ADB President Visits Projects in Viet Nam's Central Highlands

News Release | 3 March 2011

BUON MA THUOT, DAK LAK, VIET NAM - A vocational school for ethnic minority students, a rural hospital and a thriving coffee producing business are examples of projects supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that are aiding the Government of Viet Nam's drive to reduce poverty and expand inclusive growth, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said.

Mr. Kuroda, who on Wednesday completed a 3-day visit to the country ahead of ADB's 44th Annual Meeting in Ha Noi in May, inspected the project sites in the Central Highlands region.

"I am happy to see that these projects are helping improve the quality of life of people in Viet Nam, especially among ethnic minorities, women, and children," Mr. Kuroda said.

The Vocational School for Ethnic Minority Youth in Buon Ma Thuot is one of the 15 schools that ADB has supported under the Vocational and Technical Education Project. It has helped provide market-oriented job skills for vulnerable groups, including women and ethnic minorities.

Mr. Kuroda later visited Krong Pac District Hospital, in a district of Dak Lak province, which has been upgraded with ADB assistance, and provides free medical examinations and basic treatment as part of outreach activities in remote villages.

The final stop was the Vietnam Challenge Fund Dakman Coffee Project in Dak Lak province. The Fund, which is a component of a project managed by ADB and funded by UK's Department for International Development, is supporting innovative, private sector-led ventures that are helping the poor increase their involvement in, and returns from, agriculture. Viet Nam is the world's second largest coffee producer, accounting for around 15% of total global output.

"I am impressed with the progress Dak Lak is making in its socio-economic development. The success of people centered projects with ADB's assistance is not only improving the welfare of poor people but also supporting the country's bright future through inclusive growth," Mr Kuroda said.

The site visits followed earlier meetings with senior officials of the Government of Viet Nam and an inspection of the National Convention Center in Ha Noi where the Annual Meeting will be held from May 3 to 6. It is the first time the event is being held in the country.