UNDP strengthens Viet Nam's financial policy making for development

25 Sep 2003

Ha Noi - Mr Nguyen Sinh Hung, Minister of Finance (MOF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Jordan Ryan, signed today a three-year project “Strengthening Capacity in Financial Policy Analysis for Human Development”. The new initiative aims to upgrade the Government’s ability to conduct financial policy analysis for the benefit of its people. The outcome will include enhanced staff capacity for financial analysis, financial policy discussions on pro-poor fiscal decentralization, and a set of priority financial policy recommendations for use by the Ministry in making future policies.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister of Finance Mr Nguyen Sinh Hung said: “I believe that this project will be effectively implemented, contributing to modernizing the financial system in Viet Nam, thus better serving sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and international integration”.

Jordan Ryan said “UNDP’s new effort is aimed at improving financial policy analysis with a special focus on the improvement of the conditions of the poor. Our project compliments the Ministry’s on-going efforts to modernize the public finance sector by concentrating on the human development impact of these reforms.

Mr. Zéphirin Diabré, UN Under-Secretary General and UNDP Associate Administrator from New York, who was present for the signing ceremony, spoke to the importance of an enabling policy framework for robust economic development, “Speaking as a former Minister of Finance who has tried to promote reform in my own country, Burkina Faso, the pace of positive change in Viet Nam is truly remarkable and the reforms underway are a sound basis for this”. Mr. Diabré was pleased that the aim of this collaboration corresponds to the UNDP goal to support public finance reforms that encourage greater accountability, and transparency, and focus on development for all.

Although Viet Nam has a relatively low debt at this stage of development, weak ability to analyze financial policies often results in a gap between information gathering and effective policy making. Poorly conceptualized policy impacts on all sectors particularly on small businesses and poor households.

In addition to strengthening MOF’s own capacity for fiscal policy analysis, the UNDP-MOF agreement aims to promote open discussion and participatory dialogue on fiscal decentralization, initiate policy reviews to understand how financial policy affects the country’s poor, and will use national and international expertise to do so.

“Sound financial management will be a crucial element of Viet Nam’s effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals and its own national targets to reduce poverty”, said Ryan.

Contact Information

Mr Trinh Tien Dung, UNDP Programme Officer, Tel: 942 1495 ext. 159