February 13, 2015 – Vietnam is getting a helping hand from the Asian Development Bank, which is extending a US$230-million loan to help raise the country’s competitiveness.
Vietnam ranks 68 out of 144 countries on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index for 2014-2015. It is a slight jump from its 70th place the year before, but Vietnam is still near the bottom in Southeast Asia, behind Thailand and the Philippines.
The policy loan targets Vietnam’s structural reform in six areas, which include improving the business environment and public sector administration and accountability.
“Strengthened competitiveness will be critical for Vietnam to derive maximum benefits from a global recovery and the country’s continuing economic integration into the world economy,” said ADB country director for Vietnam Tomoyuki Kimura.
Another separate US$4.2 million loan will go into Hanoi’s future metro line.
The vast majority of Vietnam’s 90 million people travel on motorcycles. The capital Hanoi’s public bus system is overloaded, while road users face severe congestion during peak hours as motorcycle and private car numbers increase.
ADB signed the two loan agreements with Vietnam’s central bank on Monday, according to an ADB news release.