Hanoi, March 15, 2018 - Parliamentarians from 15 countries visited Vietnam from 5-8 March 2018 to participate in the Parliamentarians in the Field program of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & International Monetary Fund (PN), jointly organized with the World Bank Group and IMF.
“Vietnam has experienced impressive progress in its development. It is an excellent example for showcasing results. This visit is a unique opportunity for the Parliamentary Network to strengthen its presence in Asia, particularly in view of the upcoming World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Bali later this year.” Olfa Soukri Cherif MP, Tunisia, Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF.
Members of Parliament from Australia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Indonesia, Kenya, Lao PDR, Latvia, Morocco, Myanmar, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda, and Ukraine during 4 days witnessed Vietnam’s impressive development trajectory and were briefed on the work of the World Bank Group and IMF in Vietnam. The delegation had a very fruitful meeting with the Chairwoman of the National Assembly, the Honorable Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan who engaged in a rich dialogue with the delegation and answered the delegation’s questions on equal opportunities for women in view of international’s Women’s Day, as well as employment for young people, and inclusive growth. These themes were also addressed during a meeting with the Minister of Education, H. E. Phung Xuan Nha, where the delegation was impressed to learn that Vietnam has reversed the gender gap – girls are outperforming boys in levels of literacy, while results in science and math are equal between genders. Furthermore, the country is making significant efforts to ensure ethnic minorities have access to the same level of education.
“Vietnam is one of the countries where all 14 portfolios of the World Bank are represented. Our investment in the country amounts to 11 billion USD. Through these portfolios, we bring not only funding but also knowledge and expertise in different sectors. Vietnam will export its successful development experiences and knowledge to IDA countries. ” - Ousmane Dione, Country Director for Vietnam, World Bank
During the meeting with Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the parliamentarians learned that Vietnam has now achieved unprecedented progress with over 99% of all households having access to electricity in 2015 (compared to 73% in 1990). The delegation also discussed Vietnam’s environmental challenges and the need to expand the energy sector to meet growing demand, notably by actively promoting renewable energy sources. Vietnam’s budget and macroeconomic situation was addressed in meetings with the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Finance, as was its openness to trade and its efforts to consolidate its fiscal situation and mobilize financial resources to combat the effects of climate change in Vietnam as a means of poverty reduction.
“GDP growth has overall been high, and what’s more, it has been inclusive. There have been strong achievements in poverty reduction, partly due to strong investment in education. Efforts are still needed to increase productivity and consolidate the fiscal position.” - Jonathan Dunn, Resident Representative in Vietnam, IMF
In addition, directors of chambers of commerce and representatives of the private sector shared their views of doing business in Vietnam, including the challenges, opportunities and the legislation needed to facilitate further investment in the country.
Furthermore, the delegation visited projects in the Hoa Binh Province related to urban upgrading such as road infrastructure, and the Hoa Binh Hydropower plant. They met with the provincial authorities who explained how the investments positively benefitted the people of the province. The Northern Mountain Program for Results - Urban Development Project, approved in 2015 for a total amount of 300 million USD, greatly enhanced the northern provinces’ capacity for project management and implementation, strengthened asset management on the local level, and increased local own source revenue.
Since 2001, the Parliamentarians in the Field program has given hundreds of MPs unique access to World Bank & IMF work on the ground, its development programs and key development partners including assessing the host country’s parliament’s role in the development process. The visits are diverse in subject matter and rich in knowledge-sharing, helping MPs to further understand both the successes and challenges of each country, bring lessons learned to their respective parliaments, and build further political will for development programs. In conclusion of a visit, the delegation shares its observations and recommendations on the host country’s development program in a comprehensive report.
For parliamentarians, the program represents an opportunity to see development cooperation in practice. MPs can use field visits as a benchmarking exercise and a platform to provide feedback to the WBG and IMF about their operations at the country level and exchange views and experiences.
The Parliamentary Network an independent non-governmental organization which provides a platform for parliamentarians from World Bank and IMF member countries to advocate for increased accountability and transparency in International Financial Institutions and multilateral development financing.
The Parliamentary Network
Gergana Ivanova – firstname.lastname@example.org
The World Bank Group
Nayé Bathily – email@example.com