International relation activities in 2004
The competence and experience of staff handling these activities have improved. The efforts made by VBSP in 2003 and 2004 had helped it tide over difficulties and challenges in international relations and project management activities, contributing to the successful implementation of targets and plan in 2004 set out by VBSP, and laying down solid foundation for international relations and project management activities in the years ahead.
Realizing their significance, the Board of Directors and the Board of Management have paid due attention to international relations and project management activities,. The international relations activities have helped VBSP’s foreign counterparts, organizations, and individuals better understand VBSP’s mission, functions, organization, and operations. As a result, cooperation opportunities have been expanded remarkably..
In 2004, the international relations activities were marked with a series of working sessions with many large international financial institutions such as the World Bank (WB), JBIC (Japan), with development institutions such as DANIDA (Denmark), IFAD, and with such organizations as the Japan Policy Research Institute (PRI), the National Life Finance Corporation (NLFC), OPEC, GRET (French) etc, on various cooperation programs. Also during the year, VBSP collaborated with PRI to send two working delegations, including officials from the Headquarters and some selected branches, to visit and study NLFC’s experience on lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Project management activities in 2004 also improved with respect to the number of implemented projects and funds commitment. In 2004, VBSP implemented 11 projects, including ten ongoing projects from 2003 and one new project in 2004. Among these projects, the major ones include OPEC Credit Project (with a loan of USD10 million); IFAD-funded projects (Participatory Resource Management Project in Tuyen Quang province valued at SDR 2,660,000; the Rural Income Diversification Project in Tuyen Quang province with a credit line of USD1.43 million); the Coastal Wetlands Protection and Development Project in the South of Vietnam with the total cost of USD 650,000.
Furthermore, VBSP actively collaborated with related agencies to launch new projects such as the Forest Sector Development Project funded by WB (with a loan of SDR 22.6 million); the IFAD-funded Decentralized Program for Rural Poverty Reduction in the provinces of Ha Giang and Quang Binh. VBSP also applied for membership of the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agriculture Credit Association (APRACA); prepared for the Technical Assistance Project from ASEM Trust Fund and the Medium and Small Enterprise Development Project of EUR7 million funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.
Beside credit projects, VBSP implemented a number technical assistance projects. One of them is the technical assistance project financed by PRI (Japan) through NLFC, which provided appraisal skills on lending to small and medium-size enterprises. The implementation of these technical assistance projects contributed to enriching the skills and experience of VBSP’s staff.
The achievements of international relations and project management activities in 2004 created a strong momentum for such activities in 2005 and the years after.
After 6 years of operation (from 2003 to 2009), Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) has developed both the depth and breadth of the external relationship with its partners and donors, making a great contribution to the overall growth of the system. Apart from project management activities, international cooperation also left its hallmark through welcoming foreign delegations that came to visit and work with VBSP; opening training courses and share experiences on microfinance in Vietnam for its partners as well as successfully organizing study tours to different countries for VBSP staff.
The main objective of such abroad study tours is to provide the staff of VBSP with the wider perspective on microfinance, not only in Vietnam but also in other countries that have similar microfinance situation with Vietnam. In 2009, VBSP successfully organized its delegations to study visit in the Philippines (from 6th to 11th July), Thailand (from 7th to 12th September), Indonesia (from 3rd to 8th August), Malaysia (from 5th to 10th October); Korea (from 28th June to 3rd July) and German Savings Bank (in May 2009). In addition, some VBSP staff also had a chance to take part in a workshop on “Development Banks and Financial Services for poor communities in rural areas” organized in Brazil andGuatemala from 28th August to 7th September 2009.
It was also in 2009 that VBSP was first offered to give instructions and share experience on microfinance service delivery in Vietnam for its foreign partners, which initially asserted the status of VBSP in the international playground of microfinance. The bank, under the direction of the management board, welcomed 02 delegations from large microfinance institutions in Bangladesh. The delegations, each of which included 14 members led by PKSF came to learn and exchange experience with VBSP on microfinance. In additon, VBSP’s staff were also offered to give lectures on financial education for poor youths under the framework of Financial education for the poor project, which was sponsored by CitiGroup via Citibank Vietnam. Accordingly, VBSP organized 06 training courses, each with 08 sessions, for 300 trainees who were disadvantaged young people studying at vocational and job service centers of the Youth Union.
Besides, in 2009, VBSP also had the chance to welcome and work with different delegations from different countries and organizations, such as: ADB; Save the Children Foundation; Rabobank from Netherland; Policy research institution (PRI) and Japanese Finance Cooperation (JFC) from Japan; Ford Foundation; the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank and so on. Those meetings and working visits have became a precondition for VBSP to grasp opportunities in the coming years.
- Diagnostic mission of the World Bank works with VBSP
- CEO of Vietnam Bank for Social Policies meeting with JFC-Micro Delegation from Japan
- VBSP participate in the round-table discussion with the Dutch Queen on Financial Inclusion
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