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IMF chief hails Vietnam’s achievements after three-day visit

Saturday, March 19, 2016, 09:55 GMT+7

The International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde concluded her three-day visit to Vietnam on Friday, having met with many Vietnamese leaders and government officials as she stopped in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The visit, the first of its kind Lagarde made as the head of the world’s central organization for international monetary cooperation, started on Wednesday in Hanoi.

In the capital city, the IMF chief joined an engaging discussion with students at the National Economics University, which highlighted the vital importance of job creation, skills upgrading, youth empowerment and entrepreneurship.

Lagarde then left for Ho Chi Minh City on Friday to have talks with the municpal chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong in the morning and with Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong at the Reunification Palace in the afternoon.

Speaking to Trong, Lagarde hailed Vietnam’s significant economic achievements as, saying not all nations are able to display such performance.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde (L) talks with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“It has been a great pleasure to visit Vietnam to see first-hand the vibrancy and achievements of this beautiful country,” Lagarde said in a statement released later Friday to conclude her trip.

“I wish to thank the government of Vietnam and the officials I met during my visit for their hospitality and productive discussions.”

The IMF managing director reiterated her compliment for the Vietnamese government for its achievements over recent years, according to the statement seen by Tuoi Tre News.

The achievements included “establishing macroeconomic stability with high growth rates, integration into the global economy, higher living standards, lower poverty, and excellent progress towards its Millennium Development Goals.”

Among the issues Lagarde has discussed with Vietnamese leaders and officials are how to broaden and sustain these achievements through a second generation of reforms that continue macroeconomic and financial stability, accelerate structural reforms and further integrate Vietnam into the regional and global economy.

The IMF chief said economic prospects for Vietnam remain favorable and welcomed the government’s adoption of a more flexible exchange rate regime.

She also encouraged the authorities to further strengthen the country’s fiscal position and resilience amid external volatility.

“A growth-friendly fiscal consolidation over the medium term would reduce the public debt-to-GDP ratio while providing increased space for important social and development expenditures,” she elaborated.

Lagarde underlined that accelerating reforms to the banking and state-owned enterprise sectors will “help achieve greater economic efficiency and support higher robust medium-term growth.”

Lagarde said she also had “an inspiring exchange of perspectives” with women leaders during her Vietnam trip.

“Vietnam has made good progress on gender equality, and continued efforts will allow women to have a broader role in the economy, which in turn will help to raise economic growth,” she commented.

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