1. Business Standard, 25 July 2015. World Bank willing to offer ODA, IDA loans to Vietnam.
  2. Thanh Nien News, 26 July 2015. New World Bank report casts doubt on Vietnam’s actual debt burden, by Nguyen Nga.

See below for edited extracts of each article.

1. World Bank willing to offer ODA, IDA loans to Vietnam. Business Standard (edited extract)

The World Bank has said that it is willing to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) and International Development Association (IDA) loans to Vietnam.

The Xinhua news agency quoted a senior bank official, as saying that the loans will help Vietnam to raise its funding budget for the asset management company VAMC*, a unit designed to deal with bad debts.

Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s country director for Vietnam, said this at a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

During the meeting, Kwakwa proposed that there was a need for Vietnam to manage its budget expenditure more prudently and promote a restructure plan…

Prime Minister Dung said that he would the necessary steps to get the Vietnamese economy back on track.

* Note: the General Director of the VAMC, Mr Nguyen Huu Thuy, has tentatively agree to speak at AusCham’s 2015 Real Estate Symposia in Hanoi (15 September 2015) and HCMC (17 September 2015). He was also a guest speaker at last year’s Real Estate Symposium in HCMC.


2. New World Bank report casts doubt on Vietnam’s actual debt burden, Thanh Nien News (edited extract)

Local economists have advised the government to be extremely careful with spending because its public debt has reached a dangerously high level.

They raised their concerns after the World Bank early this week reported that Vietnam’s public debt exceeded US$110 billion last year. The figure is higher than the government’s estimate of $84 billion. Economist Do Thien Anh Tuan said the government had its own criteria when calculating public debt, so he was not surprised to see the huge mismatch.

The lecturer of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Fulbright Economics Teaching Program said what really worries him is the government’s ability to deal with its huge public debt.

In its latest report to the National Assembly, the country’s legislative body, the Ministry of Finance said public debt will hit the assembly’s limit set at 65 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. But after that the government will try to lower the ratio to 60.2 percent by 2020. However, Tuan doubted that the debt will ever reduce…

The ratio was about 60.3 percent at the end of last year, according a government report.

Vo Tri Thanh, deputy chief of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said the amount of public debt is not as important as a country’s capacity to repay debts and how effectively it could spend the borrowed money…

The World Bank report showed that Vietnam’s debt service obligations, including government-guaranteed and government debts, rose to 26 percent of total revenues in 2014 from 22 percent in 2010.

Interest payments alone now account for an estimated 7.2 percent of total budget spending, crowding out other more essential spending, it said.

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