ADB lends Vietnam $24.8 mil to foster 'inclusive growth'

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The Asia Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday signed a US$24.8 million support agreement to foster Vietnam's "inclusive growth" and thus aid further poverty reduction in the country, the bank said in a press release.

Through the support agreement, ADB will provide parallel financing to the Poverty Reduction Support Credit framework supported by a number of development partners.

The framework helps the Vietnamese government carry out a wide range of policy reforms in business development, social inclusion and natural resource management to implement the ten-year Socioeconomic Development Strategy until 2020, and the Socioeconomic Development Plan 2011-2015, the press release said.

Tomoyuki Kimura, ADB Country Director for Vietnam, was cited in the release as saying that inclusive economic growth is essential for poverty reduction.

He said further efforts should be made to accelerate reforms to strengthen institutional and human capacity, governance, and policies in Vietnam to promote economic growth and address the development challenges.

Vietnam's poverty rate declined from 15.5 percent in 2006 to 9.5 percent in 2010 as a result of rapid economic growth and improved social protection programs. But certain groups remain vulnerable to poverty. The poverty incidence among ethnic minority groups remains very high at more than 50 percent in 2009.

High inflation due to the macroeconomic imbalances has hindered Vietnam's poverty reduction efforts in recent years. To overcome the macroeconomic difficulties and adverse impacts of the global economic crisis, the Vietnamese government has said it is committed to implementing more reforms with a focus on macroeconomic stabilization and economic restructuring.

Kimura said ADB would continue to be a reliable partner of Vietnam's efforts to reduce poverty and promote economic growth.

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