The World Bank (WB) Board of Directors has approved the first Economic Management and Competitiveness Credit for Vietnam (EMCC 1) to help the country with economic management reforms for higher productivity and competitiveness, according to a WB Vietnam press release on March 20.

The EMCC 1, the first of a series of three operations, provides 250 million USD concessional financing to support reforms in seven policy areas including the financial sector, fiscal policy, public administration and accountability, state enterprise management, public investment management, business environment efficiency, and equity and transparency of the business environment.

“The EMCC follows on from the successful Poverty Reduction Support Credit series, and aims to address new challenges that will raise the efficiency and competitiveness of the Vietnamese economy”, said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.

She also expressed her hope that the EMCC series will provide a platform for deepening and coordinating dialogue between development partners and the Government of Vietnam with a view to helping Vietnam transit to a new economic growth model, which targets competitiveness and the quality of growth.

The EMCC will help monitor macroeconomic policies and ensure that it supports the stabilisation efforts of the Government. Public Investment Management, SOE and banking sector reforms are prominent themes under the programme, in line with the Government’s priorities for structural reforms.

In addition, the EMCC prioritises Government efforts to streamline administrative procedures and strengthen fiscal discipline, critical to productivity and competitiveness.

Vietnam implemented major reforms in the early 1990s, which contributed to large gains in competitiveness that spurred rapid growth and poverty reduction. However, the reform process has slowed down in recent years. The EMCC is expected to support the implementation of this reform programme over the next three years.-VNA