ADB To Lend Vietnam $72 Million Loan For Infrastructure Development

HANOI -(Dow Jones)- The Asian Development Bank said Friday it has signed an agreement with the government of Vietnam for a $72 million loan to develop infrastructure in the country’s northern province of Thanh Hoa.

The loan will be used to fund a $118-million project to develop and upgrade urban infrastructure and services in the province, 150 kilometers south of Hanoi, the bank said.

The 32-year loan bears an annual interest of 1% for the first eight years and 1.5% for the rest of the term.

The bank has also agreed to provide a grant of $2 million to the province to improve its water-supply system.

ADB said South Korea’s Eximbank is also providing a $32.7-million loan to Vietnam build an 11-kilometer road in the province.

-By Vu Trong Khanh, Dow Jones Newswires; 844 35123042; trong-khanh.vu@ dowjones.com

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Donors pledge $5 bln soft loans, grants to Vietnam

Vo Hong Phuc, Minister of Planning and Investment in Vietnam and Consultative Group co-chairman, left, listens as James W. Adams, vice president of the World Bank and Consultative Group co-chairman, right, speaks during closing session in Consultative Group Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

Vo Hong Phuc, Minister of Planning and Investment in Vietnam and Consultative Group co-chairman, left, listens as James W. Adams, vice president of the World Bank and Consultative Group co-chairman, right, speaks during closing session in Consultative Group Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — International aid donors pledged $5 billion in low-interest loans and grants to Vietnam on Friday, with the total falling slightly from last year because Japan has frozen aid until the communist country takes effective measures to tackle corruption.

Last year, donors pledged $5.4 billion in official development assistance to booming Vietnam, which has recorded economic growth of at least 7 percent annually over the past decade.

On Thursday, Japan, which has provided more development aid than any other country to Vietnam, said it would make no new loans to Vietnam next year.

The announcement came after four Japanese executives pleaded guilty last month to paying $820,000 in bribes to a Vietnamese official overseeing a highway project in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s southern commercial and financial hub.

Tokyo has said it would only resume providing aid to Vietnam when effective anti-corruption measures are in place.

Other donors also raised concern about corruption, as well as the recent arrests of two Vietnamese journalists.

“The events of the last six months have raised concerns with respect to whether the media is being encouraged to actively report on corruption within the government,” said James Adams, vice president of the World Bank.

Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc replied that the journalists “were arrested for breaching laws, not because they were fighting corruption.”

Phuc praised international donors for their support in the face of a deepening global economic downturn.

“In spite of difficult times and the financial crisis, most countries have increased their aid commitment to Vietnam,” Phuc said. “This reflects the donors’ support for the policies of the Vietnamese government.”

The World Bank became the largest aid donor, with a pledge of $1.66 billion, and the Asian Development Bank pledged $1.57 billion. The European Union will give $893 million.

Over the past three years, donors have pledged a total of $13.6 billion in development aid to Vietnam, of which over $6 billion has been spent, mostly on infrastructure projects, according to the government.

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ADB grants $1.3 mln to road feasibility study in Vietnam, Laos

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced its grant of 1.3 million U.S. dollars for the preparation of a project to upgrade national highways in Vietnam and Laos, the Vietnam News Agency reported on Friday.

The money will go for a feasibility study for a project to upgrade 200 km of national highway in central Thanh Hoa province of Vietnam and 140 km of national highways in Houaphanh province of Laos, according to the press release by the Manila-based bank on Thursday.

The study will provide detailed cost estimates and consider the environmental and social impacts of the Second Northern Greater Mekong Sub region (GMS) Transport Network Improvement Project.

“By improving the efficiency of transport in the GMS northeastern corridor, the project will increase economic growth and reduce poverty in two of the poorer provinces of Laos and Vietnam,” said Jeffrey Miller, Principal Transport Specialist with ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

The project will also help promote sub-regional economic cooperation, one of the pillars of ADB Strategy 2020 development agenda.

Laos and Vietnam will provide 150,000 U.S. dollars each to help finance the feasibility study, which was estimated at 1.6 million U.S. dollars.

Source: Xinhua

http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90851/6538383.html

ADB lends Vietnam US$72m

HANOI – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday it had lent Vietnam US$72 million (S$108 million) to upgrade health services in parts of the country, including several poverty-stricken provinces.

The project will help build or upgrade 20 hospitals and five district preventive medicine centres in provinces stretching from central Danang city to Binh Thuan province near southern Ho Chi Minh City, said the ADB.

The 32-year project, which will also receive eight million US dollars from the Vietnam government, will include a training school for nurses and paramedics and also fund new water, sanitation and medical waste management systems.

