HCM CITY (VNS) — The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced its 2014-18 Country Development Cooperation Strategy.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday in HCM City, Joakim Parker, USAID mission director in Viet Nam, said the strategy was the next step in US-Viet Nam development co-operation and laid the foundation for planning, budget allocation, and USAID activities during the next five years.
The assistance will be focused on collaborative efforts that support Viet Nam's continued transformation "into a responsible, more inclusive partner".
The first of the strategy's three objectives is to enhance broader, sustainable growth with a budget of US$86 million for five years. Support activities will address trade and competitiveness, strengthen capacity and improve higher education.
The second is to increase capacity to protect and improve health and well-being with a planned budget of $239 million. Activities will include control of avian influenza, HIV/AIDS, help for people with disabilities, women's empowerment, climate change and disaster mitigation.
The third objective is the enhancement of the US-Viet Nam partnership by addressing legacies with a planned budget of $19 million. Activities include dioxin remediation at Da Nang airport as well as environmental assessment in Bien Hoa City.
"These are shared objectives between the US and Viet Nam and to achieve them, we are largely and proudly building on past successes," said Rena Bitter, US Consul General in HCM City.
For example, bilateral trade had grown 60-fold since 1995 to more than $29 billion last year, she said. "We believe the development plan will play a major role in fulfilling goals set by Presidents Obama and Truong Tan Sang when they outlined the US-Viet Nam Comprehensive Partnership last July."
She added that Viet Nam was poised to become one of the US's leading economic partners in the region.
The US and Viet Nam recently signed an agreement on USAID's $42 million Governance for Inclusive Growth programme, an investment in broad-based and sustainable growth that will help Viet Nam implement commitments under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) while expanding opportunities for women and vulnerable groups.
"Of course, there can be no sustainable economic growth if Viet Nam remains susceptible to the devastating effects of climate change. The two countries are co-operating with great urgency on this issue," Bitter added.
Tran Vinh Nhung, deputy director of HCM City's Department of Industry and Trade, thanked USAID for launching the strategy and its support for Viet Nam, especially HCM City. — VNS