JICA partners with VP Bank in promoting financial access for women-led SMS in Vietnam

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on October 20 signed a US$75 million loan agreement with the Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VP Bank) to promote financial access among women-led enterprises through the Private Sector Investment and Finance (PSIF).

The loan is in line with the “Initiatives on overseas loans and investment for ASEAN announced by the Government of Japan in 2019 and is implemented by utilising the “Facility for Accelerating Finance Inclusion in Asia: FAIA”.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for 98.7% of the total number of enterprises in Vietnam, 45% of the country's gross domestic product and attract 63% of employment. However, their access to finance is limited, especially, access to finance is a big hindrance for women-led SMEs.

In accordance with the initiative of the "2X Challenge: Financing for Women" launched by financial institutions of the G7 countries, JICA provides more than 30% of the total loan amount for women-owned enterprises through VP Bank.

The loan will contribute to Vietnam's sustainable economic growth and sustainable development goals on gender equality, building resilient infrastructure, and fostering a global partnership for sustainable development.

VPBank has been engaged for many years in improving financial access for small enterprises as one of the intermediary financial institutions in the Japanese ODA loan Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Finance Project that was approved in 2009.

JICA has been supporting the enhancement of women’s financial access in Vietnam through the technical cooperation project for promoting gender-responsive financial inclusion through the Vietnam Women’s Union since 2019.