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Cablegate: Vietnam Consultative Group Meeting: A Meeting of the Minds, and Continued High Levels of Support Despite a Slowing World Economy

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

200853Z Dec 01

2001HANOI03288 - UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ9690

PAGE 01 HANOI 03288 01 OF 05 200859Z
ACTION EAP-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 EVG-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00
CTME-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00 EXME-00
E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01
NSAE-00 OES-01 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PM-00 ACE-00 P-00
SP-00 IRM-00 STR-00 TEST-00 USIE-00 FMP-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /009W
------------------4E2E6D 200859Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5044
INFO DEPTTREAS WASHDC
NSC WASHDC
USDOC WASHDC
USDA WASHDC
DEPTLABOR WASHDC
SECDEF WASHDC
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMEMBASSY TOKYO
ASEAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 HANOI 003288

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, EB/IFD/OMA AND EB/IFD/ODF
STATE PASS USAID FOR ANE: DMCLUSKEY
STATE PASS USTR FOR ELENA BRYAN
TREASURY FOR OASIA
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 03288 01 OF 05 200859Z
USDOC FOR 4431/MAC/IFP/OKSA/HPPHO
USDA FOR FAS/FAA/STEVE HUETE
SECDEF FOR ABLAGG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EFIN ETRD ECON PREL VM FINREF SOE HUMANR HIV AIDS
SUBJECT: VIETNAM CONSULTATIVE GROUP MEETING: A MEETING OF THE MINDS, AND CONTINUED HIGH LEVELS OF SUPPORT DESPITE A SLOWING WORLD ECONOMY

REF: HANOI 3269

1. SUMMARY: THE VIETNAM CONSULTATIVE GROUP OF DONORS
(CG) MEETING WAS HELD IN HANOI, DECEMBER 7-8, 2001. CO-
CHAIRED BY THE WORLD BANK AND THE GOVERNMENT OF VIETNAM,
THIS CG WAS CONSIDERABLY MORE UPBEAT THAN PREVIOUS
MEETINGS. THERE WAS MUCH UNANIMITY AMONG THE DONOR AND
INTERNATIONAL NGO ATTENDEES CONCERNING VIETNAM'S
ACHIEVEMENTS OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS AND THE CHALLENGES
THAT LIE AHEAD. MAJOR THEMES THAT ECHOED THROUGHOUT THE
MEETING INCLUDED THE NEED TO STEP UP THE PACE OF REFORMS
OF STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES (SOE) AND STATE-OWNED
COMMERCIAL BANKS (SOCB), AND STAY THE COURSE IN MACRO-
ECONOMIC REFORMS AND DOMESTIC PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT.
CERTAIN DONORS ALSO RAISED CONCERNS REGARDING HUMAN
RIGHTS, HIV/AIDS, EQUITY, GOOD GOVERNANCE, ADMINISTRATIVE
AND LEGAL REFORM, CORRUPTION, AND THE NEED FOR
TRANSPARENCY.

2. THE U.S. DELEGATION LED BY USAID/AA/ANE, LORI FORMAN,
MADE STRONG, YET WELL-RECEIVED INTERVENTIONS CONCERNING
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 03288 01 OF 05 200859Z
VIETNAM'S NEED TO HARNESS THE ENERGIES OF ALL ITS PEOPLE
REGARDLESS OF GENDER, RELIGION, OR ETHNICITY, THE
IMPORTANCE OF DE-STIGMATIZING VICTIMS OF HIV/AIDS IN
ORDER TO STEM ITS SPREAD, AND THE CRITICAL NEED TO ASSURE
THAT STATE INVESTMENT CREDITS ARE PROVIDED IN A WAY THAT
DOES NOT DISADVANTAGE THE PRIVATE SECTOR VIS-A-VIS
THESTATE-OWNED ENTERPRISE SECTOR. IN THE FINAL SESSION,
THE USG PLEDGED $32.8 MILLION IN ASSISTANCE TO VIETNAM
CONTINGENT ON FUNDS AVAILABILITY.

3. IMPRESSIVELY, THE DONOR COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE PLEDGED
$2.4 BILLION IN ASSISTANCE TO VIETNAM FOR THE COMING YEAR
- THE SAME AMOUNT AS LAST YEAR, DESPITE THE GLOBAL
ECONOMIC SLOW-DOWN. THIS WAS SEEN AS A VOTE OF
CONFIDENCE IN VIETNAM'S REFORM EFFORTS. END SUMMARY.

