Japan urges Vietnam to speed up ODA disbursement

By Dat Nguyen   October 18, 2018 | 02:28 am PT
Japan urges Vietnam to speed up ODA disbursement
Parts of Hanoi's metro line will be invested by Japan's ODA. Photo by VnExpres
Japan is concerned about ‘serious’ delays in disbursement of funds for major official development assistance (ODA) projects in Vietnam.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said in a statement on Wednesday that there was undue delay in multiple ODA projects in Vietnam, including one section of the Ho Chi Minh City Metro line, two sections of the Hanoi Metro line and the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project.

These delays were happening because of the public debt cap of 65 percent of the GDP that the Vietnamese government has set; as well as other policies issued in recent years to control public debt, JICA said.

The disbursement delay in ODA projects, including those funded by JICA, “is becoming more serious,” it added.

The Japanese government has had high-level discussions with its Vietnamese counterpart about budget allocation this year and there has been “apparent improvement,” JICA said.

But Vietnam still needs to allocate more funds for major projects that need capital such as the HCMC Metro line and other projects under the management of the Ministry of Transport, it added.

“We hope that the Vietnamese government will soon come up with a solution.”

In another statement last month, JICA had affirmed that Vietnam could continue receiving Japanese ODA loans for several decades to come, until the country gets out of the upper-middle income category.

An upper middle-income country is defined as those having gross national income (GNI) per capita in the range of $3,956 - 12,235.

Last year, this figure for Vietnam was $6,450, up 6.3 percent year-on-year.

JICA granted 39.5 billion yen ($350.7 million) in ODA funds to Vietnam in the first six months of this year, and 23.4 billion ($207.6) from April to September.

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