A view of part of HCM City, the biggest business hub in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)
– The World Bank has
approved two development policy operations (DPO) totalling 321.5 million USD to
support Vietnam’s recovery efforts.
These two operations are designed to support the
central government and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s biggest business hub, in
their efforts to improve urban management and promote a recovery that is
inclusive, digitally transformative, and sustainable.
Carolyn Turk, WB Country Director for Vietnam,
said: “The country must not only manage the immediate effects associated
with the pandemic, but also build the foundations for a green recovery in the
The first operation, worth 221.5 million USD,
focuses on policy actions that will make the recovery more inclusive, through
support to childcare, mobile money, e-governance, and renewable energy.
By improving access to affordable and quality
childcare, this project will help tackle one of the greatest barriers to women’s
workplace equality in industrial parks. Support for the adoption of mobile
money is aimed at the increased use of financial services among unbanked
households, which remain the majority in the country.
Efforts to develop e-governance will help
facilitate a digitally-transformative recovery in the country and will lead to
the provision of more efficient and comprehensive public services for
Vietnamese citizens and firms. Meanwhile, increased uptake of renewable energy
will assist the country in prioritising solar-power projects as greener, less
carbon-intensive alternatives to coal, according to the WB.
It noted that the second operation, in the
amount of 100 million USD, will aid HCM City in promoting the use of
integrated and transparent spatial information for urban management. This
activity is designed to strengthen the management of public assets and
liabilities, while simultaneously enhancing the delivery of priority municipal
services - three central elements for efficiently governing a modern city.
The reforms aimed at streamlining business
registration procedures and providing better access to planning information
will help improve the city’s business environment, which, in turn will, attract
private participation, boost productivity gains, and create jobs. By enhancing
the effective management of municipal public debt and assets, the operation is
expected to help increase fiscal efficiency and generate additional revenue
Citizens will benefit from higher-quality
municipal services in the long run, following reforms to promote competitive
and transparent procedures in the transport and real estate sectors.
Furthermore, this operation will help HCM City
mitigate climate vulnerabilities, through improved transparency on climate-informed
land zoning, expanded drainage coverage, and the expected modal shift from
private transport to less carbon-intensive public transport. It will also
promote gender equity by encouraging the use of public transport by women and
girls through better connectivity and personal safety, the WB said.
Financing for the national DPO comes from the
International Development Association (IDA) while that for the HCM City DPO
hails from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)./.