4. VIETNAM WAS REPRESENTED BY DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER CAM,
MINISTER OF PLANNING AND INVESTMENT GIA, AND OFFICIALS
FROM SEVERAL OTHER MINISTRIES. THE MEETING OPENED WITH A
STATEMENT FROM THE WORLD BANK COUNTRY DIRECTOR, ANDREW
STEER, WHO DESCRIBED THE EVOLUTION THAT HAS TAKEN PLACE
SINCE THE FIRST VIETNAM CG IN 1997. HE NOTED THAT FOUR
YEARS AGO WHEN VIETNAM'S GOVERNMENT (GVN) AND DONORS MET
IN TOKYO, VIETNAM'S ECONOMY WAS CHARACTERIZED BY SERIOUS
STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS. THERE WERE NO PLANS FOR
DEREGULATION OF THE DOMESTIC PRIVATE SECTOR, NO IMF AND
WORLD BANK AGREEMENTS, NO SOE OR BANKING REFORM. THREE
YEARS AGO AT THE CG IN PARIS, STRUCTURAL REFORM BEGAN TO
BE CONSIDERED. TWO YEARS AGO IN HANOI, THE CG FOCUSSED
ON POVERTY ALLEVIATION; AND LAST YEAR IN HANOI, THE CG
CONSIDERED A STRATEGIC REFORM AGENDA AND VIETNAM'S OWN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 03288 01 OF 05 200859Z
DRAFT 10-YEAR SOCIO-ECONOMIC PLAN WHICH WAS LATER
APPROVED AT THE NINTH PARTY CONGRESS LAST MAY.

5. STEER THEN HIGHLIGHTED THE REMARKABLE PROGRESS THAT
THE CG HAS TO CONSIDER THIS YEAR: THERE ARE NOW IMF AND
WORLD BANK AGREEMENTS IN PLACE; A DRAFT COMPREHENSIVE
POVERTY REDUCTION AND GROWTH STRATEGY HAS BEEN DEVELOPED;
SOE AND BANKING REFORM PROGRAM HAVE BEEN AGREED TO AND
ARE BEGINNING TO BE IMPLEMENTED; AND THE DOMESTIC PRIVATE
SECTOR HAS GROWN, WITH 70% MORE WORKERS THAN 2 YEARS AGO
(ALBEIT FROM A VERY SMALL BASE). IN ADDITION, THE
BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENT (BTA) WITH THE UNITED STATES,
WHICH WILL REQUIRE VIETNAM TO MAKE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN
LEGAL, TRADE AND COMMERCIAL REGULATIONS, HAS BEEN
RATIFIED BY BOTH COUNTRIES..

6. STEER WENT ON TO SAY THAT THE REALLY HARD WORK IS NOW
JUST BEGINNING: THE WORLD ECONOMY IS LESS FRIENDLY NOW
THAN IN THE PAST TWO DECADES, AND THE DIFFICULT PROCESS
OF SOE AND SOCB REFORMS HAS YET TO BE INITIATED IN
EARNEST. IT WAS INCUMBENT ON VIETNAM TO TAKE ADVANTAGE
OF THIS "BREATHING SPACE" CREATED BY ITS CONTINUED
ECONOMIC GROWTH IN A PERIOD OF GLOBAL ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
TO PRESS AHEAD WITH REFORMS AND POSITION ITSELF FOR THE
EVENTUAL GLOBAL RECOVERY

7. THE IMF REPRESENTATIVE TOLD THE CG PARTICIPANTS THAT
WHILE THE WORLD ECONOMIC DOWNTURN HAS AFFECTED VIETNAM BY
DEPRESSING COMMODITY PRICES, ECONOMIC GROWTH SHOULD
REMAIN RELATIVELY ROBUST (AN ESTIMATED 4.7% IN 2001, WITH
CONTINUING LOW INFLATION AND A STRENGTHENING OF THE
EXTERNAL POSITION) WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY
REFORMS AND A REVIVAL IN INVESTMENT. CRITICAL STEPS
INCLUDE ACCELERATING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BTA REFORMS
AND STAYING THE COURSE ON MACRO-ECONOMIC REFORMS.

