On the morning of May 22, in Quang Ninh, the Conference of Public Expenditures Management Network in Asia (PEMNA) 2019 hosted by the Ministry of Finance for the first time in Vietnam officially opened with the theme “Restructuring the State budget and debt management for national financial prudence and sustainability ”
Deputy Minister Do Hoang Anh Tuan delivered the opening speech of the Conference.
Photo: Huu Tho
PEMNA plenary conference 2019 is a large-scale international conference, with the participation of nearly 150 delegates from 14 PEMNA member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-leste, Vietnam) and international organizations such as World Bank, IMF, OECD, USOTA, UNESCAP.
This is the 8th plenary of the Public Expenditure Management Network in Asia and the first conference hosted by the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan said that the topic of this year's PEMNA Plenary Meeting “Restructuring the State budget and debt management for national financial prudence and sustainability” is not only topical but also strategic. After the global financial crisis from 2007 to 2008, many countries, including Vietnam, have been facing challenges in the context of declining revenue, increasing spending demand, and increasing public debt, both narrowing fiscal policy space and threatening macro stability and sustainable development.
Overview of the Conference
In order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of financial and budget instruments in the coming time, Vietnam aimed to pushing up the economic restructure, changing the growth model, restructuring State budget and public debt management in the coming years.
The adjustment of fiscal policy initially brought about positive effects, Vietnam's economic growth was maintained at a good level. The revenue mobilization rate from the state budget from 2016 to now has averaged 24.9% of GDP. The structure of revenue collection has shifted positively, the proportion of domestic revenue in the total state budget revenue has increased from 68.5% in the period of 2011-2015 to 82% in the period of 2016-2019, reducing the dependence on the collection of crude oil and revenue from import and export. Overspending and public debt were controlled strictly, the outstanding public debt decreased from 63.7% of GDP in 2016 to 58.4% in 2018
However, while judging that the challenges for Vietnam were still very large, Deputy Minister Do Hoang Anh Tuan expressed his wish that the participants of the Conference would discuss together with the member countries in the network including Vietnam who can learn the best lessons in strengthening fiscal policy and public debt management to ensure a safe and sustainable national finance.
Kyoungho Han, Chairman of the Executive Board of PEMNA, Director of the Department of Efficient Management of Fiscal Operations, Ministry of Finance and Korea Economy. Photo: Huu Tho
At the Conference, Mr. Kyoungho Han, Chairman of the PEMNA Executive Board, Director of the Department of Efficient Management of Fiscal Operations, Ministry of Finance and the Korean Economy emphasized that, through 8 years of operation, PEMNA had created a community spirit and promoted development cooperation among member countries. The PEMNA plenary conference created a forum that brought about useful value based on the needs of member countries.
Vietnam was a transition country with an average growth rate of 6.5% in the last 5 years, Mr. Ousmane Dione, Country Director of the World Bank said, Vietnam's national credit rating has been upgraded to "BB", showing the Government's institutional improvements and long-term economic growth prospects. Vietnam's progress reflected the overall progress of East Asia. To achieve today 's success, East Asian policymakers were aware that sustainable development required reliable and competent economic governance, beginning with macroeconomic stability, and fiscal discipline in the long term.
However, Mr. Ousmane Dione said there were emerging challenges on many aspects. Countries need to identify and adjust approaches if they want to "steer" effectively in the new global environment . These were challenges of slow productivity growth, inclusive growth risks, and government efficiency.
Facing these emerging challenges, the Finance Ministries of nations should play a role in facilitating fiscal policy and managing fiscal risks in middle-income countries. The topics discussed at the 2019 PEMNA Plenary Meeting were very useful for the Finance Ministries in "steering" countries in the new regional and global environment
World Bank Country Director Mr. Ousmane Dione, Photo: Huu Tho
Meeting of 2019 PEMNA in Vietnam will take place from 22-24 / 5/2019. In the 3 day Conference, the Vietnamese delegation will have presentations on restructuring of state budget and public debt management; orienting to complete tax preferential policies on investment attraction , ensuring fiscal sustainability; Vietnam's experience in public debt management for prudence and sustainability; models and functions of Vietnam State Treasury in the context of modern public financial management, experiences in issuing Government bonds and bond portfolio management, State financial statements in Vietnam.
PEMNA is known as a learning network among peers including public finance experts in the region. Founded in 2012 under the initiative of the World Bank, the Korean Ministry of Finance and the Strategy, with the goal of supporting regional governments to address public finance issues and improve efficient public expenditure, through creating a forum for exchanging and sharing experiences on public financial management among the nations in East Asia and the Pacific region.