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PM Dung made the statement at the 44th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that opened in Hanoi on May 5.
The meeting entitled “Asia’s Future: Regional Challenges, Global Responsibilities” drew the participation of central bank governors, finance ministers, entrepreneurs and scholars from 67 ADB members and international financial organisations.
Addressing the opening session, PM Dung warmly welcomed the distinguished delegates to the ADB annual meeting that was held for the first time in Hanoi.
“I believe that this meeting would provide an excellent opportunity to have a full and comprehensive assessment of the ADB’s efforts lately to make the right decisions on its directions of operation through the introduction of new and effective initiatives for development and cooperation while at the same time, enhancing the ADB’s and its members’ relations with development partners and other stakeholders.”
He went on to say that this meeting also offers a good chance for regulators, policy makers, CEOs and scholars to discuss important and urgent matters of practical significance of member states, the Asia- Pacific and the world at large.
They include investment and business, reform of the international monetary system, post-crisis capital and financial markets, cooperation for a stable financial system, social safety, food security, environment protection, responses to climate change, cultivation of new growth engines, acceleration of regional connectivity and prosperous and sustainable development, he added.
The PM said regional integration and cooperation are playing an increasingly important and complementary role in the global cooperation frameworks.
He took the occasion to welcome the selection of practical themes of important significance by the ADB Board of Governors for this meeting, expressing the hope the meeting will come to important and concrete decisions to improve the ADB’s efficiency.
Founded in the heart of Southeast Asia, Vietnam enjoys favourable position and great development potential, Dung said.
According to the PM, the renewal achievements from 1986 to 2011 have helped the nation join the group of middle income countries. Its economy has seen an average growth of 7.26 per cent over the past decade and its poverty dropped from 58 per cent in 1993 to below 10 per cent in 2010. The country’s economic structure has shifted positively with the further improvement of the market economy institutions. Its cultural and social sectors have recorded important achievements in various aspects. The nation has fulfilled many Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule.
“On its course of development, Vietnam has received the timely and enormous supports and assistance from the international donors, including the ADB, in terms of finance, technical assistance, policy advice and support. By March 2011, the ADB has pledged to provide Vietnam with 10 billion USD for more than 100 programmes and projects in such focal areas like infrastructure development, agriculture and rural areas, energy and education,” said the PM.
Highlighting the ADB’s practical assistance to Vietnam, PM Dung affirmed Vietnam’s commitment to utilise these precious lines of support in the most correct and effective way.
The PM said the next five years will see Vietnam’s continued recovery as the nation is targeting an average annual growth of 7 per cent, an annual reduction of around 2 per cent in poverty and a double rural income growth as against 2010.
Although Vietnam has been able to record important achievements in development, it remains a very poor country with a long and thorny path towards development ahead, he said.
Together with mobilising all resources and inner strength, Vietnam wants to receive effective support and assistance from the international community and donors, particularly the ADB and its members, said the Vietnamese Government leader.
For his part, Nguyen Van Giau, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam and Chairman of the Board of Governors, said that the economic growth in Asia, especially after the recent global financial crisis, is an obvious evidence for an “engine of growth” role and a dynamic Asia in the global economic recovery.
According to ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda, Asia can lead the world to more balanced, equitable, and sustainable growth if it confronts its medium- and long-term challenges “with purpose and passion”.
Kuroda has emphasised the five key issues vital to unlocking the region’s potential. They include strong leadership and commitment to good governance, empowering the poor and ensuring the fairness of institutions and the dignity of citizens and sound financial systems to ensure capital for infrastructure investment.
He also said that Asia can learn from and share experiences with other developing regions, such as Latin America, noting stronger interregional “south-south cooperation” would enhance Asia’s growth and contribute to global economic stability. Further, sustained growth must be anchored with investment in innovation and technology, and promotion of entrepreneurship. And increased cooperation and deeper economic integration will help Asia to improve its economic resilience and respond effectively to global challenges such as rising commodity prices and looming water, food, and energy shortages.
The first plenary was held on the afternoon of the same day.