8. THE IMF REP NOTED THAT VIETNAM HAD IMPORT RESERVES OF
10 WEEKS, AND THAT ALTHOUGH THE COUNTRY'S DEFICIT COULD
BE WIDENED SLIGHTLY TO ACCOMMODATE NEEDS, VIETNAM MUST
STABILIZE REVENUE PERFORMANCE AND ACCELERATE CRITICAL SOE
AND SOCB REFORMS.

9. WORLD BANK CHIEF ECONOMIST FOR VIETNAM KAZI MATIN
REPORTED THAT TRADE POLICY AND NON-STATE BANKING REFORMS
ARE ON TRACK, BUT WITH REGARDS TO SOE REFORM, ONLY 130
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 03288 02 OF 05 200859Z
SOES HAVE BEEN EQUITIZED, SOLD, OR LIQUIDATED OUT OF THE
PLANNED 400 FOR FY 2001. TO MEET CURRENT TARGETS, THIS
MEANS THAT 270 REMAIN TO BE DONE IN A 6-MONTH PERIOD.

10. BILATERAL DONORS CONGRATULATED THE GVN ON ITS
ACHIEVEMENTS THUS FAR IN AREAS SUCH AS ECONOMIC GROWTH,
PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT, POVERTY REDUCTION, HUMAN
RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT, AND ADOPTION OF ECONOMIC AND PUBLIC
ADMINISTRATION REFORM PROGRAMS AND ENCOURAGED THE GVN TO
CONTINUE TO PRESS AHEAD AND AVOID THE TEMPTATION TO SLOW
THE PACE OF PROGRESS

11. THE DONOR INTERVENTIONS REPEATED MANY SIMILAR
CONCERNS REGARDING THE SLOW PACE OF REFORM IN THE SOE AND
BANKING SECTORS. THEY ALSO DISCUSSED THE CRITICAL ROLE
THE DOMESTIC PRIVATE SECTOR WILL PLAY IN VIETNAM'S
TRANSITION INTO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. DONORS RECOGNIZED
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE GVN'S CONTINUED IMPLEMENTATION OF
1999'S ENTERPRISE LAW WHICH PERMITS MOST DOMESTIC PRIVATE
ENTERPRISES TO BE ESTABLISHED VIA A STREAM-LINED
REGISTRATION PROCESS, REPLACING A LENGTHY, NON-
TRANSPARENT LICENSE APPROVAL REGIME. BUT DONORS URGED
THE GOVERNMENT TO CONTINUE TO IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT FOR
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DOMESTIC PRIVATE SECTOR. THE
ASIA DEVELOPMENT BANK REPRESENTATIVE STRESSED THE NEED
FOR THE GVN TO PLAY A SUPPORTING OR CATALYTIC ROLE IN THE
ECONOMY, NOT A COMMANDING ROLE. HE NOTED THE NEED FOR A
PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE GVN'S APPROACH; A GOVERNMENT
STEEPED IN A CULTURE OF INTERVENTION NOW NEEDS TO LEARN
TO MOVE OUT OF THE WAY.

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 03288 02 OF 05 200859Z
12. DESPITE THE IMPORTANT STEPS VIETNAM HAS TAKEN TO
DEVELOP THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND, AT LEAST ON PAPER, PUT IT
ON MORE EQUAL FOOTING WITH STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES
(SOE'S), PRIVATE ENTERPRISES, DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN,
CONTINUE TO FACE DIFFICULT PROBLEMS. THESE PROBLEMS WERE
DISCUSSED IN DETAIL AT THE IFC HOSTED BUSINESS FORUM HELD
SEVERAL DAYS EARLIER AND REPORTED TO DONORS AT THE CG.
MACRO-LEVEL PROBLEMS INCLUDED: DIFFICULTY IN ACCESSING
CREDIT; CONTINUED BIAS AGAINST PRIVATE ENTERPRISE BY
OFFICIALS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC; THE NEED FOR TIMELY AND
CONSISTENT IMPLEMENTATION OF EXISTING REFORMS; IMPROVED
TRANPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF BUSINESS; AND
COMPLETION OF LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY CHANGES NEEDED
TO PROVIDE EQUAL TREATMENT TO DOMESTIC PRIVATE
ENTERPRISE, SOE'S AND FOREIGN-INVESTED ENTERPRISE.
PRIVATE SECTOR REPRESENTATIVES AGREED HOWEVER, THAT THE
BUSINESS CLIMATE IN VIETNAM HAD IMPROVED AND INDEED WAS
NOW BETTER THAN MOST OUTSIDE OF VIETNAM WERE AWARE.
THEREFORE, IN ADDITION TO CONTINUING TO IMPROVE THE
CLIMATE FOR PRIVATE BUSINESS, BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES
AND DONORS URGED VIETNAM TO BETTER ADVERTISE THE CHANGES
THAT HAVE BEEN MADE.

