Vietnam thirsty for more support

Vietnam is pleading for more international community help for its development journey.

At last week’s sixth aid effectiveness forum in Hanoi, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) said its “biggest message” to the international community was that Vietnam was in dire need of support in terms of official development assistance (ODA), concessional loans, technical support, technology transfer and knowledge sharing.

“Vietnam will mobilise and effectively utilise all development resources, including ODA and concessional loans, to satisfy its socio-economic development needs,” said a forum report.

“The government will also actively facilitate the mobilisation of non-traditional development finance resources.”

The MPI reported Vietnam’s 2012’s 11-month ODA disbursement touched $3.56 billion, up 17 per cent against the initial plan. Of that amount, the loan-based ODA exceeded $3.33 billion and non-refundable fund was $226 million.

Under Decision 106/QD-TTg on approving a programme for attracting and using ODA-based capital and other concessional loans for 2011-2015, it is estimated that Vietnam’s demand for investment capital would total $250-266 billion, of which domestic capital would occupy 70-80 per cent and foreign capital 20-25 per cent.

Under the programme, the commitment for ODA and concessional loans from donors during 2011-2015 is expected to be $32-34 billion, with total disbursed capital occupying $14-16 billion equivalent to 6 per cent of the total national investment capital, of which 50 per cent is from projects and programmes inked in between 2006-2010. On average, $2.8-3.2 billion will be disbursed each year.

The new ODA will go towards developing major infrastructure.

Development partners have also committed to make ODA and concessional loans more predictable for the government’s medium-term public investment planning.

“To this end, development partners will support the government in annual planning and budgeting by making available accurate and timely annual disbursement plans for ODA and concessional loans. The partners will also provide indicative-forward spending plans in order to support the government to develop medium-term public investment plans,” the report said.

At the Hanoi-based 2011 Annual Vietnam Consultative Group Meeting in late last year, international donors vowed to provide Vietnam with $7.386 billion in ODA in 2012.

Total committed ODA for Vietnam was nearly $70 billion since 1993.

The MPI said it would shortly ask the prime minister to issue a new decree to replace Decree 131/2006/ND-CP on utilising ODA, to better adapt to development assistance changes brought about by Vietnam becoming a lower middle-income nation, and expand the participation, especially the private sector, in public-private partnerships.

At present, a draft of such a new decree has been completed.

Berenice Muraille, head of EU Delegation to Vietnam’s Development and Cooperation Section, said Vietnam was one of the world’s seven largest ODA recipients. “The biggest challenge for Vietnam is that how the country will effectively use ODA for its development. Notably, ODA for Vietnam in the post-2015 period will strongly be slashed,” he said.

Thanh Thu (