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Posts Tagged ‘WB’

WB steps up support for Vietnam’s higher education reform agenda

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:39 am

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved US$50 million for Vietnam’s higher education development policy program.

WB agreed November 30 additional support for the sustained implementation of the government’s reform agenda for the second operation in a programmatic series of three credits.

Students at a lecture hall. WB decides to give additional support for Vietnam’s  higher education development policy program

The credit is provided by the International Development Association (IDA) – the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries.

The program as a whole is designed to support the Government’s implementation of its “Socio-Economic Development Plan 2006-2010” and its “higher education reform agenda”. 

This operation aims at to strengthen governance, rationalize financing, improve the quality of teaching and research, improve accountability for performance, and enhance transparency in financial management within the higher education sector. 

“The operation supports a number of policy measures that are being put in place by the Government, aimed at modernizing and improving the efficiency of Vietnam’s higher education system,” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s Country Director for Vietnam. “The reform program will help tertiary institutions in Vietnam begin to meet growing demand for better quality higher education, including through greater private participation in higher education provision.”

The education sector in Vietnam has expanded rapidly, with the fastest growth taking place at the upper levels of education.  As a result of these enrollment and demographic trends, gross and net enrolment rates have continued to increase for all education levels.  Higher education coverage, though, remains relatively low.

Source: SGGP

Robust economic recovery in East Asia, says WB

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 11:03 am

The economic recovery in Vietnam in particular and in East Asia and the Pacific in general is robust, said the World Bank in its latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update.

The WB Update was announced at a press briefing in Hanoi on Oct. 19.

According to the Update, Vietnam ’s economy has recovered strongly with a GDP growth of 5.3 percent in 2009 and is on the way to the target of 6.5 percent this year. The nation’s foreign investment rose from USD6.9 billion in 2009 to USD7.6 billion in 2010.

In addition, manufacturing companies’ relocation of plants in Southeast Asia is benefiting Vietnam as its workers’ salaries are low and its sea-bordered position is favorable for attracting investment capital.

The Update notes that output has recovered to above pre-crisis levels throughout developing East Asia, and is expanding at near pre-crisis rates in some countries.

Real GDP growth is likely to rise to 8.9 percent in the region in 2010 (6.7 percent excluding China), up from 7.3 percent in 2009 and in line with the average growth rate during the 2000-2008 period. Private sector investment is once again driving growth, confidence is on the rise, and trade flows have returned to pre-crisis levels.

Yet, greater confidence in the region’s growth prospects and concerns about tepid economic expansion in advanced economies is creating the need for policymakers to perform a delicate balancing act — in particular, around the return of large capital inflows and appreciating currencies.

“Should inflows remain strong, especially against a background of weak global growth, the authorities will be faced with the challenge of balancing the need for large capital inflows — especially foreign direct investment — with ensuring competitiveness, financial sector stability, and low inflation,” said Vikram Nehru, World Bank chief economist for the East Asia and Pacific region.

The East Asia and Pacific Update which is published twice yearly is the WB’s comprehensive review of the region’s economies.

Source: SGGP

WB to help Vinh Long expand Nam Roi grapefruit fields

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 7:43 am

The World Bank will assist Nam Roi grapefruit growers in the Mekong Delta Province of Vinh Long with hundreds of thousands of dollars, as part of a project designed to widen the fruit growing area in accordance with Global Gap standards.

Nam Roi grapefruits

Accordingly, the My Hoa Nam Roi Grapefruit Cooperative in Binh Minh District will receive US$300,000, with each of household getting US$2,000 to participate in the project.

The WB will also help My Hoa Cooperative with bureaucratic expenses they incur as they follow the procedures required to renew the Global Gap certificate for its Nam Roi grapefruits.

The world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, SGS Vietnam, officially granted a certificate of compliance with the Global Gap Standard to Nam Roi Grapefruit of My Hoa Cooperative in September 2008.

The event brought great joy to 26 households in the cooperative since the certificate was considered as a passport for Nam Roi grapefruits to enter the world market, especially the US and Europe.

However, Tran Van Sang, chairman of the cooperative said that the Global Gap certificate imposed a time-limit of one year. After that duration, the certificate has to be renewed.

Province authorities have promised to help the cooperative pay for renewal fees, pledging to subsidize US$4,000 of the US$7,700 necessary to complete the procedures.  However, farmers do not know how to fund the difference.

