The World Bank board of executive directors has approved a $125-million credit to assist Ho Chi Minh City in strengthening its institutional foundations for sustainable urban development.
This is the World Bank’s first budget support operation to a sub-national entity in Vietnam, marking a strategic shift in the Bank’s engagement at the subnational level from sector-specific investments to supporting cross-cutting policy and institutional reforms.
The policy program is designed to institute integrated cross-sectoral reforms in areas that are crucial for Ho Chi Minh City’s urban development including land use planning, fiscal governance, wastewater management, public transport, and economic competitiveness.
The program is structured around the three pillars, including integrated and transparent spatial information for urban management; strengthened management of public assets and liabilities; and enhanced delivery of priority municipal services.
This is the first time a citywide, integrated policy dialogue has been established to facilitate coordination among Ho Chi Minh City’s various departments and contribute to the design and timely implementation of critical institutional reforms.
As a key growth pole driving economic modernisation and generating 21 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP, the benefits of reforms in Ho Chi Minh City are expected to go beyond the city to the wider economy.
“As an emerging global megacity and commercial hub with significant opportunities, Ho Chi Minh City is also facing a host of serious urban challenges,” said Ousmane Dione, World Bank country director for Vietnam.
Dion also noted that successful management of rapid urban growth requires effective and integrated urban governance as well as adequate investment in urban infrastructure and service delivery. “Such interventions will have to be met within a constrained fiscal environment, reinforcing the urgent need for efficient resource mobilisation and allocation.”
The International Development Association backs the credit facility.