Good morning all, and welcome to USAID’s second Mobile Solutions for Development Forum. USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA), along with our partner and event co-organizer, FHI360, is privileged to have close to 100 people here today, all with amazing backgrounds and experience - from the private sector, NGOs, and the academic community, to other donors, USAID staff, and implementing partners, from many countries in the region. I am sure your discussions will be rich and productive!
This inaugural Vietnam Policymakers Seminar Series is co-organized by the USAID Governance for Inclusive Growth Program (GIG) and the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Academy of Policy Development (MPI/APD). The series of seminars has been developed to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices on policy analysis and a networking forum for mid-level Vietnamese government officials.
Today’s ceremony demonstrates the U.S. Government’s ongoing commitment to help bring peace and stability in Mindanao. Graduates, we have no doubt that you will shape a more stable and prosperous future for the Philippines.
I am very pleased to be here with you all today to launch Inform Asia, a health research program that will be implemented by our partners RTI International and the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre. We know that learning and knowledge-sharing are powerful accelerators of successful development, and in that way this activity will play an important role in helping us to achieve better health policy - and better health conditions - for the people of the region.
In my years as Mission Director of USAID in the Philippines, I have been a frequent visitor of Bohol, in work-related and personal capacities. I thoroughly enjoyed all those visits, not only because of Bohol’s unique attractions, but more importantly, the friendship and warm hospitality that the Boholanos offer. I’m sure I am not alone in feeling this way. I look forward to exploring your exhibit as I will surely discover new places that will persuade me to come back again. I may take advantage of the travel discounts myself.
I am pleased to be here with all of you today to launch the Professional Master’s Program in Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management of the University of the Philippines. Through this effort, the U.S. Government continues to strengthen local institutions such as universities to become key partners in coastal and marine biodiversity conservation.
First, I would like to thank our hosts, Ambassador Lena Nordstrom of Sweden and her entire team at SIDA and the Embassy. The United States and Sweden have a very robust partnership that is helping Africa accelerate growth and eliminate extreme poverty. In August, at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, Sweden committed to provide up to $1 billion in capital to the Power Africa initiative, which is focused on helping provide 30,000 more megawatts of cleaner energy to Africans. And, here in Zambia, SIDA and USAID jointly provide credit guarantees to the Zambia National Commercial Bank (“ZANACO”) to generate more than $9 million in lending to individuals and small businesses in the agricultural sector.
On behalf of the American people, thank you for allowing me to make brief remarks. A fundamental principle in democracy is that citizens have the right to demand accountability and that the government at all levels from the commune council to the national level including the Ministry of Education have an obligation to be accountable. Each and every appointed and elected official and civil servants are accountable for their conduct and performance.
I would like to commend our three partner cities—Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo—for entering into sister-city agreements among yourselves. I am encouraged by your initiative to share your learnings with each other and support each other’s initiatives.
Trade and investment have been powerful engines driving economic growth and reducing poverty in Vietnam. In the almost 20 years since the United States and Vietnam normalized diplomatic relations, U.S.-Vietnam two-way trade has grown from less than $500 million to over thirty-four billion dollars this year, in the process contributing to Vietnam’s dramatic reduction in poverty. Vietnam’s participation in the rules-based international trading system has also reinforced good governance and the rule of law.
Last updated: February 27, 2017