Queen Máxima to visit Vietnam to discuss access to financial services

Her Majesty Queen Máxima will visit the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from Tuesday 30 May through Thursday 1 June in her role as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. Vietnam is developing a national strategy for inclusive finance to promote adequate, affordable and sustainable access to financial services The strategy’s aim is to improve the economic position and of the Vietnamese people and foster development.

After arriving in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday morning, Queen Máxima will travel on to the city of Da Lat in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Agriculture and horticulture dominate the local landscape, with a great many small farms. One of the themes of the visit is value chain finance in agriculture, i.e. financing activities in the chain of products and services that make up a production or marketing process, and the increase in value during these processes. Queen Máxima will visit an agricultural business where she will talk to the owner and other farmers about the Horti Dalat project. The project, which is supported by the Rabobank Foundation and implemented by the Vietnam-based food consultancy Fresh Studio, provides financing and technical support. Farmers receive loans for the construction of greenhouses, advice on how to improve yields and help in setting up a business plan. The project also links farmers with retailers, giving participants a more secure market for their products and a fixed income. The farmers agree among themselves which crops to grow, to prevent overproduction. Queen Máxima will also visit a mobile telephony shop which provides banking services to customers. In the afternoon she will return to Ho Chi Minh City, where she will talk with representatives of agricultural businesses and civil society organisations about the financing of agricultural activities.

On Wednesday 31 May, the Queen will travel to the capital, Hanoi, where she will have talks in the morning with international partners like the World Bank Group, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the Asian Development Bank and the local UN office on the state of inclusive financing in Vietnam. There will also be a roundtable discussion with private partners like financial institutions and fintech companies on their role in improving access to financial services. In the afternoon Queen Máxima will talk with Governor Le Minh Hung of the State Bank of Vietnam. This central bank coordinates the development of the national strategy for inclusive financing. She will also meet the Chair of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

On Thursday 1 June, Queen Máxima will talk with Dinh Tien Dung, Minister of Finance, Nguyen Xuan Cuong, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Dao Ngoc Dung, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. In the afternoon the State Bank of Vietnam will host a roundtable discussion with representatives of ministries and other organisations involved in preparing and coordinating the national strategy for inclusive finance. Queen Máxima will also meet Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The two of them discussed developments in inclusive finance in Vietnam at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year.

In 2011 the then Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima paid an official visit to Vietnam from 28 through 31 March 2011. On 29 March the Princess spoke at a seminar on financial inclusion in Hanoi in her capacity as Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance.

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