Source: SGGP

WB, EMW increase access to school for poor students

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 at 9:14 am

The World Bank, acting as administrator for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), approved a grant for US$3 million for a program planning to increase access to secondary education for underprivileged Vietnamese students.

The East Meets West Foundation (EMWF), a non-profit organization that has operated in Vietnam for over 20 years in the education, health, and infrastructure sectors, will be the implementing agent and grant recipient for the scheme.

This undated file photo shows poor students in Phu Yen Province receive in-kind support from donors. 

Around 7,500 students in eleven provinces – three in the Northern mountainous area and eight others along the Central Coast and Truong Son Mountain Range – expect to benefit from the proposal.

“The application of the output-based approach to education is innovative in Vietnam, and we are pleased to see that it can be applied to improve access for about 7,500 poor students to high school and professional schools. The Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam looks forward to the project’s success and potential for scaling-up in the future,” said Mr. Nguyen Quang Hien, Vice Minister of Education of Vietnam.

“This project, one of the first to use an output-based approach in education, will contribute to the Government of Vietnam’s goal of providing universal upper secondary education by 2015-2020,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.

Vietnam has made significant progress in education in the last 20 years, achieving nearly universal primary and lower secondary education. The country also has above 50 percent enrollment in upper secondary education, but there are still not enough resources for all the promising students.

Access rates vary greatly between regions and are lower for girls and for students from ethnic minorities and low-income households. Drop-out rates among these groups are high, often because students are unable to pay tuition fees or need to work to support their families.

Under the scheme, GPOBA will subsidize upper secondary schools for lower secondary graduates who are unable to afford the tuition fees. This will help to improve the graduation rates for poor students. The participating schools will be “semi-private” schools, owned by the state, but operated privately. These schools will only receive subsidies after proving themselves capable of satisfactorily delivering promised services to poor students, as evidenced by their attendance and moving up to the next grade.

GPOBA will draw on funds from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) for this project.

Source: SGGP

WB oks $500M to support VN stimulus effort, investment reform

In Vietnam Society on December 26, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Vietnam moved a step closer to its goal of reaching middle-income status by 2010, with approval by the World Bank (WB) of the first loan to Vietnam from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on December 21. 

The newly approved loan is a US$ 500 million development policy loan that supports a program of public investment reforms in Vietnam.

“World Bank support Vietnam to build on the Government’s determination to strengthen its public investment processes,” said WB Country Director for Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa

The loan, the largest ever made by the WB to Vietnam, is the first of two single-tranche operations that will support the country’s stimulus program in response to the economic crisis.  And by supporting a series of public investment reforms to improve the quality of public investment, the loan should enhance the impact of Vietnam’s stimulus package as well as its subsequent public investments that are important to sustaining Vietnam’s high economic growth.

Over the last two years, Vietnam has experienced a succession of shocks – starting with massive capital inflows in 2007, a surge in commodity prices in 2008, and export declines as a result of the global economic crisis. Stimulus measures adopted in late 2008 and supplemented in early 2009 contributed to strong growth, now projected to be 5.2 percent for 2009.

IBRD is the low-interest lending arm of the WB aimed at reducing poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries.  Until now, WB support to Vietnam has come from the International Development Association (IDA), which provides credit and grants to the world’s poorest countries.

“The loan is supported by a strong World Bank program that builds on the Government’s determination to strengthen its public investment processes,” said WB Country Director for Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa.

The areas strengthened under the reform program include environmental screening of publicly funded infrastructure projects, environmental management, project preparation and appraisal, procurement, public financial management, the regulatory framework for private participation in infrastructure and monitoring, and evaluation.

The loan approval builds on the recent Country Partnership Strategy Progress Report, which takes stock of progress made in implementing the five-year Country Partnership Strategy that will conclude in June 2011 and introduces some adjustments for the remainder of the period. 

These adjustments include the introduction of IBRD borrowing, at an indicative level up to $1.7 billion during the next year and a half; and support for further strengthening natural disaster response, climate change adaptation and mitigation, a framework for public-private partnerships for infrastructure, higher education reform, and facilitation of technology innovation.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

WB maintains its 5.5% growth forecast for Vietnam

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:05 am

Vietnam’s economic growth this year is likely to be 5.5 percent, the World Bank’s updated report on the East Asia-Pacific economic situation said November 4.