The south-central coastal region is home to nine million people, including about 500,000 from ethnic minorities. Four of the provinces have poverty levels above the national average of 19.5 per cent, said the ADB. — AFP

ADB lends Vietnam US$72m

ADB lends Vietnam US$1.1 billion to build highway

The Associated Press
Saturday, September 27, 2008

HANOI, Vietnam: The Asian Development Bank has signed a deal to lend Vietnam US$1.1 billion to build a highway linking Hanoi with southern China, the most expensive project the bank has ever financed, a state newspaper reported Saturday.

The highway will link Hanoi with the Chinese city of Kunming and is expected to be completed in 2012, the Vietnam News said.

Speaking at Friday’s signing ceremony, Vietnam’s State Bank Governor Nguyen Van Giau said the project would help stimulate development and reduce poverty in northwestern Vietnam, one of the country’s poorest regions.

“The road will help boost trade between Vietnam northern provinces and China’s Yunnan province … and would partly fill the economic and social gap among regions,” he was quoted as saying.

Calls to the bank’s Hanoi office were not answered Saturday.

In December, ADB officials called the road project the “single biggest project financing in ADB’s history.”

The 151-mile (244-kilometer) highway will link Hanoi and the northern province of Lao Cai, which borders the Chinese province of Yunnan.

The highway will be a toll road that is expected to generate enough revenue to pay off the loans within a decade of opening, the ADB has said.

The new road will link companies in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, to the Vietnamese ports of Hai Phong and Cai Lan.

Source: The Associated Press¦International Herald Tribune

ADB warns Vietnam of high growth rate target

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

HANOI, Vietnam: Vietnam’s high economic growth target could hurt the country in the long term if it fails to clamp down on spiraling inflation, the Asian Development Bank warned Tuesday.

The government aims to bring down surging inflation, which hit a 17-year high of 28.3 percent in August, to single digits by the end of 2009. It also has lowered its growth target to 7 percent this year from 8 percent.

“Our suggestion to the government of Vietnam is that it probably aims for lower growth rate with lower inflation and lower trade deficit next year,” said Ayumi Konishi, ADB country director for Vietnam told reporters.

“Then Vietnam will be able to aim at much higher growth in 2010,” he said.

The ADB projects Vietnam’s economic growth will slow. In its global development outlook update, released Tuesday, it revised the growth target for Vietnam this year down to 6.5 percent from 7 percent. In 2009, it projects 6 percent growth, down from the previous estimate of 8.1 percent.

“If you look at historical lessons of many countries in controlling inflation, stabilizing macro economy, actually you will almost never find any country which has succeeded in controlling inflation and at the same time promoting growth,” Konishi said.

Konishi said Vietnam could achieve higher growth than projected by the ADB, but they can achieve that with “the cost of higher inflation and widening trade deficit.”

The country’s trade deficit continued to widen in the first eight months of the year, reaching nearly US$16 billion already more than the US$14.1 billion for all of 2007.

With the global economy slowing, “if Vietnam tries to go against that, you will be inviting a very high inflation and then this time it will be more difficult to control,” Konishi said.

Source: International Herald Tribune

Vietnam-to-China road to be builtbuild Hanoi-China highway in its biggest deal

 http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/14/asia/AS-GEN-Vietnam-China-Highway.php

HANOI, Vietnam: The Asian Development Bank announced its biggest-ever project Friday, a deal to lend Vietnam US$1.1 billion (€0.75 billion) for the construction of a modern highway linking Hanoi with China.

The expressway will link Hanoi with the Chinese city of Kunming following construction that is expected to finish in 2012, the bank said. It will reduce the trip to one day from the current two or three days.

Truong Tan Vien of Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport called it “a very significant project for the country.”

ADB officials, who said in a news released that road project was “single biggest project financing in ADB’s history,” said it would stimulate development and help alleviate poverty in northwestern Vietnam, one of the country’s poorest regions.

It would also reduce traffic on the region’s overburdened roads, thus reducing traffic fatalities, they said.

“Vietnam needs modern highways to help remove the country’s transportation bottlenecks, accelerate economic growth and ultimately expand economic opportunity for Vietnamese families,” John Cooney, the ADB’s infrastructure director in Southeast Asia, said in a statement.

The 244-kilometer (151-mile) highway will link Hanoi and the northern province of Lao Cai, which borders the Chinese province of Yunnan.

The highway will be a toll road that is expected to generate enough revenue to pay off the loans within a decade after it opens, the ADB said.

The new road will link companies in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, to the Vietnamese ports of Hai Phong and Cai Lan. It will ease shipping for Vietnamese firms exporting agricultural and maritime products to China, bank officials said.