|Chairman of The ODA National Steering Committee Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh
The meeting, chaired by the steering committee’s chairman Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, was attended by representatives from six donors which are the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the KfW Development Bank.
As of 2018, Vietnam had received 80 billion USD in ODA and preferential loans, making it one of the largest recipients of this type of funding in the world. About 80 percent of the amount was provided by the six above-mentioned donors.
Of the total amount, 7 billion USD was in the form of non-refundable aid, more than 70 billion USD was concessional loans with interest rates under 2 percent, and 1.62 billion USD was loans under less generous conditions but their interest rates were still lower than those of commercial ones.
This is proof of Vietnam’s efforts to mobilise external resources for national development. Donors shared the view that Vietnam has effectively used loans, which is one of the reasons why they continued to commit ODA and concessional loans for Vietnam in the past years.
Reports of JICA, ADB and WB said their projects in Vietnam had been implemented better than those in other countries, with a high rate of projects completed and achieving set targets.
In 2018 alone, the six donors committed 28.9 billion USD for Vietnam.
However, the disbursement rate of ODA and loans in Vietnam has slowed, dropping from a high 23.1 percent in 2014 to just 11.2 percent in 2018, which was lower than the average global rates recorded by the six donors.
Of the committed capital for Vietnam in 2018, up to 16.9 billion USD is yet to be disbursed.
The delay in disbursement was attributable to complicated and overlapped procedures, low readiness for projects and cumbersome process and requirements for disbursement.
The slow disbursement of capital resulted in projects not meeting implementation schedules and targets while pushing up costs, affecting investment effectiveness and GDP growth.
The situation requires stronger commitment and more drastic efforts from all related sides to remove obstacles. It was proposed at the meeting that the six donors need to coordinate with the Vietnamese Government in building the mid-term public investment plan using ODA and concessional loans for 2021-2025 as one of the solutions.