As of December 31, 2011, the country’s foreign debt was estimated at US$50 billion, or 41.5 percent of GDP last year and within safety limit.
According to the recent National Assembly resolution, Vietnam’s outstanding public debt will be kept at below 65 percent of its GDP by 2015 while its government and national debts will be reduced to below 50 percent.
Regarding the country’s debt structure, long-term loans and preferential rates of interest come mostly from official development assistance (ODA) which account for 75 percent of total debt.
The WB’s 40-year loans have a 10-year grace period with an interest rate of 0.75 percent while the Asian Development Bank (ADB) provides 30-year loans with a 10-year grace period and an interest rate of 1 percent. Thirty-year loans from the Japanese Government have a ten-year grace period with an interest rate of 1-2 percent per year.
Currently, both domestic and overseas debts have been paid back with no bad debts left. The structure of domestic and foreign mobilized loans has been changed to reduce dependence on external loans.
Compared with other developing countries with the same BB credit rating, Vietnam’s debt index is at average level.
Foreign loans have been important resources to stimulate the country’s socio-economic development, especially to help upgrade and build national transport infrastructure facilities.
The Ministry of Finance is implementing measures to ensure the safety debt level as approved by the National Assembly.