17:05 | 10/07/2015 Cooperation
The Australia-Vietnam High-Level Consultations on Development Cooperation was held in Hanoi on July 9 to discuss the priorities of Australia’s aid to Vietnam from 2015-2020.
Australia confirmed it will provide Vietnam with an estimated total ODA of around AUD 90 million, of which around AUD 60 million will be direct bilateral aid during the financial year 2015-2016.
“We strongly welcome Australia’s continued support to the socio-economic development of Vietnam,’ said Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, Head of the Vietnamese delegation and co-chair of the meeting. “We appreciate that the new aid investment plan proposed by the Government of Australia aligns well with the priorities identified in Vietnam’s Socio-economic Development Strategy (SEDS) 2011-2020,” said the Vice Minister.
“Australia remains committed to Vietnam’s sustainable economic growth as well as to delivering a high-quality, focused aid program that complements Vietnam’s ambitious objectives to industrialize by 2020,” said Mr. Craig Chittick, Head of the Australian delegation, who also said that he was very pleased to gain the Vietnamese Government’s support for Australia’s proposed objectives under the new Aid Investment Plan (AIP) for 2015-2020.
Australian development cooperation in Vietnam will focus on three priority areas: enabling and engaging the private sector for development; assisting the development and employment of a highly skilled workforce; and promoting women’s economic empowerment, including ethnic minorities.
Australian Ambassador Mr. Hugh Borrowman added that given Vietnam’s continuing economic development, Australia planned to transition from traditional aid to an economic partnership with Vietnam, an approach which will also apply to many other aid recipients in the region.
“We no longer subsidise essential services through our aid program, but are moving towards an economic partnership that shares lessons from Australia’s own reform experiences, finds innovative ways to maximise the reach of public resources and leverages greater private sector investment,” said the Ambassador.
Ahead of the High Level Consultations, the Government of Vietnam on 8 July approved the Vietnam – Australia Human Resource Development Program Outline for the upcoming five years. The long-established Australia Awards Scholarships remains the core of Australia’s support for Vietnam in the human resources area. It will be supplemented by other short-term training courses and programs designed to increase Vietnam’s professional and technical knowledge, skills and competencies and contribute to the country’s sustainable and inclusive economic development.
Australia has a long history of providing development assistance to Vietnam with numerous achievements, including the support to the construction of two critical bridges linking people and markets in the Mekong Delta to the rest of South East Asia – the My Thuan Bridge and the Cao Lanh Bridge, which are currently under construction. Australia has also provided more than 5,700 scholarships for Vietnam students to study in Australia and contributed to enabling 82 percent of the rural population now to have access to hygienic water and 60 percent to hygienic latrines thanks to its support for the national water supply and sanitation program./.