Press Release No. 16/119
March 18, 2016
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde today concluded a three-day visit to Vietnam and issued the following statement:
“It has been a great pleasure to visit Vietnam to see first-hand the vibrancy and achievements of this beautiful country.
“I wish to thank the Government of Vietnam and the officials I met during my visit for their hospitality and productive discussions. In particular, I wish to thank General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, State Bank of Vietnam Governor Nguyen Van Binh and Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung for their warm welcome and very productive exchange of views.
“I commended the government for its achievements over recent years, including 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. Our discussions focused on 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.
“Economic prospects for Vietnam remain favorable. Against this backdrop, I welcomed the government’s adoption of a more flexible exchange rate regime, and agreed that it would provide an enhanced external shock absorber that would help preserve macroeconomic stability and allow an accumulation of international reserves.
“I 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. Accelerating reforms to the banking and state-owned enterprise sectors will help achieve greater economic efficiency and support higher robust medium-term growth.
“I had the great pleasure of participating in an engaging discussion with students at the National Economics University in Hanoi that highlighted the vital importance of job creation, skills upgrading, youth empowerment and entrepreneurship to help Vietnam reap the full benefits of its demographic dividend. I also had an inspiring exchange of perspectives with women leaders. 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.
“Once again, I would like to thank the authorities and the people of Vietnam for their warm hospitality and I look forward to continuing our close cooperation.”