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Belgium doubles official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam
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Wednesday, 29 June 2011 08:29

 

Hanoi - On 22nd of June 2011 the Governments of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Kingdom of Belgium agreed on a new indicative cooperation programme. Financed with a grant of € 60 million, the bilateral programme of the next four years 2011-2015 aims at assisting Vietnam’s socio-economic development, more specifically in the areas of ‘water & sanitation’ and ‘governance’.

 

Representatives of both governments, Vice-minister Cao Viet Sinh of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and Director General Peter Moors of the Directorate General for Development (DGD) signed today the minutes of the Joint Commission approving the new Indicative Cooperation Programme (2011-2015) between Vietnam and Belgium. Both parties agreed that the cooperation programme was fully in line with the new Socio-economic Development Plan 2011-2015 of Vietnam which is expected to be approved in September 2011 by the National Assembly. Guided by the Aid Effectiveness agenda both countries agreed that the future cooperation should concentrate only on two sectors and a limited number of geographical areas. This will ensure greater tangible and visible impact. As Vietnam had reached middle income status in 2010 Belgium recognized that present aid modalities should be adapted to the new situation. The back-to-back organization of an Economic Commission immediately after the Development Cooperation Commission signals a greater emphasis placed by both governments on the need for the private sector to play a bigger role in the development of Vietnam.

 

While poverty reduction remains the core goal of the cooperation programme greater attention will also be given to new and emerging challenges for Vietnam as the climate change, lack of sufficient quality human resources, the development of a green-based economy, and gender disparities. About € 30 million will be allocated to – among others – a water and sanitation programme in the framework of climate change adaptation and mitigation in three provinces (Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan and Ha Tinh). The capacities of local governments will be strengthened to ensure that threats of rapid urbanisation and climate change are properly mitigated. The programme aims at strengthening institutional capacities of the three provinces to apply the national strategy on climate change, while covering in a comprehensive and participatory manner the issues related to regional spatial planning, urban planning and water management.

 

In the sector of Governance both governments will continue their joint efforts in the field of the planning reform. It is expected that more donors will join a multi-donor trust fund to encapsulate the donor experiences in the field, and ensure a roll-out of the planning reform to all provinces in Vietnam.

 

Via delegated cooperation to the United Nations in Vietnam, Belgium joins the Government of Vietnam in its efforts to strengthen governance.

 

Linked to this, is the intention to support innovation and the private sector. To successfully implement innovation policies, the Vietnamese government needs to issue new policies to encourage development and promoting more efficient operation of business incubators for short-term assistance to small and middle-sized enterprises (SME) in their start-up phase. Belgium is discussing with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) how it can support the drafting of a legal framework for technology business incubators, the set-up of a pilot technology, and implementing pilot funding programmes for incubating new spin-off SMEs.

 

About € 12 million will be allocated to cover interventions in the governance sectors.

 

To address the issue of lacking qualified human resources in Vietnam Belgium has tripled the funding of its scholarship programme to € 12 million in the form of a Capacity Building Facility. Over the next five years, with the middle-income status, Vietnam’s need for new technical knowhow and access to international best practices will be different. The Belgian bilateral scholarship programme therefore will adopt both institutional and individual approaches, with different modalities and instruments to respond to both long-term and immediate needs for quality human resources.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 June 2011 08:36 )
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