The World Bank has so far provided Vietnam with non-refundable aid, preferential credits and loans worth 13.5 billion USD to help the country in its national development.

The information was released at a conference on Vietnam-WB cooperation held in Hanoi on November 4.

At the event, the two sides pledged to raise their partnership to a new height.

In 2009, Vietnam was recognised as a middle-income country with an average annual growth of 6.7 percent in the 2007-2010 period. In 2008, 15 years after the WB resumed credit relations with Vietnam , the country’s poverty rate dropped to 14.1 percent, from 58.2 percent in 1993.

The International Financial Corporation (IFC), a World Bank subsidiary, increased its committed support for Vietnam from 62 million USD in the 2007 fiscal year to over 1 billion USD in the 2011 fiscal year.

World Bank projects for Vietnam have proven effective and well-matched to the country’s socio-economic development programmes. As one of the largest WB loan recipients, Vietnam is valued by the WB as one of the ASEAN nations showing the most effective use of its preferential loans.

Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Nguyen Van Binh, who is also Vietnam ’s Governor at the WB, said that WB aid for Vietnam has covered almost all key economic sectors and created a momentum for the country’s development.

Although the WB’s preferential loans for Vietnam will tend to decrease in future due to the country’s middle-income status, Vietnam wants the WB to increase other less preferential sources that are suitable for the country’s next economic development stage, he said.

In the future, ODA capital in particular and WB aid in general will continue playing an important role in helping Vietnam successfully implement its socio-economic goals, he added.

At the conference, WB Vice President James Adam spoke highly of efforts by the Vietnamese Government as well as the SBV in implementing measures to stabilise the macro-economy, control inflation and ensure social welfare.

He noted, however, that Vietnam should continue to implement thorough reforms, especially in the financial system, which are very important for the country’s sustainable growth.

To realise its goal of becoming an industrialised country by 2020, Vietnam should have new competitive advantages such as skills and modern infrastructure, and new approaches to reduce poverty, ensure economic stability and solve environmental degradation, the WB representative said.

He affirmed that the WB will continue providing major fundings for Vietnam ’s programmes on public investment restructuring and reforms, infrastructure development, education and training, climate change adaptation and inspection of credit organisations.

In addition, the bank will provide policy consultations for Vietnam in its development process, he said./.