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Economic Growth and Trade

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Women in the Mekong Delta enjoy better livelihoods thanks to village bank loans and small business training supported by USAID.
Women in the Mekong Delta enjoy better livelihoods thanks to village bank loans and small business training supported by USAID.
Todd Hamner/USAID

The economic transformation of Vietnam since the launch of its “Doi Moi” (reform) policy in 1986 has been remarkable. Over the past two decades, Vietnam has made the transition from an agricultural, relatively isolated command economy to a globally integrating, export-focused, industrializing economy. Vietnam’s GDP growth has averaged 6.2 percent per year since 2000. While Vietnam’s economic performance to date has been significant, there are formidable hurdles ahead in efforts to achieve sustained and equitable growth. Those include consolidating the new economic gains into a strong foundation for ensuring long-term prosperity and competitiveness; effectively implementing the approved laws and regulations; and ensuring that the growing prosperity reaches down to poorer and marginalized Vietnamese.

USAID is in a unique position to assist Vietnam in facing these challenges. The hundreds of reforms supported by USAID’s economic growth programs have set the stage for greater transparency, economic openness, competition and the rule of law in economic affairs. Advances in these aspects of economic life are encouraging similar concepts and openness to emerge in Vietnam’s broader social and political landscape.

  • USAID works with the Government of Vietnam to help strengthen the country’s emerging market-driven economy. USAID provides technical assistance to support commitments under the World Trade Organization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. USAID is providing technical assistance for 16 of the 30 TPP chapters, including labor, environment, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property rights, customs, sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues, and small and medium enterprises.
  • USAID promotes business and economic reforms through its Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) report.  This report monitors economic and business reform efforts at the provincial level with surveys with over 12,000 domestic and foreign businesses.  In 2014 the Government’s Resolution 19 decided to monitor each province’s progress based on the PCI report.  At the Government of Vietnam’s request, we carry out activities to support an enhanced business environment through legal and regulatory reform, competitiveness, and consumer protection.
  • From 2001 through 2016, Vietnam, as both a developing and a transition economy, rewrote or developed most laws and regulations affecting commercial activity and related judicial procedures. USAID has worked on more than 150 laws and related regulations and decrees, and assisted more than 50 government agency counterparts in the legal and economic reform process.
  • USAID is supporting women’s economic opportunities through such activities as the Mekong Vitality Expanded (MVE) and Land Access for Women (LAW).  These programs provide microfinance loans and technical training to women to increase their businesses and teach women about recent changes in land inheritance laws.

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Last updated: August 01, 2016

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