Workers process cashew nuts for export at Thanh Le Export Farm Produce Processing Enterprise, Binh Duong Province. Vietnam’s 2009 GDP may grow by 5.5 percent this year, said the World Bank. (Photo: Tuoi Tre) 

The report said Vietnam’s forecast growth was the same as the rate the bank projected in April.  

Vietnam has overcome the global financial and economic recession relatively well, the report said.

The bank said that positive signs of recovery have been seen in Vietnam as a result of the government’s efforts to support economic activities.

The Vietnamese government provided a stimulus package that included an interest rate subsidy, tax breaks and additional capital spending, the WB said. 

As a result, the country saw its GDP grow by 4.5 percent in the second quarter and 5.8 percent in the third.

For the January-September period, the overall GDP growth increased 4.6 percent from a year earlier, the bank said.

Asked to comment on the second stimulus package Vietnam has initiated, the bank’s chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific, Vikram Nehru, said: “The new package will not influence the WB’s forecast for Vietnam’s economic growth.“

He recommended that East Asian countries, including Vietnam, should continue to carry out economic stimulus programs.

He also advised that Vietnam should be cautious in running its fiscal and monetary policies.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

WB okays to 120 mln USD for Chinese eco-farming project

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Beijing (VNA) – The board of executive directors of the World Bank (WB) has approved a loan of 120 million dollars to fund an eco-farming project in China, the World Bank’s (WB) China Office announced on December 3.

Farmers in central China ‘s Anhui and Hubei provinces, Chongqing Municipality , Hunan province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwestern China would benefit from an improved rural environment and better living conditions as a result of the project, according to the office.

The WB loan would cover half of the project costs, with the other half being financed through counterpart funding.

The project would assist farmer households to integrate the use of biogas into their agricultural production systems. The loan would be used to build biogas digesters, and improve kitchens, animal sheds, and toilet facilities in the households.

The project would also help develop local extension and training facilities for rural energy and agricultural services, provide equipment and materials for the service systems, training for technicians and farmers, and support farmer biogas organisations.

The funding will be provided over the next five years, to be allocated over the next 20 years.-

RoK plans to set up fund at WB to support DPRK

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Seoul (VNA) – The Republic of Korea (RoK)’s government plans to establish a fund at the World Bank (WB) to indirectly assist the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the process of global integration.

The fund, worth 9.9 billion won (about 6.7 million USD) will be established at the beginning of 2009, aimed at granting financial assistance to development organisations, the RoK Ministry of Strategy and Finance said on November 27.

The fund will be used to help the DPRK study successful models of structural transformation from around the world, to compile statistics data, and to train personnel for administrative bodies.

In the event that the DPRK becomes a member of the WB, the RoK will support the development of infrastructure in the DPRK through the issuance of credit loans. It will also set up joint funds with other WB members or use multilateral assistance mechanisms to support the DPRK, according to the ministry.

During 2008, the ministry spent 300 million won on a training programme on the market economy for the DPRK. –

Thailand to seek loans from ADB, WB

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s Finance Ministry plans to seek loans worth one billion USD from the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance the country’s basic infrastructure projects.

The application for the loans is part of an international borrowing plan to support implementation of 13 state-supported projects initiated to help boost economic growth, the Thai news agency (TNA) quoted Finance Minister Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech as saying on November 18.

In case the ADB is reluctant to lend or slow the loan extension, the ministry would seek the entire loan amount from the WB with a 15-24 year term and a grace period of 3-6 years, the minister added.

Once the borrowed funds are injected into the system, he said, they would help boost liquidity in the economic system and ease the impacts of the export slump due to the global financial crisis.–

WB, Japan to set up fund for developing countries

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The World Bank and Japan have agreed to launch a 3 billion-USD fund at the global lending agency to help recapitalise embattled financial institutions in developing countries feeling the pinch amid the global financial crisis.

Japan will contribute 2 billion USD and the WB 1 billion USD to the new fund, WB was quoted as saying in a statement issued on November 15 after Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa and WB President Robert Zoellick made the deal in talks.

The contribution will be one of the main proposals Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is to put forward to deal with the crisis at a just-started two-day meeting of the Group of 20 developed and emerging market economies in Washington.

Another of his major proposals will be Tokyo’s plan to lend up to 100 billion USD to the International Monetary Fund so as to help crisis-hit emerging market economies.

Japan’s contribution to the new 3 billion USD fund would be made through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, with the fund expected to be set up at the International Finance Corp., a World Bank group member.-