World Bank Oks $150 mln loan to improve Vietnam’s competitiveness

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Motorcyclists drive past commercial buildings in Hanoi. Photo credit: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg Motorcyclists drive past commercial buildings in Hanoi. Photo credit: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

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The World Bank on Thursday approved a US$150 million loan to the Vietnamese government to fund policy reforms in an attempt to strengthen the country’s competitiveness.
Achim Fock, the bank’s acting country director in Vietnam, said while there has been “steady progress” in boosting reforms in critical areas including the banking sector, SOE management and the business climate, these reforms “need to be sustained.”
The loan will be used for a program that aims to maintain macroeconomic stability by strengthening financial sector governance, create a more transparent, efficient and accountable public sector, and improve the business environment by reducing administrative burdens .
According to a report released in September 2015 by the World Economic Forum, Vietnam advanced 12 places to 56th in an important global competitiveness index.
According to the report, access to financing was the most problematic factor for doing business in Vietnam. It was followed by policy instability, inadequacy educated workforce, poor work ethic in labor force, and corruption.
Although Vietnam saw the most impressive improvement among all Southeast Asian countries in 2015, it's still far behind its neighbors. Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines were all in the top 50, with Singapore ranked second out of 140 economies.

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