Vietnam’s development over the past 30 years has been remarkable. Through political and economic reforms under “Doi Moi,” enacted in 1986, Vietnam graduated from being one of the poorest countries in the world to a lower middle-income country.
Today, Vietnam has one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia. Nonetheless, Vietnam continues to grapple with economic and health challenges, from unfriendly business practices to unsustainable exploitation of natural resources to energy demand growing faster than output to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and emerging pandemic threats.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, and Vietnam have a long history of cooperation, beginning in 1989, when USAID launched programs benefiting Vietnamese with disabilities. Since then, USAID and the Government of Vietnam have partnered on a host of issues including economic growth and governance, civil society, health (including HIV/AIDS), countering wildlife trafficking, and disaster assistance.
In early November, USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick visited Vietnam to meet with Vietnamese officials, discuss progress made on these cooperative projects, and reinforce USAID's commitment to supporting sustainable economic growth and development in Vietnam.
For example, Deputy Administrator Glick commended the Government of Vietnam on its progress in improving its business and investment climate, with USAID support, and in transitioning the national HIV response to domestic financing. USAID supports this effort under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. Vietnam has also been working toward stopping the illegal transshipment of Chinese goods through Vietnam to disguise their Chinese origin and thus avoid U.S. imposed tariffs.
During her visit, Deputy Administrator Glick announced USAID's new 14 million dollar Urban Energy Security activity, which will help advance distributed energy solutions in a number of Vietnamese cities. She also joined Vietnamese officials to mark the next step to support Vietnam’s efforts to clean up dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa Airbase.
As Deputy Administrator Glick said earlier this year at the U.S. Institute of Peace, “USAID is committed as a development agency not only to partner with Vietnam today, but also to ensure that the Vietnamese people have the tools necessary to address ongoing and future challenges in a sustainable way.”