 1,000 USD. The Vietnamese official asked the fund to offer more flexible conditions for new comers, as well as considering Vietnam ’s current situation.

Trung added that Vietnam has always prioritised agricultural and rural development, seeing it important for sustainable development.

Agricultural development in Vietnam not only helps to ensure food security, but also helps to stablise the economy and improve the standard of living for farming households, said Trung.

He also said that Vietnam is drawing up a strategy to create new rural areas and needs more resources to carry out this policy. Support from IFAD will be essential if that strategy is to be successful.

Nwanze said he is pleased at the stronger relations between IFAD and Vietnam and praised the country’s achievements in developing its agricultural sector, especially the effective use of IFAD assistance to reduce poverty.

As Vietnam becomes an example for many countries to follow in poverty reduction measures, he said he hope that Vietnam will share its experiences in this area with other countries in the region.

The IFAD President said he expects that Vietnam will increase cooperation with IFAD in its long-term investment in agricultural development and confirmed the fund will continue to support and invest in agricultural projects in Vietnam .

IFAD attaches a lot of importance to its relationship with Vietnam , said Nwanze and said he hoped that the fund’s budget to Vietnam will increase and that the IFAD will adjust its lending terms to support agricultural development in poor rural regions.

Recently, Vietnam and the IFAD created a strategy on IFAD assistance to Vietnam for the period 2013-2018. Vietnam will continue to implement the IFAD’s operation strategy in Vietnam from 2011-2015.

Since joining the IFAD in 1997, Vietnam has contributed to the fund’s campaigns to raise capital. After seven campaigns, the country contributed 1.603 million USD and received almost 260 million USD to fund poverty reduction projects, provide technical assistance, enhance capacity and reform its institutions./.