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May 25, 2008

World Bank lends $502mn for infrastructure

The World Bank said it has approved concessional loans worth $502 million to help Vietnam develop infrastructure, reported Reuters.

The loans from the International Development Association, the World Bank's lending arm, will go to upgrading infrastructure in the central city of Danang, improving rural electricity networks and providing credit to rural-based private firms, the statement seen on Friday said.

Part of the loan will go to a six-year project starting this year to improve urban services in Danang through priority investments including urban upgrading, environmental infrastructure improvement and road building.

Last December, international donors pledged a record $5.43 billion in aid to Vietnam for 2008, raising commitments by more than a fifth from 2007 to help the country improve its infrastructure and sustain high growth.

More than half of the aid would go to building roads, ports and power plants, the World Bank has said.

Earlier this week, the British government said it would provide Vietnam with 250 million pounds ($495 million) in aid by 2011 to help the country ensure strong economic growth and boost governance.

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