Twenty OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)-funded projects and programs have significantly contributed to improving Vietnamese people’s lives, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a meeting with the Director General of OFID, Mr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, on August 27 in Hanoi.

He highlighted the good relationship between OFID and Vietnam over the last 40 years, with projects and programs in transport, irrigation, poverty reduction, healthcare, education, and urban development in many Vietnamese localities, which have helped to considerably improve the living conditions of local residents, especially in rural areas.

Prime Minister Phuc said that although Vietnam has now become a middle-income country, there remain many disadvantaged areas in need of investment resources, especially for infrastructure improvements.

The Vietnamese Government expects OFID will continue providing technical assistance, particularly in fields where it has funding experience, through non-refundable aid, and help the country access the fund’s loans with preferential interest rates, thereby creating conditions for residents in those areas to develop.

The Prime Minister affirmed that Vietnam will cooperate with OFID to build projects and programs that meet both the fund’s priorities and the country’s socioeconomic development orientations. The government is willing to facilitate the private sector in Vietnam to study access to OFID’s resources to diversify capital mobilization channels.

“These comments from the Prime Minister help us to orient our cooperation with Vietnam in the future,” said Mr. Alkhalifa. “With projects proposed by the Prime Minister, OFID is always willing to help, hoping that the Vietnamese Government considers OFID a reliable partner and remembering OFID when calling for capital for projects.”

He also expressed a hope that the Vietnamese Government, ministries, and sectors will back the fund’s efforts to cooperate with and assist the country’s private sector and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

His ongoing working visit and the signing of a financing agreement for a transport infrastructure improvement project in Da Nang are another milestone in a new period of cooperation between the Vietnamese Government and OFID.