13. BILATERAL DONORS EMPHASIZED OTHER THEMES AND
CONCERNS AS WELL: THE NEED TO PURSUE GROWTH WITH EQUITY
TO ENSURE THAT ALL VIETNAMESE REAP THE BENEFITS OF
VIETNAM'S ECONOMIC PROGRESS, THE PRESSING NEED FOR
TRANSPARENCY IN BUDGET MANAGEMENT AND A LEGAL FRAMEWORK,
RECURRENT COST IMPLICATIONS OF ITS PUBLIC INVESTMENT PLAN
(PIP), DISPARITIES IN GVN AND MULTILATERAL DONOR
STATISTICS, INDUSTRIAL GROWTH AT THE EXPENSE OF
AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT, AND THE SPREAD OF HIV/AIDS
IN VIETNAM. THE U.S., SWEDISH, DANISH, FINNISH,
AUSTRALIAN, NEW ZEALAND, AND BELGIUM DELEGATIONS ALL MADE
STATEMENTS REGARDING LINKAGES BETWEEN GOOD GOVERNANCE,
HUMAN RIGHTS, CORRUPTION,TRANSPARENCY AND THE SUCCESS OF
THE GVN'S ECONOMIC REFORM AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION
POLICIES. (SEE REFTEL FOR A REPORT ON THE DISCUSSION OF
HUMAN RIGHTS.) NOTING THAT TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL
HAD RATED VIETNAM VERY POORLY WITH RESPECT TO CORRUPTION,
THE CANADIANS ARGUED THAT CORRUPTION AND LACK OF
TRANSPARENCY ARE IMPEDIMENTS TO FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND
ECONOMIC GROWTH. THE SWEDISH MADE A WELL-RECEIVED
ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THEY WOULD FINANCE A DIAGNOSTIC STUDY
ON CORRUPTION, ITS CAUSES AND EFFECTS. THE ADB
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 03288 03 OF 05 200900Z
REPRESENTATIVE NOTED THAT THE GVN DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE
DEDICATING RESOURCES TO LEGAL REFORM. HE POINTED TO THE
GVNS "WISH LIST" OF ODA INVESTMENT PROJECTS AND NOTED
THAT OF 300 PLUS PROJECTS, NONE ADDRESSED LEGAL REFORM OR
CORRUPTION.

14. THE FOUR INTERNATIONAL NGO OFFICIALS, REPRESENTING
OVER 50 OF THE INGO'S OPERATING IN VIETNAM, STRESSED THE
NEED FOR ENSURING GROWTH WITH EQUITY, POVERTY
ALLEVIATION, AND CAPACITY BUILDING AT THE GRASSROOTS
LEVEL TO ENSURE THAT REFORM POLICIES ARE UNDERSTOOD AND
FULLY IMPLEMENTED AT ALL LEVELS. NGOS ALSO URGED THE
GOVERNMENT TO PASS A LONG-AWAITED DECREE ON LOCAL NGOS
AND ASSOCIATIONS. (NOTE: BECAUSE VIETNAM LACKS A LAW
GOVERNING OPERATION OF DOMESTIC NGOS, EXISTING LOCAL NON-
GOVERNMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS DO NOT HAVE A CLEAR RIGHT TO
EXIST IN VIETNAM'S CIVIL LAW LEGAL SYSTEM. OPERATING IN
A LEGAL TWILIGHT ZONE, THOSE THAT DO EXIST REMAIN SMALL,
WEAK AND FIND IT DIFFICULT TO RAISE FUNDS. END NOTE.)

