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- Japan prioritises ODA for Vietnam
Although the disbursement of ODA capital has improved since 1993, it’s still far from meeting the target set by the five-year socio-economic development plan, not to say it’s far below the world’s average level.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), in the previous 19 Consultative Group Meetings, international donors pledged US$71.709 billion in ODA, including US$7.3 – 8 billion per year for the 2009-2011 period.
The amount of ODA funding for the 1993-2011 period was estimated at over US$52 billion, of which preferential loans accounted for 87 percent and non-refundable aid 13 percent, the ministry said.
However, only US$33.414 billion or 46.7 percent of the total was disbursed until the end of 2011.
The MPI put this down to the lack of uniformity in legal documents, especially those concerning ODA and public investment, signed between Vietnam and donors.
Negative factors include slow progress in site clearance and shortage of counterpart capital.
At a conference of the Planning and Investment sector in early July, Primer Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Vietnam cannot take full advantage of preferential loans from donors because the liquidity of the economy remains low.
Pamela Cox, Vice President of the World Bank, said Vietnam has not effectively used ODA capital for the benefit of socio-economic development.
Only when ODA disbursement is accelerated can local people, especially the poor and disadvantaged, will have more opportunities to improve their living conditions, Cox said.
The WB’s preferential loans aim to promote the restructuring of public investment, the financial sector, and State-owned enterprises in order to make Vietnam become a middle-income country, she emphasised.
The WB senior expert said as Vietnam has escaped from its low-income country status to become a lower middle-income one, it will soon get less preferential loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), than from the International Development Assistance (IDA) as at present.
She then warned that Vietnam should learn how to make the best use of international funding by carrying out the restructuring of public investment and other projects with efficiency.
MPI Minister Bui Quang Vinh called for greater efforts to ensure the most important projects get off the ground as planned.
To this end, he said, ODA project managers should improve their technical knowhow and responsibility.