Vietnam tries to adapt as foreign funding dries up

By Vuong Anh   June 9, 2016 | 11:28 am GMT+7
Vietnam tries to adapt as foreign funding dries up
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh (middle) chaired a meeting. Photo by VGP/Nguyen Hoang

Total value of official development assistance (ODA) and preferential loans from donors to Vietnam fell over the first half of 2016, according to a report released by the National Steering Committee (NSC) in a meeting held on June 8.

Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, it was the first meeting held by the new NSC to discuss ODA and preferential loans. The report stated the decrease in total value of assistance packages that Vietnam has received since the beginning of this year has been a common trend since the country moved to a middle-income status in 2010.

Regarding the implementation and disbursement of ODA and preferential loans, total disbursement in the first half of 2016 was approximately equal to the same period last year. The report stated that there are still many shortcomings in the management of projects where delays in admin procedures still exist. The cause of these is mostly related to institutional, legal and land clearance work.

Overview of the meeting. Photo by VGP/Nguyen Hoang

Overview of the meeting. Photo by VGP/Nguyen Hoang

The deputy PM ordered related ministries to follow the new regulations in Decree 16 on the management of ODA and preferential loans. Accordingly, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has been instructed to reduce the number of procedures but ensure strict management and efficient use of funds.

On raising capital, Deputy PM Minh said Vietnam has become a middle-income country which has resulted in less funding, support and incentives from outside. Ministries and related agencies must adjust accordingly to meet their targets by anticipating less ODA and preferential loans.

Minh urged for closer coordination between investors, project management boards and local authorities. He also stressed the need for sharing experiences between ODA funded projects.

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