Vietnam strongly supports the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) initiative for the goal of a poverty-free Asia and will actively take part in these activities, said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
PM Dung made the statement at the opening ceremony of the ADB 44th annual meeting on May 5.
On behalf of the Vietnamese government and people, he conveyed his condolences to the government and people of Japan in general and president Kuroda and other Japanese ADB staff in particular over the huge loss caused by the recent earthquakes and tsunami.
Vietnam welcomes the selection of practical themes of important significance by the ADB Board of Governors for its 44 th annual meeting and other related meetings, he said, adding that Vietnam looks forward to seeing the meeting arrive at important and concrete decisions to improve the ADB’s efficiency, thus driving the region towards more prosperous development and contributing to the settlement of global issues.
The Vietnamese PM expressed his hopes that the ADB, as a financial institution playing an important role in regional development, would focus more on the common duties and emerging challenges in the region and the world such as balanced and steady growth, clean energy development, response to climate change and rising sea-levels and sustainable agricultural development for food security.
He spoke highly of international donors for providing Vietnam with technical assistance, financial support and policy advice, especially the ADB for offering as much as US$10 billion in loans to more than 100 projects in key areas such as infrastructure, agriculture and rural development, energy and education.
They have really helped Vietnam make great strides in its socioeconomic growth, poverty reduction, improvement of people’s livelihood, he emphasized.
PM Dung also highlighted the important role of regional integration and cooperation in the frameworks of global cooperation. He said Asia and the Asia-Pacific as a whole are integrating themselves more deeply into the global economy, hence their stronger role.
Vietnam hopes the ADB will play a more active role in promoting development assistance and sustainable poverty reduction, as well as boosting regional integration, trade cooperation, and investment, he said.
The Asia-pacific region has bounced back quickly from the global economic downturn but is facing many challenges such as poverty, inequality, rapid urbanization, environmental degradation, and climate change.
He said the region should focus on both quantity and quality of growth.
Inclusive growth is essential, he said, adding that sustainable growth will provide more jobs and increase the quality of life for all people, he emphasized.
Mr. Kuroda also pointed out five keys to meeting the challenges and unlocking the region’s potential including strong leadership and commitment to good governance; annual attraction of US$750 million until 2020; a sound financial system that will channel the region’s savings into its own development process; knowledge creation and sharing with other developing regions, such as Latin America; and regional cooperation and integration which can be a tremendous stepping stone for poorer countries to move up the value chain and establish new niches that will maximize their growth potential.
While working on these national and regional challenges, the ADB President called for the Asia-Pacific region to assume greater global responsibility for dealing with climate change.
He also proposed applying a “green-growth” model which will help with environmental management.
With its growing middle class, Asia can lead the way by expanding its own markets to meet global demand, said the President, saying that Asia needs to start thinking beyond “factory Asia” and secure its position as a “consumer Asia” as well.
In addition, he said, by strengthening its own financial systems, Asia can also prove its leadership role in building a new global financial architecture and governance structure. He also proposed an Asian Financial Stability Dialogue at the regional level as he thought that without collective efforts to secure the stability of the system, the stability of an individual economy cannot be guaranteed.