The Asian Development Bank will lend US$975 million to Viet Nam for the next three years. The loan amount is based on annual commitments of $225 million from the ADB's Asian Development Fund, which supports the sustainable development of poor countries in the Asian and Pacific regions, and up to $100 million from its ordinary capital resources. The fund aims at reducing poverty by stimulating growth and employment generation through private sector development, agricultural diversification, and good governance.
It also emphasises socially inclusive development and a focus on the central region of Viet Nam. Viet Nam's GDP had grown by more than 7 per cent last year, with the strengthening economy contributing to improved living standards. "Economic growth continues to reduce poverty in Viet Nam, but as the pace of poverty reduction is slowing and remains uneven, it is necessary to ensure that its benefits reach the poor, through targeting when necessary, "said ADB in Viet Nam's principal programme officer, Alessandro Pio.
For the 2004-06 period, priority will be given to projects on rural, transport, urban and water resources infrastructure, the power sector, social development in education, and preventive health services.
The money will be used in policy reform loans addressing governance and institutional capacity building for the financial sector, small and medium-sized enterprise development, and reform of public administration.
The three-year programme will also include three projects in the greater Me-Gong area, worth US$150 million, to develop the Kunming-Hai Phong corridor, the southern coastal corridor, and power interconnection.
Technical assistance grants amounting to about $5 million a year will complement the loan scheme, addressing Viet Nam's capacity building, project preparation, sector analysis, and institutional development needs.
Vietnam News - (01/09/2003)