Vietnam Receives US$8.06 Billion Pledge from International Donors

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HANOI, Dec. 8 – International foreign donors have pledged more than US$8 billion worth of official development assistance to Vietnam to maintain the growth of its macro-economy and help reduce poverty.

The pledge was made official during a Consultative Group meeting in Hanoi that was attended by representatives from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan and European Union.Official development assistance to Vietnam has amounted to US$42.5 billion since 1993.

Thanh Nien News reports that the group is expected to disburse US$3 billion worth of aid this year. ADB Country Director for Vietnam, Ayumi Konishi, in a statement praised government efforts to manage the effects of the global economic crisis. He said: “Risks are growing and we appreciate the government’s recognition that stabilization is the essential prerequisite for rapid and sustainable growth.”

World Bank representative in Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa said a key theme was improving business competitiveness and reinvigorating state-owned enterprise reform. “I think the message from donors to government is to really move forward on this and to move forward in a bold way,” she added. A United Nations official told Thanh Nien News that climate change will be a dominant theme in the future for loans and development aid to Vietnam.

Despite the economic crisis, Vietnam has fared better than most with 5 percent growth expected for this year.The country is expected to reach middle income country status next year when its average annual per capita income reaches US$1,000. This may change Vietnam’s eligibility for developmental assistance.