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Foreign banks confident and committed to Vietnam's economy

International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced on Tuesday they have granted a US$70 million loan to Vietnamese Indo Trans Logistics Corporation (ITL Corp). 


Indo Trans Logistics Corporation truckers at a warehouse facility. The logistics firm just won a US$ 70 million loan from the International Finance Corporation. — Photo ITL Corp. 

The loan is part of an effort to support the development of the country's logistics industry, to facilitate trade and to improve the economy's competitiveness amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Vietnam's logistics sector has seen rapid growth in recent years as the country attracted record foreign investment in the manufacturing and processing sectors, both especially reliant on logistics, and increased purchasing power of domestic consumers.   

However, 95 per cent of the sector consists of small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which limit its scale of operation and ability to compete. According to industry experts, higher logistics costs contribute to higher operating costs and harm the country's ability to compete in the global economy. 

Ben Anh, director-general of ITL Corp, said IFC's loan and the group's expertise are invaluable assets to ITL Corp effort in expanding its networks. 

IFC's loan, one of the first large investments in the sector, is to allow ITL Corp to upgrade its storage facilities and to improve the quality of products and services.

Meanwhile, Bac Giang LGG Garment Corp - a Vietnamese protective workwear maker - said it had received a financial support package worth $12.7 million from Standard Chartered to boost its production line of COVID-19 safety suits and masks. 

"The package is a tremendous help in improving the supply of COVID-19 protection equipment and to the global effort to fight the virus," said Luu Tien Chung, director-general of Bac Giang LGG Garment Corp. 

Earlier in March, Standard Chartered rolled out low-interest loan packages for pharmaceutical businesses and firms that manufacture COVID-19 safety equipment. 

Nirukt Sapru, CEO of Standard Chartered ASEAN & South Asia, said the bank stood shoulder to shoulder with the Vietnamese garment maker in the fight against COVID-19. 

In another development, HSBC Vietnam became the first foreign-owned bank to issue bonds worth VND600 billion ($26 million) in Vietnam. 

Tim Evans, director-general of HSBC Vietnam, said the bank would be committed to Vietnam in the long term and had plans to expand its operation and capital in the future.  VNS

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