15. DURING THE DISCUSSION ON THE VIETNAM'S PUBLIC
INVESTMENT PLAN (PIP), SEVERAL DONORS NOTED THAT THE
GOVERNMENT WAS STILL PLANNING PUBLIC PROJECTS IN AREAS
WHERE THE PRIVATE SECTOR COULD AND SHOULD OPERATE AND
WHERE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION WAS NOT NEEDED. THE ADB
REP URGED THE GVN TO FREE UP THOSE FUNDS FOR AREAS WHERE
PUBLIC INVESTMENT WAS TRULY NECESSARY. DONORS ALSO
COMMENTED ON THE REGIONAL AND SECTORAL DISTRIBUTION OF
PLANNED PUBLIC INVESTMENT, WITH THE MAJORITY OF PROJECTS
IN THE INDUSTRIAL SECTOR AND/OR IN THE SOUTHERN
PROVINCES. SWEDEN COMMENTED THAT THE PIP DID NOT APPEAR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 03288 03 OF 05 200900Z
TO HAVE A CLEAR LINKAGE TO VIETNAM'S POVERTY REDUCTION
STRATEGY, DID NOT TARGET LESS ADVANTAGED REGIONS OR
MARGINALIZED PEOPLE AND DID NOT ADDRESS THE ISSUES OF
HEALTH AND EDUCATION IN ANY SIGNIFICANT WAY. WORLD BANK
REP NOTED THAT VIETNAM HAD ACTUALLY INCREASED THE SHARE
OF PUBLIC INVESTMENT TO INDUSTRY FROM 28 PERCENT LAST
YEAR TO 34 PERCENT THIS YEAR. HE QUESTIONED THIS SHARE,
NOTING THAT IF THE PUBLIC INDUSTRIAL SECTOR IS IN
TRANSITION AND THE SOE REFORM PLAN CALLS FOR A MORE
BUSINESS ORIENTED APPROACH IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR, WHY IS A
GREATER PERCENTAGE OF FUNDS ALLOCATED THIS YEAR.

16. THE U.S. DELEGATION, CONSISTING OF HEAD-OF-DELEGATION
LORI FORMAN, CHARGE D'AFFAIRES ROBERT PORTER, REGIONAL
MISSION DIRECTOR LISA CHILES, VIETNAM OFFICER-IN-CHARGE
ANTOINETTE FERRARA, ECON COUNSELOR CLAIRE PIERANGELO, AND
USAID/HANOI COUNTRY MANAGER JEAN GILSON, MADE THREE
POINTED INTERVENTIONS. THE FIRST ONE CONGRATULATED THE
GVN ON ITS RATIFICATION OF THE BTA AND ITS WILLINGNESS TO
UNDERTAKE THE TOUGH REFORMS REQUIRED UNDER IT AS WELL AS
ITS SOE AND SOCB REFORM PROGRAMS. MS. FORMAN REMINDED
THE GOVERNMENT THAT ITS ABILITY TO ACHIEVE LONG-TERM
PROSPERITY WILL DEPEND GREATLY ON WHETHER IT HARNESSES
THE ENERGIES OF ALL OF ITS CITIZENS REGARDLESS OF GENDER,
RELIGION, OR ETHNICITY, AND MANAGES TO CHANGE THE
ATTITUDES OF LOCAL AND OTHER OFFICIALS WHO ARE CHARGED
WITH IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REFORMS. THE DANISH
DELEGATION ASSOCIATED ITSELF WITH MS. FORMAN'S REMARK
REGARDING "ATTITUDE." THE USG'S WRITTEN STATEMENT WAS
SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD.

17. THE SECOND INTERVENTION MS. FORMAN MADE CONCERNED
THE NEED TO ENSURE THAT THE DISADVANTAGED DO NOT GET LEFT
BEHIND IN THE PROCESS OF ECONOMIC LIBERALIZATION AND
ACCLELERATING GROWTH. SHE HIGHLIGHTED THE PLIGHT OF
HIV/AIDS VICTIMS AND THE NEED FOR DE-STIGMATIZATION OF
THEIR DISEASE AND INCREASED COORDINATION BETWEEN
GOVERNMENT AND DONORS IN ORDER TO HALT THE SPREAD OF
HIV/AIDS IN VIETNAM. MS. FORMAN NOTED THAT THE USG IS
SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASING ITS FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THE
FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS IN VIETNAM, AND OFFERED TO WORK
WITH THE GVN IN A NATIONAL COORDINATION EFFORT.

