Seminar on Concessional Credits in Vietnam

Concessional credit financing has been a sought-after financing mechanism in Vietnam. The priority sectors of environment, climate change mitigation and innovation development will focus the cooperation on areas that are increasingly important issues for the development in Vietnam in the coming years.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam a seminar on Finnish Concessional Credit Program on May 6th, 2011 in Hanoi. The objective of seminar was to provide the local stakeholders updated information on the instrument as well as its focus and policy. The key emphasis of the seminar is that the scheme will take renewed approach to the projects/proposals to be financed by Finnish Concessional credit.

“We are organizing this seminar together with MPI, because we believe there is still continues to be a lot of potential for concessional credit projects in Vietnam. There are development and investment needs in Vietnam and on the other hand there is a lot of know-how and technology that Finnish companies can bring for Vietnamese users”, noted Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr. Pekka Hyvönen in his opening remarks.

 Director General of the FERD, Dr. Ho Quanh Minh from MPI spoke about the long cooperation between Vietnam and Finland, and of the strong recognition that Finnish know-how already has in Vietnam. Vietnam has entered into a new era of lower middle-income country, and concessional credit funding is one way for Finnish and Vietnamese partners to work together and contribute to the further development of the country.

 “We are committed to working more efficiently with the projects. Long and complicated processes are history”, announced Ms. Satu Santala, Director of the Unit for Development Financing Institutions from the Finnish MFA. In order to achieve this, some changes and updates have been introduced. The potential project owner is encouraged to work on a ‘Fast Track Note’ at early stage of the project identification as possible. The ‘Fast Track Note’ will help parties to consider whether the potential project proposal is suitable to the cc financing and is suitable for the PO to develop the project further for an official consideration. The future project should guarantee the minimum 50% of Finnish content and should be able to be processed within two years time. The quality of the project prepared feasibility study is crucial for an efficient and effective project.

The cc instrument will focus in future on the aspect of technology and know-how transfer in order to bring most sustainable Finnish value added to the recipient country like Vietnam to meet the development objective of the country and push the trade cooperation. To provide a glimpse of where Finnish companies are excellent and what they can offer, Finpro, – Finnish Trade Center – talked about the offerings of Finnish businesses in the field of Clean technology.

The seminar gathered Vietnamese stakeholders from different regions and agencies in Vietnam who are looking for a funding for their development projects. The audience also got the opportunity to listen the stories of past projects and their experiences. The importance of agreeing on the details and good communication skills came up as important lessons learned. Participants to the seminar agreed on the need of improving the project preparation efficiency, which would then also lead to project effectiveness and its substantial impact on Vietnam’s development in general and the end-users in particular.

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