|At the signing ceremony, State Bank of Viet Nam Governor Nguyen Van Binh represented the Government and ADB Country Director for Viet Nam Tomoyuki Kimura represented the bank.— Photo hanoimoi
HANOI (VNS) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Vietnamese Government yesterday afternoon signed a US$50-million loan agreement to upgrade Viet Nam's tourism infrastructure.
The upgrade is expected to boost tourist spending and create more jobs for the poor and ethnic minorities, especially women.
At the signing ceremony, State Bank of Viet Nam Governor Nguyen Van Binh represented the Government and ADB Country Director for Viet Nam Tomoyuki Kimura represented the bank.
"Tourism development projects are an effective way of creating jobs, developing work skills and reducing poverty," Kimura declared at the ceremony.
"A core goal of this project is to promote inclusive economic growth by creating income-generating opportunities to benefit poor and ethnic minorities, women in particular," he revealed.
Tourism plays an increasingly important role in Viet Nam's economy. In 2013, Viet Nam received more 7.5 million international tourists, a 10.6-per cent year-on-year increase. Last year, the sector directly contributed 4.5 per cent to gross domestic product (GDP) and sustained 2.3 million jobs or more than 9 per cent of the country's total employment.
The agreement with ADB aims to boost tourism competitiveness in five provinces within the Greater Mekong Sub-Region economic corridors. The provinces are Dien Bien, Ha Tinh and Kien Giang, Lao Cai, and Tay Ninh.
The upgrade of 45 kilometers of rural roads in these provinces will open access to tourist attractions in underdeveloped areas with large ethnic minority populations.
More than 30,000 people will benefit from better access to markets and social services while environmental conditions at tourist sites will be improved.
Projects in these provinces are expected to lift annual tourism revenue from $190 million in 2012 to $480 million in 2019. They are also expected to help to create 85,000 additional tourism-related jobs, about 60 per cent of which will go to women.
The projects will also support regional co-operation and integration by helping Viet Nam implement regional tourism standards and promote multi-country tour circuits.
Based in Manila, ADB is dedicated to reducing poverty in the Asia-Pacific region through inclusive economic and environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration.
Established in 1966, the bank is owned by 67 members, of which 48 are from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totalled $21 billion, including co-financing worth $6.6 billion. — VNS