UNDP, Australia and Switzerland help Viet Nam manage public debt

22 Jul 2002

Ha Noi - The Ministry of Finance today launched a 3.5-year project to support management of Viet Nam's external debts. The $2.4 million project is co-financed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Governments of Australia and Switzerland.

"This project is designed to help strengthen the Government's capacity to manage its external debt in order to support sustainable development and minimize the risk of financial crises, as recently experienced in a number of countries," said UNDP Resident Representative Jordan Ryan.

The project aims at developing a comprehensive and consistent environment for external debt management. It will also assist the Government to improve its current debt management strategy as an intergral part of the macro-economic framework. The project will help build a database to collect and monitor debt-related information allowing improved access to concerned agencies.

"Through building strong inter-governmental linkages and improving financial data collection procedures, the integrated external debt management system will make an important contribution towards Viet Namπs sustainable economic development," said Australian Ambassador Joe Thwaites.

Swiss Ambassador Thomas Feller is of the same view and pleased that the project brings together a partnership between Viet Nam, Australia, Switzerland and the UNDP.

Given relatively low domestic savings, Viet Nam has relied significantly on foreign capital to finance budget deficits and investments in the 1990s. According to experts, borrowing requirements are expected to rise in the coming years, which will entail rigorous monitoring. In this context, Mr. Ryan said: "As Viet Nam is striving to achieve ambitious objectives in modernization, industrialization and poverty alleviation, effective mobilization and use of domestic and foreign savings are critical."

"This initiative together with a new programme that has been recently formulated with the National Assemblyπs Committee of Economic and Budgetary Affairs that focuses on oversight of economic and budget issues, will undoubtedly help Viet Nam better manage its financial resources," said Mr Ryan.

The UNDP Resident Representative also emphasized and welcomed the collaboration between different ministries and departments in the implementation of this effort, and underscored UNDPπs appreciation to both Australia and Switzerland for their valuable support for this important project.

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