Remarks by U.S. Ambassador David Shear at the Launch of the USAID Country Development Cooperation Strategy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
U.S. Ambassador David Shear speaks at the launch for USAID's Vietnam Country Development Cooperation Strategy.
U.S. Ambassador David Shear speaks at the launch for USAID's Vietnam Country Development Cooperation Strategy.
Phuong Nguyen/USAID

Hanoi, January 14, 2014 -- Minister of Ministry of Planning and Investment, Bui Quang Vinh;

Vice Minister of Justice Hoang The Lien;

Representatives of the National Assembly, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MPI and Ministry of Justice;

Development Partners;

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

It is my pleasure to be here today to launch the next phase of development cooperation between the United States and Vietnam.  USAID’s development work has played a pivotal role in advancing the relationship between our two countries.  The Country Development Cooperation Strategy launched today, outlines a shared vision and continued partnership to address Vietnam’s development needs over the next five years.    

This strategy will help fulfill key priorities of the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership concluded by President Obama and President Sang in July 2013.  The U.S. government will partner with Vietnam, and other development partners to provide new investments in climate change, we will establish key private sector partnerships to improve education opportunities, promote greater economic exchange, and support young entrepreneurs.  We will address common environment, health, and war legacy issues.

The objectives of the five-year strategy are threefold:

1.   broader, sustainable growth;

2.   increased human capacity;

3.   and advancement of the U.S-Vietnam partnership

This strategy employs all of our diplomatic tools to support greater development cooperation in Vietnam.  To encourage broader, sustainable growth, we will build on past success.  Our bilateral trade has grown 50-fold since 1995, to more than $25 billion a year in 2012.  Part of that growth is based on our ability to improve the trade and competitiveness environment through programs such as the Provincial Competitiveness Index and STAR.

Vietnam is poised to become one of the United States’ leading economic partners in the region.  The next era of bilateral trade growth will be ushered in upon the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  The TPP will maintain the momentum created for market reforms, for modernization, and for regional integration.  Later this morning, both sides will take a key step by signing USAID’s $42 million “Governance for Inclusive Growth” MOU.  This program is an investment in broad-based and sustainable growth that will help implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership upon completion.

Ensuring broad, sustainable growth will be predicated upon Vietnam’s ability to combat climate change.  The United States and Vietnam are cooperating at many levels and with greater urgency to strengthen Vietnam’s response to climate change.  During U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Vietnam in December, he announced an initial commitment of $17 million for USAID’s Vietnam Forest and Deltas Program.  This is concrete action toward helping Vietnamese communities reverse environmental degradation and adapt to climate change.

To increase human capacity, we have worked closely with Vietnam to prepare more effectively for natural disasters, as of part this, we have provided emergency managers the necessary tools to better understand the potential impact of storms and floods and communicate with affected communities.  Since 2011 over 500 representatives from 350 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have been trained to plan and prepare for natural disasters through disaster risk management planning.

To encourage greater economic and social inclusion, we will build on the successful model of The Blue Ribbon Employment Council for engaging the private sector to provide economic opportunities for people living with disabilities.  Membership now tops 160 local and international companies and more than 1,600 people with disabilities across Vietnam securing jobs.

This strategy will keep us on course to pursue development in a way that’s sustainable for our environment, for our economies, and for our climate, and for our people.  I look forward to our governments’ continued progress on these important challenges, and the United States looks forward to continued partnership with the government, organizations and people of Vietnam.  Together we are making major strides towards a strong, prosperous and independent Vietnam that continues its transformation into a more responsible, inclusive partner.

Thank you.

Issuing Country 

Last updated: March 28, 2014

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