18. IN HER THIRD INTERVENTION, MADE DURING A DISCUSSION
ON THE GOVERNMENT'S PUBLIC INVESTMENT PLAN, MS. FORMAN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 03288 04 OF 05 200900Z
SPOKE BRIEFLY ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ASSURING THAT THE GVN
STRICTLY ADHERES TO ITS STATED INTENT TO ELIMINATE
DISCRIMINATION BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS IN
THE PROVISION OF STATE INVESTMENT CREDITS. SHE ALSO
ASKED ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S PLANS TO MOBILIZE
DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES THROUGH LOCAL, NON-GOVERNMENTAL
ORGANIZATIONS, COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS, AND THE LIKE. THE
UK AND FINLAND DELEGATIONS ASSOCIATED THEMSELVES WITH
THESE COMMENTS.

19. IN THE FINAL SESSION, DONORS WERE INFORMED OF
VIETNAM'S EXTERNAL FINANCING NEEDS. DONORS COLLECTIVELY
ANTED UP WITH $2.4 BILLION IN ASSISTANCE, A SUM EQUALLING
LAST YEAR'S PLEDGE LEVELS. JAPAN SURPRISED THE CG BY
ANNOUNCING THAT ALTHOUGH TOTAL JAPANESE ODA WOULD
DECREASE BY 10 PERCENT IN NOMINAL TERMS NEXT YEAR, JAPAN
WOULD INCREASE ITS PROGRAM FOR VIETNAM BY 8 PERCENT IN
NOMINAL TERMS TO 96.5 BILLION YEN. MPI MINISTER GIA NOTED
THAT ABOUT 85 PERCENT OF ODA TO VIETNAM WAS IN THE FORM
OF CONCESSIONAL LOANS AND 15 PERCENT WAS IN THE FORM OF
GRANTS.

20. MS. FORMAN INDICATED THE USG'S INTENTION TO PROVIDE
$32.8 MILLION IN ASSISTANCE TO VIETNAM, SUBJECT TO
CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL AND AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS. THE
ASSISTANCE WILL COMPRISE TECHNICAL SUPPORT AND
HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE PROVIDED THROUGH USAID AND THE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES; TECHNICAL
ASSISTANCE AND TRAINING THROUGH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
LABOR, AS WELL AS EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THROUGH THE
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, FOOD ASSISTANCE THROUGH THE U.S.
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 03288 04 OF 05 200900Z
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND THE PROVISION OF TECHNICAL
EXPERTISE BY OTHER U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. MS. FORMAN
BEGAN HER REMARKS BY UNDERSCORING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE
RECENT RATIFICATION OF THE BTA IN SOLIDIFYING A NEW AND
GROWING RELATIONSHIP WITH VIETNAM, AND THE USG'S PLEASURE
IN HOSTING THE LARGE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR DELEGATION
FROM VIETNAM THAT WOULD BE IN WASHINGTON D.C. THE
FOLLOWING WEEK.

21.IN SUM, THIS YEAR'S VIETNAM CG WAS A REFLECTION OF THE
INCREASING UNANIMITY AND GOOD WILL AMONG DONORS TOWARDS
VIETNAM AS A RESULT OF THE GOVERNMENT'S WILLINGNESS TO
UNDERTAKE A NUMBER OF CRITICAL REFORMS. WHILE PROGRESS
ON SOME OF THESE IS UNEVEN, DONORS SEEMED INCLINED TO
GIVE VIETNAM CREDIT FOR GOOD INTENTIONS AND SOME
SIGNIFICANT STEPS FORWARD. THE GOVERNMENT RESPONDED
GRACIOUSLY, WITH ACCEPTANCE OF MANY OF THE CRITICISMS AND
ANNOUNCEMENTS OF ITS INTENTION TO REDOUBLE ITS EFFORTS AT
REFORM.

22. FOR ITS PART, THE USG DELEGATION WAS WARMLY WELCOMED.
AA/ANE FORMAN'S PRESENCE CONFIRMED A STRENGTHENING OF
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE US MISSION (AND ESPECIALLY USAID)
AND THE GOVERNMENT OF VIETNAM. IT SHOULD ALSO BE NOTED
THAT A USG SUGGESTION MADE AT LAST YEAR'S CG - TO PROVIDE
COPIES OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR'S CHAIRMAN'S CLOSING
STATEMENT IN ORDER TO HIGHLIGHT PROGRESS MADE OR LACKING
ON KEY ISSUES - WAS ADOPTED FOR THIS CG, AND THE WORLD
BANK CO-CHAIRMAN REFERRED TO IT ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS
DURING THE SESSIONS.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

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