Hanoi, March 21st, 2010 – Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung affirmed the country’s support for a World Bank capital increase. The Deputy Prime Minister made the statement in a meeting with Mr. James W. Adams, the World Bank’s Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region.
Over the years, the Deputy Prime Minister said, the Bank has been a major source of support to Vietnam’s development. Its knowledge services and financing have helped Vietnam move from a centrally planned economy to a market economy, while at the same time reducing poverty. The result has been sustained and balanced growth. The Deputy Prime Minister added that the Bank’s financial support has been efficiently used and yielded results on the ground.
In the medium and long term, responding to the impacts of climate change will be a key global priority. In this regard, the Deputy Prime Minister said he expects the Bank to play a greater role in coordinating international expertise and financing to cope with this global challenge, and to deal with negative consequences in countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, including Vietnam.
The Deputy Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to the Bank for its policy advice to the government when Vietnam was going through a period of overheating in 2008 and the 2009 recession triggered by the global financial crisis. And timely World Bank financing, such as the recent IBRD loan of 500 million USD, helped the government manage its balance of payments and foreign reserves.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he hopes to receive more assistance from the World Bank to assist in the next phase of Vietnam’s socio-economic development. He noted that this phase will include aggressive reforms of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), promotion of private sector development, natural disaster risk management, and other priorities being elaborated in the government’s forthcoming 2011-2020 Socio-Economic Development Strategy.
For his part, Mr. Adams expressed the World Bank’s willingness to continue its support to Vietnam in dealing with the ongoing transition to a market economy as well as new threats, to help the country stay on a solid growth path and make a successful transition to middle income status. In particular, the World Bank can help in this process by providing technical advice and financing in areas strategically critical to Vietnam’s growth, such as tertiary education as well as climate change, said Mr. Adams.
As the Bank approaches its headroom capacity, it is important to raise capital to enable the Bank to support countries dealing with new threats, such as climate change, without compromising existing programs. This is part of the Bank’s reform initiative to respond to client countries’ post-crisis needs and meet the economic realities of the 21st century.