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IFC Promotes Sustainable Banking in Vietnam, Showcasing China’s Achievements


In Hanoi:
Chu Van Anh

Phone: +84 4 3824 7892

E-mail:
canh1@ifc.org

In Hong Kong:

Andrew Mak

Phone: +852 2509 8110

E-mail:
amak@ifc.org


Hanoi, Vietnam, March 17, 2009 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Vietnamese banks manage environmental and social risks by facilitating the sharing of knowledge and experience among Chinese and Vietnamese banks and government representatives regarding sustainable banking.

At a workshop jointly organized in Hanoi by IFC, the State Bank of Vietnam, and the Viet Nam Banks Association, representatives of the Chinese government and banks met with Vietnamese bankers to discuss China’s experience in sustainable financing and innovative business models for energy efficiency.

“This workshop is a timely effort to raise local banks’ awareness and understanding of risk management, including environmental and social risks,” said Cat Quang Duong, Deputy Director of the Credit Department of State Bank of Vietnam. “Lessons shared by colleagues from IFC and China will help us improve our policy and practices.”


The workshop also introduced Vietnamese banks to IFC’s Performance Standards, which have become globally recognized best practice for environmental and social risk management. In addition, Vietnamese banks learned about innovative business models for energy efficiency, such as the China Utility-based Energy Efficiency Finance Program first introduced by Industrial Bank of China. Participants also discussed the Equator Principles, a set of voluntary guidelines for ensuring sustainability in project finance, based on IFC’s Performance Standards.


“Investing in businesses that are financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable over the long run is strategically smart and will guarantee the sustainability of financial institutions’ own business model,” said Greg Radford, IFC Director for Environment and Social Development. “The achievements of the Chinese make a strong business case for sustainable banking in emerging markets and show that environmental and social responsibility goes hand in hand with commercial success, even in a time of financial crisis.”

Duong Thu Huong, General Secretary of the Viet Nam Banks Association, said, “The current challenge for Vietnam is maintaining sustainable growth and effectively addressing environmental issues such as industrial pollution and waste treatment. The financial sector can play an important role if it adopts sustainable approaches in risk management and lending policy, and proactively finances projects in new areas offering good economic, environmental and social returns.”  


IFC advises governments, private companies, and industry sectors on how to grow businesses sustainably and create a healthy investment climate. In Vietnam, IFC advisory services are delivered in partnership with Australia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org/mekong.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.