Representatives of the World Bank and the United Nations have worked with the government of Vietnam to call for advancing the disbursement of official development assistance (ODA) in the Southeast Asian country.
Vietnamese Deputy PM and Foreign Affairs Minister Pham Binh Minh at the meeting with World Bank Country Director for Vietnam Ousmane Dione, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra. Photo: VGP
The World Bank Country Director for Vietnam Ousmane Dione, the UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra, and Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Elsbeth Akkerman on July 10 worked with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh on the issue.
The issue discussed was the slow disbursement of ODA over the past time. Ousmane Dione emphasized the delay of signing and receiving non-refundable loans, including disaster relief.
He noted some exceptional cases including those which waited for almost three years to start disbursement.
Vietnam’s active moves
In turn, Deputy PM Minh pledged to ask related agencies to check the situation and affirm no recurrence.
Minh proposed tightened cooperation in tackling procedures on process (for donors) and on plan basis (for the recipient) to curb Vietnam’s public debt.
At the meeting, Minh thanked the donors for their continuous support for the development of Vietnam and hoped for diversified financial sources which match with the Vietnamese government’s priorities.
In details, Minh said the government has issued a series of regulations which aim to improve efficiency of foreign-sourced capital. The documents include a decree on re-lending to local governments, the prime minister’s decision on drawing and using ODA and preferential loans for the 2018-2020 period and vision 2021-2025, revised Law on Procurement submitted to the National Assembly (NA) for approval.
He called for further cooperation between the donors and Vietnam in making policies to facilitate the disbursement of ODA.
In addition, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has worked with related agencies to review sluggish projects for timely adjustment.
In a related move, Deputy PM Minh has recently participated in a dialogue with representatives of six donors to find proper measures for the quicker disbursement.
UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra in a speech delivered at the National Conference on Sustainable Development 2018 said Agenda 2030 cannot be attained by governments alone, it requires the active participation of all members of society. Moreover, these goals can only be achieved with sufficient and coordinated financial investment.
The World Bank is one of main donors for Vietnam, helping arrange billions of dollars for development projects in the country. Every year since 1993, international donors have attended the Vietnam Development Forum (VDF), formerly known as the Consultative Group (CG) meeting, and more recently Vietnam Development Partnership Forum – a platform for discussions between government and donor agencies on development policies and donor pledges.
The first Vietnamese CG meeting was held in Paris in 1993 and since 1999 it has been held in Vietnam, co-chaired by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the World Bank in Vietnam.
Two meetings are held each year, including an informal meeting in June usually held outside Hanoi in order to combine it with a field visit, and a formal meeting during December held in Hanoi.