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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  14 November 2014  

Banks offer credit priority in Mekong agriculture sector

 The banking system has contributed much to socio-economic development in the Mekong Delta by providing local farmers and enterprises with the funds required to fully exploit the region's agricultural potential.

And this flow of capital is expected to increase, with the governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam, Nguyen Van Binh, saying at a recent conference held in Soc Trang Province that banks should to give priority to the agricultural sector in the delta.

The delta is the country's main rice and seafood producing area, accounting for 90 per cent of exports of the former and 65 per cent of the latter.

Banking credit grew by 14 per cent, 10.7 per cent, and 12.4 per cent in the three years since 2011. As of September 30 this year agricultural loans outstanding amounted to VND332.6 trillion (US$15.8 billion), nearly 8 percent higher than at the end of last year.

At the conference, titled the Mekong Delta Economic Cooperation Forum, banks signed credit contracts with 17 agro firms based in four provinces – Tien Giang, Soc Trang, Ninh Thuan, and Thanh Hoa – and the cities of Da Nang and Hai Phong.

It was under a nation-wide pilot lending programme set up by the central bank and Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Science and Technology. So far, 27 companies have got total loans of VND4.6 trillion.

But economists warn that bank lending for socio-economic development faces hurdles since the planning and management of programmes are not competent.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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