On the afternoon of October 11th, Minister Ho Duc Phoc hosted a virtual meeting with Ms. Manuela Ferro, the new World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific. Other representatives of the World Bank attending the meeting included Samia Msadek-Director of Strategy and Operations, Carolyn Turk-WB Country Director for Vietnam, and Regional Directors in charge of sustainable development, human resource development, infrastructure development,... On the side of the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam, there were representatives of the related Departments under the Ministry of Finance.
Minister Ho Duc Phuc at the meeting
Minister Ho Duc Phoc congratulated Ms. Manuela Ferro on her new position of Vice President of the World Bank. The Minister highly appreciated the close and effective partnership between Vietnam and the World Bank, the latter’s advice and technical assistance in the area of public finance; effective capital financing in many fields, especially in public financial analysis and management in Vietnam; as well as the recommendations and consultancy on policies from the World Bank in the process of reform and modernization of the financial sector in recent years. The Minister believed that under the leadership of Manuela Ferro, the partnership between the two sides would be further tightened in the future.
Sharing about Vietnam's macroeconomic situation, the Minister said that over the past time, Vietnam had been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, GDP growth was only 1.42%, low compared to the target (about 6%). However, in general, the macro-economy had been stable, the major balances of the basic economy had been ensured, and inflation had been controlled at a low level.
State budget revenue in the first 9 months of 2021 reached 80.2% of the estimate, promptly met the implementation progress of spending tasks for socio-economic development and state management. At the same time, the state budget prioritized allocating funds for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic, overcoming the consequences of natural disasters and pandemics, and ensuring social security.
The Minister said now that the COVID-19 pandemic situation was improving fast, and Vietnam would implement the dual goals of both disease prevention and control, and economic development; would prioritize the implementation of monetary and fiscal policies... to ensure economic development, attract investment, maintain major balances of the economy, and create jobs...
Reaffirming heatfelt appreciation to the role of the WB in advising and providing policies and technical support for Vietnam's public finance sector over the past time, the Minister requested that the WB coordinate closer with the Ministry of Finance in implement WB-financed projects more effectively and efficiently, especially Vietnam Public Financial Management Assistance Program. The WB was also aked to provide additional policy advice and technical assistance to departments under the Ministry of Finance in the implemtnation of Public Finance Strategy in the years ahead.
The Minister also highly appreciated the WB's role in supporting Vietnam to successfully graduate from IDA. Making full use of IBRD loans upon graduation helped Vietnam have more affordable fiancial resources to develop economic and social infrastructure. The Ministry of Finance wished that Ms. Manuela Ferro in her new position support Vietnam in mobilizing new loans as well as in extending WB-financed projects to fulfill the projects’ objectives.
At the meeting, Minister Ho Duc Phoc and Vice President Manuela Ferro spent a lot of time discussing and sharing issues of mutual concern about Vietnam's macroeconomic situation and fiscal policy to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic; solutions responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, priorities recovering economic after the Covid-19 pandemic; sustainable development goals, social security; infrastructure development; climate change; policies supporting the private sector, small and medium enterprises...
New Vice President of WB Manuela Ferro at the meeting
Speaking at the meeting, WB Vice President Manuela Ferro emphasized that the World Bank highly appreciated the position and importance of Vietnam in the development process. Vice President Manuela Ferro also pledged that the WB would be always ready to increase resources, technical support and policy advice to help Vietnam realise the goal of Vietnam becoming a high middle-income country in the future./.
H.Tho (Translator: Thu Trang)