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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   21 January 2013  

ADB lends US$176m to Vietnam

 Vietnam yesterday signed four loan agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for US$176 million to strengthen capacity in various areas like public-private partnerships and food safety.

The agreements were signed by Nguyen Van Binh, governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, and Tomoyuki Kimura, the ADB's country director for Vietnam.

The largest loan of $130 million will help transform the border towns of Dong Ha, Lao Bao (in the central Quang Tri Province) and Moc Bai (the southeastern Tay Ninh Province) into economic hubs by improving urban and environmental infrastructure and strengthening local institutional capacities.

A $20 million loan will come from the bank's Asian Development Fund (ADF) to fund the Public Private Partnership Support Project to increase private investment in infrastructure.

"Provision of adequate physical infrastructure is a necessary condition to ensure the country's economic growth and people's access to services and opportunities," Kimura said.

"The challenge then is how to mobilise the financing needed to develop infrastructure, and clearly this will largely rely on encouraging more private sector investment, such as through well placed public financing coupled with support to overcome policy, institutional, information and risk barriers to investment."

A $11 million loan will fund a project to develop food-safety capacities. This will help establish, strengthen, and implement surveillance and inspection programmes for food safety, including safe handling in the tourism industry, and regional cooperation as well as sanitary and phytosanitary management of food trade in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

The final loan of $15 million, also from the ADF, is for capacity building in HIV/AIDS Prevention, which will help the government develop its national and regional capacity to mitigate HIV risks and vulnerability, primarily in the country's 15 border provinces.

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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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