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Vietnam Today

Australia & WB renew support for development agenda

Released at: 17:26, 11/04/2017

Australia & WB renew support for development agenda

At the signing ceremony. Photo: Australian Embassy in Hanoi

Two sign new five-year partnership to continue joint support to Vietnam's sustainable and inclusive economic reform agenda.

by Linh San

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Craig Chittick, and World Bank Country Director Mr. Ousmane Dione, signed a new five-year partnership on April 11 to continue their joint support to Vietnam’s sustainable and inclusive economic reform agenda.

Australia will provide A$25 million ($18.7 million) to the World Bank to implement the partnership over the next five years.

Key achievements in the first phase of the partnership include improved national connectivity and access to markets for businesses, farmers and the poor by constructing over 200 km of rural roads, upgrading national highways, and building 87 bridges, increased sustainable access to clean water and sanitation through the introduction of innovative mobile phone technologies to monitor water use, and improved poverty reduction strategies for rural communities in the northern mountains through providing policy advice on a new Law on Ethnic Minorities.

“One of the great achievements in the first phase was supporting the government to develop the Vietnam 2035 report - a bold and ambitious vision for Vietnam’s economy in the next 20 years,” said Ambassador Chittick. “Through the second phase of the partnership, Australia looks forward to working with the World Bank to support Vietnam in implementing this vision so that all citizens benefit.”

“The first phase of the partnership created strong synergy to support Vietnam’s development agenda,” Mr. Dione added. “We have seen that joint work in critical policy and reform areas has a greater impact and influence than working individually. This stepped-up engagement will be mutually beneficial and help deliver stronger development results for Vietnam.”

Focusing on the areas of trade and competitiveness, transport, ethnic minorities, and the Mekong Delta, with the crosscutting issues of gender and innovation, the partnership will support Vietnam in implementing reform priorities identified in its Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016-2020 (SEDP).

Vietnam’s transition to a market economy has transformed it from one of the world’s poorest countries into a lower middle-income country. It faces ongoing challenges, however, to continue growth and poverty reduction in an inclusive and sustainable manner. Given Vietnam’s stage of development, its greatest needs are now assistance with developing and implementing its own policies and programs to support key reform challenges. This includes strengthening institutions, fostering inter-ministerial coordination and cooperation, and building the capacity of the public sector.

In 2012, Australia and the World Bank established a partnership to provide such support. Drawing upon the strengths and experience of both in Vietnam, the partnership allowed them to work together on shared priorities and achieve greater impact. This second phase of the partnership will build on previous successes to further progress Vietnam’s priority economic reforms, targeting five key issues: Trade and Competitiveness, Transport, Mekong Delta Climate Resilience, Gender, and Ethnic Minorities.

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