MPI-ADB to pave the way for effective regional cooperation

ADB and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) co-organized today an inception workshop for the technical assistance project to obtain the participation, cooperation and support of agencies concerned at the central and provincial levels and development partners in the efforts to improve regional cooperation and integration (RCI) coordination and public investment planning in Viet Nam.To help the Government of Viet Nam improve the coordination of RCI activities and strengthen the capacity for regional cooperation investment planning, and maximize RCI's contribution to national development objectives, in December 2012, the Asian Development Bank approved a technical assistance (TA), which is equivalent of USD800,000 to be financed on a grant basis by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.

"Our support to the technical assistance which is the subject of today's workshop reflects 's commitment to help enhance the coordination of regional and subregional initiatives covering the region countries," said Mr. Hiroyki Kato, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Ha Noi.

Representatives from central government agencies, provinces and development partners discussed issues and challenges constraining in-country effective coordination and investment planning of RCI activities, and agreed on the TA objectives, approach, key activities and work plan to enhance the efficiency of public investments involving RCI initiatives.

Though is involved in a large number of RCI initiatives, the weakness in coordination, information sharing, and capacity has been hindering the complementarities and synergy between and among RCI programs and projects, affecting the achievement of their intended results and the efficiency of public investments.

The need for improvement is urgent as RCI remains to be one of the key elements of 's medium-term development strategy; and the efficiency of public investments is among the most critical factors to ensure 's sustainable growth, given the country's significant demand for infrastructure improvement and social services.

"These are not easy tasks, but absolutely necessary if Viet Nam is to achieve its aim set under the Socio-Economic Development Plan 2011-2015 to create collective strengths of economic development under different subregional initiatives", stated Ms. Yumiko Tamura, Principal Country Economist, ADB./. (CPV)