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HDBank increases ‘green’ credit to help popularise Vietnamese rice globally

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HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM 13 March 2024 – The HCM City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HDBank) has hiked its loan limits and promoted lending for rice production and export value chains to enable Vietnamese rice to reach the world.

At the eighth congress of the Vietnam Farmers Union held in December 2023, HDBank launched its HDBank Rural Services, a specialised and superior financial solution integrating smart technology along with a preferential loan programme for agriculture and rural areas at 0 per cent interest. — Photo courtesy of HB Bank.
At the eighth congress of the Vietnam Farmers Union held in December 2023, HDBank launched its HDBank Rural Services, a specialised and superior financial solution integrating smart technology along with a preferential loan programme for agriculture and rural areas at 0 per cent interest. — Photo courtesy of HB Bank.

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính issued Directive No 10/CT-TTg on March 2, 2024, on promoting the production, trading and export of rice in a sustainable, transparent and effective manner.

It requires the State Bank of Vietnam to direct banks to run credit programmes to support links between cooperatives and businesses for high-quality, low-carbon rice production, processing and consumption in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region.

At the same time HDBank announced that, starting in March 2024, it would disburse loans worth nearly VND5 trillion (US$202 million) to agricultural services and food conglomerate Lộc Trời Group Joint Stock Company to help expand its value chains in the rice industry, including companies producing fertilisers, processing and exporting rice, distribution agents, and production households.

It focuses on meeting credit needs for buying and exporting rice from the 2023-2024 winter-spring crop in the Mekong Delta.

Phạm Quốc Thanh, general director of HDBank, said the loans are a “green” capital source for the development of agriculture and rural areas since they are associated with promoting and meeting quality standards in production and business and environmental responsibility, especially, creating products that meet the rigorous standards of developed markets around the world.

For example, just a month after the Việt Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement took effect on August 1, 2020, Lộc Trời Group exported Vietnamese jasmine rice to the EU.

By 2022 the company and its subsidiary, Lộc Trời Agricultural Products Joint Stock Company, successfully exported rice under its own brand, Cơm ViệtNam Rice, to Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Lộc Trời was also the first enterprise to put Vietnamese rice on the shelves of E.Leclerc, which has nearly 600 hypermarkets and more than 100 supermarkets across France.

In recent years Việt Nam’s rice industry has had outstanding success, reaching world levels and establishing its position.

The important thing is that the country has rice businesses that meet strict production standards, and promote green production and growth, Thanh said.

“These values create the foundation for achieving sustainable growth and records in term of both volume and value for rice exports in recent years.”

This direction by the rice industry, achieved arm in arm with commercial banks, has also been clearly defined in a programme called “Sustainable development of one million hectares of high-quality, low-carbon rice production associated with green growth in the Mekong Delta by 2030,” approved by PM Chính at the end of 2023.

The project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 10 per cent compared to traditional rice cultivation methods, and increase added value in the rice value chain by 40 per cent by 2030 and provide profit margins of more than 50 per cent for rice farmers.

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