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PM praises WB, IMF while seeking to boost ties with US

Update: September, 28/2013 - 09:24
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (right) meets with US Minister of Commerce Penny Pritzker. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

WASHINGTON (VNS)— The World Bank (WB) plays an increasingly important role in Viet Nam's socio-economic development, especially in poverty reduction, PM Nguyen Tan Dung said in Washington on Thursday.

Dung, who is in the US to attend the high-level meetings of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, met with WB President Jim Yong Kim and the bank's managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati to discuss measures to promote relations between Viet Nam and the financial institution.

He thanked the WB executive committee for including Viet Nam in the list of countries that will continue to receive preferential loans in the next three years.

He also praised the WB's efforts to mobilise capital for the International Development Association (IDA) and asked the WB to continue providing IDA loans for countries just above the poverty level, such as Viet Nam, to help them achieve sustainable development.

Dung affirmed that Viet Nam was determined to restructure its economy and was working on new mechanisms facilitating the private sector's involvement in investment projects.

The Vietnamese Government remained steadfast in its targets of strengthening macroeconomic stability, curbing inflation and pushing for three strategic breakthroughs (market institution completion, workforce training and comprehensive infrastructure development), Dung said.

He asked the community of donors and the WB Group in particular to continue providing Viet Nam with financial assistance and policy consultancy in order to help the country achieve the said breakthroughs.

Dung also stressed that the Vietnamese government was taking a range of measures to accelerate the implementation and capital disbursement of programmes and projects funded by the WB.

The WB President expressed his delight at the recent cooperation between his institution and Viet Nam, affirming that the bank would continue to support Viet Nam's development process.

He said the WB would go on with its commitments to help Viet Nam access IDA capital in the 2014-17 period and provide Viet Nam with financial and technical assistance as well as policy consultation.

The WB leader recommended that Viet Nam continue with efforts to stabilise the macro economy, control inflation and restructure the banking system, while accelerating the disbursement of WB loans.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the WB managing director, highlighted Viet Nam's success in curbing inflation and stabilising the macro economy, particularly the foreign exchange rate.

She emphasised that growth depended significantly on economic restructuring, including that of the commercial bank system.

She affirmed that the WB was ready to continue providing financial support to Viet Nam and help the country enhance its institutional capacity.

The WB has provided Viet Nam with US$8 billion through IDA and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) as a contribution to the country's economic development and poverty reduction efforts.

IMF support

On the same day, General Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde spoke highly of the Vietnamese government's efforts to stabilise the macro economy and curb inflation during a meeting with PM Dung in Washington.

The IMF was willing to help Viet Nam create a stable macro-economic foundation to attract FDI, Lagarde said.

She encouraged Viet Nam to restructure its economy and develop the private sector while maintaining the current monetary policy and raising the effectiveness and profit of State-owned enterprises.

The IMF would continue to support Viet Nam with policy consulting, training and technical assistance, said the General Director, adding that she believed the nation would overcome the macro economic challenges it faced.

Dung affirmed the increasingly important role of IMF in the global financial and monetary system, especially in supporting key economic areas to overcome the crisis.

He voiced his support for IMF's efforts to provide loans to cope with the crisis while speaking highly of the organisation's assistance to Viet Nam since the country started its open-door policy.

The Vietnamese government was resolved to push ahead with economic restructuring with a focus on renovating State-owned enterprises, public investment and the banking system, Dung said.

He also asked the IMF to continue working closely with Viet Nam in making assessments and policy recommendations regarding the macro economy and inflation control.

Lagarde said the policies implemented by the Vietnamese government were in line with the IMF's advice.

The IMF would continue to help the country via its yearly economic reports, which recommend what should be done to ensure economic growth and minimise inflation, she said.

The same day, Dung left Washington for New York to attend the plenary session of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

TPP Agreement

During his stay in the US, Dung also had meetings with US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and US Trade Representative Michael Froman in Washington DC.

The PM highlighted the significance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and its benefits for TPP member countries, saying that the deal will positively develop comprehensive relations between Viet Nam and the US.

He affirmed Viet Nam's determination to promote negotiations in accordance with the agreement reached between the two sides' high-ranking officials in 2012, adding that the country is willing to work with the US and other negotiators to hasten the signing of the TPP.

Dung also asked the US to give requisite flexibility for Viet Nam in the negotiation stage.

He applauded the US Department of Commerce for its decision to reverse anti-subsidy measures against Vietnamese companies exporting warm frozen shrimp products to the US.

He declared that the Vietnamese Government will continue to facilitate the successful operation of American businesses in Viet Nam.

The PM urged the US to recognise Viet Nam's market economy and appealed for it to put an end to investigations into 12 trade disputes between the two countries' businesses, especially in anti-dumping and price-subsidy cases.

For their part, the US representatives committed to actively promoting all-round co-operation with Viet Nam, especially in economics, trade and investment.

They expressed their delight at the establishment of a comprehensive partnership framework between the two countries, which is expected to help further strengthen bilateral relations in the time to come.

The two officials spoke of the advancement in negotiations between the two countries in recent TPP negotiation rounds in Malaysia and Brunei, saying that the US will work closely with other members to accelerate the process.

They also acknowledged Dung's proposals and promised to consider them carefully and make a decision in the near future.

In 2012, two-way trade value between Viet Nam and the US hit US$25 billion. — VNS

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