ODA Needs to Be Flexible to New Situation

2:53:18 PM | 11/1/2019

Japan's ODA is changing to suit the new situation of Vietnam and in the coming time JICA will strengthen cooperation with localities in Vietnam, said Mr. Konaka Tetsuo, Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam Office.

The JICA's implementation of ODA activities in Vietnam in the first six months of the fiscal year 2019 (April 2019 - September 2019) showed that there are currently 28 ODA projects under implementation without additional new loan agreements. The total value of disbursed loans was ¥8.798 billion.

Regarding technical cooperation projects, one project has been completed; 33 others are being implemented, including two new projects. Among grant projects, there are four ongoing projects, including one new project. Among proposed program projects from Japanese enterprises, there are four completed projects, and 51 are in progress (including 19 new projects). Among development partnership programs, there are three completed projects and 25 on-going projects (including 10 new projects).

Commenting on JICA's implementation of ODA projects in Vietnam in the first six months of fiscal 2019, Mr. Konaka Tetsuo said that many new ODA projects on technical cooperation and grant aid that are implemented by JICA have been signed and are smoothly being implemented.

The representative of JICA Vietnam Office highly appreciated Vietnam's efforts in managing and monitoring ODA projects. Mr. Konaka Tetsuo cited in June 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh chaired a meeting of the National ODA Steering Committee to focus on clarifying issues in the implementation of ODA projects. In addition, there are many positive moves that are expected to bring new changes, affecting the implementation of ODA projects in Vietnam such as: the ratio of public debt to GDP of Vietnam has decreased significantly; and the Government started paying attention to improving public spending performance and amending ODA-related regulations.

“However, there are still many outstanding issues such as: some ODA loan projects that were signed in 2018 have not been implemented yet; and there is the problem of delayed payment in the ongoing projects,” Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam Office said.

In the coming time, the Government of Vietnam will promote the development of Socio-Economic Development Strategy (SEDS) to 2030 and Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP) until 2025. JICA will also focus on the projects that support those long-term strategies, Mr. Tetsuo said.

Not only cooperating at the Government level, JICA also promotes cooperation with localities of Vietnam. In the first half of 2019, JICA signed a cooperation agreement with the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS); signed the tripartite cooperation agreement with Japan Trade Promotion Organization (JETRO) and People's Committee of Nghe An province. Through these cooperation agreements, JICA will support the development of plans at central and local levels, and at the same time look for opportunities to build suitable projects.

According to Mr. Konaka Tetsuo, along with the strong changes in the political and world economy situation and the context of Vietnam's remarkable growth, Japan's ODA has also changed to suit the new situation. Notably, JICA has been implementing many new forms of assistance such as cooperation with the World Bank, assistance in building an e-government and strengthening network security.

By 2020, Vietnam will assume the role of rotating ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. In this context, Vietnam needs to play a pioneering role in global issues such as climate change, universal health coverage (UHC) and sustainable development goals (SDGs). Mr. Konaka Tetsuo emphasized that JICA will continue to implement development cooperation projects to address issues not only in Vietnam but also regionally and internationally, following the strategy of the open and free Indo-Pacific region and the high-quality infrastructure policy of the Japanese Government.

Huong Ly