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Vietnam Today

WB supporting HCMC's institutional reforms

Released at: 11:15, 17/05/2019

WB supporting HCMC's institutional reforms

Photo: Duc Anh

Bank provides $125mn credit for city to strengthen institutional foundations for sustainable urban development.

by Linh San

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a $125 million credit to assist Ho Chi Minh City in strengthening its institutional foundations for sustainable urban development.

This is the World Bank’s first budget support operation to a sub-national entity in Vietnam, marking a strategic shift in its engagement at the sub-national level from sector-specific investments to supporting cross-cutting policy and institutional reforms.

The policy program aims to remove institutional bottlenecks to enable Vietnam’s largest city and economic powerhouse to address some of its most pressing urban governance challenges. As a key growth pole driving economic modernization and generating 21 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP, the benefits of reforms in the city are expected to reach the wider economy.

“As an emerging global megacity and commercial hub with significant opportunities, Ho Chi Minh City is also facing a host of serious urban challenges,” said Mr. Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam. “Successful management of rapid urban growth requires effective and integrated urban governance as well as adequate investment in urban infrastructure and service delivery. Such interventions will have to be met within a constrained fiscal environment, reinforcing the urgent need for efficient resource mobilization and allocation.”

The policy program is designed to institute integrated cross-sectoral reforms in areas that are crucial for Ho Chi Minh City’s urban development, including land use planning, fiscal governance, wastewater management, public transport, and economic competitiveness. The program is structured around three pillars: (i) integrated and transparent spatial information for urban management; (ii) strengthened management of public assets and liabilities; and (iii) enhanced delivery of priority municipal services.

This is the first time a city-wide, integrated policy dialogue has been established to facilitate coordination among the city’s various departments and to contribute to the design and timely implementation of critical institutional reforms.

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