Strengthen cooperation on energy and infrastructure with the United States Treasury Department

VCN - On June 10, at the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam, Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha had an online meeting with the Assistant Acting Secretary of the US Treasury, Mitchell Silk.
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strengthen cooperation on energy and infrastructure with the united states treasury department
View of the meeting

The meeting aimed to share information on the responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and to discuss the impact of the pandemic on Vietnam's infrastructure investment, and related policy reform priorities as well as the direction for implementing the cooperation framework.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister Tran Xuan Ha first informed the Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury about the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam.

Specifically, for Vietnam, since the first case on January 23, 2020, there have been 332 cases, of which 316 have been cured and only 16 have been treated. This is thanks to the timely, drastic and effective solutions of the Government of Vietnam, the involvement of both the political system and the active support of the people in both countries.

However, according to Ministry of Finance leaders, the Covid-19 pandemic affected Vietnam's economic development – an economy with a high degree of openness to economies around the world. According to the evaluation of some international organizations, Vietnam's GDP growth in 2020 may reach only 2.7%, lower than expected 7%. State budget revenues may decrease compared with the approved estimates.

Deputy Minister Tran Xuan Ha said that in order to overcome this situation, Vietnam has implemented many solutions for production and business activities such as implementing the policy of extending, exempting and reducing taxes, fees and charges, land rental; review and adjust the prices of a number of state-priced goods and services, such as electricity prices. A number of commodities such as coal, gas, and petrol are being implemented according to the market mechanism, including those such as petroleum and gas, which will continue to decline from February to April 2020; ensure balance of development investment and social security.

“Vietnam presides over the implementation of the policy of administrative spending savings to reduce state budget spending; effectively use budget contingencies to meet Covid-19 remedial spending tasks and other important expenditure assignments. We will closely monitor the implementation of the budget to determine a certain level of budget overspending, including capital mobilization plans (borrowing) to compensate and ensure the safety and security of national financial security,” Deputy Minister of Finance affirmed.

Before the sharing of the Ministry of Finance's leader, Mitchell Silk also said that the energy and infrastructure field is currently very interested by the US Government because these two topics are closely related, especially in the context of scenes of countries struggling against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Clearly the importance of the private sector as a resource to help us overcome energy and infrastructure challenges is more evident than ever. Therefore, at the meeting today, we want to find the content of cooperation accordingly, especially in the new context,”Mitchell Silk said.

Discussing two main topics of the meeting, Deputy Minister Tran Xuan Ha said that the Ministry of Finance recorded the results achieved at the meeting on February 5, 2020 on the two sides' implementation of the financial cooperation framework in the energy field.

“Based on the results of the meeting and to promote the effective implementation of the follow-up work after the meeting, the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam has reported to the Prime Minister and proposed the participation of relevantministries and branches, including the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Planning and Investment. Since then the Prime Minister has agreed with the proposal of the Ministry of Finance, under which the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Planning and Investment have also appointed focal points to participate in the implementation of the Financial Cooperation Framework in the energy sector,” Deputy Minister Tran Xuan Ha said.

In addition, with regard to technical assistance for state-owned enterprises in the public sector, the Government of Vietnam has a policy of equitizing state-owned enterprises, except for a number of important industries and products of the economy.

“As for EVN, and PVN, we do not currently have a policy of equitizing the Group. Some state-owned enterprises under EVN and PVN are equitized according to the roadmap (such as power generation companies). Improving the financial capacity and liquidity of these enterprises is necessary. Proposing to the United States to coordinate sharing experiences or piloting on the basis of ensuring compliance with the law,"Deputy Minister Tran Xuan Ha said.

Regarding the strengthening of domestic capital market capacity to invest in infrastructure development, Vietnam's capital market size is still small, most of the capital comes from commercial banks; Other financial institutions such as investment funds and insurance funds have a lot of development space and need to enhance their operational efficiency. Ask the US Treasury Department to share experiences on this issue.

At the meeting, the two sides shared and discussed many topics related to energy and infrastructure. On the US side, Assistant Secretary of Treasury Mitchell Silk affirmed that he would accompany Vietnam in promoting the development of these two contents, creating motivation to revive the economy of both countries and firmly overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.

By ThuyLinh/ HuuTuc

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