Australia supports Vietnam's economic reform (Aus4Reform): Outcomes, lessons, future directions

WVR - On November 15, 2022, Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Aus4Reform Program Coordinating Committee, in collaboration with the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, co-hosted the final workshop of the program Australia- Vietnam Economic Reform (Aus4Reform): Outcomes, lessons learnt and future directions.
Photo 1_Ambassador Andrew makes a speech at the workshop.
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski makes a speech at the workshop. (Photo: Australian Embassy in Vietnam/WVR)

The Aus4Reform Program, funded by the Australian Government, aims to support Vietnamese agencies in implementing their plans to restructure the economy, renovate growth paradigms, and improve the business and investment environment towards improving labor productivity, quality and competitiveness of the economy towards rapid and sustainable development.

The program was implemented from November 2017 to November 2022 with a grant of 6.5 million Australian dollars.

Aus4Reform is the third program in a series of projects led by the Australian Government to support Vietnam's economic reform, including the WTO Post-Accession Technical Assistance Program (2008-2014), a project to support Economic Restructure Towards Enhancing Vietnam's Competitiveness (2014-2017) and the program Australia supports Economic Reform in Vietnam (2017-2022).

The program consists of four components implemented by four institutions including the Central Institute for Economic Management (under the Ministry of Planning and Investment), the Department of Competition and Consumer Protection (under the Ministry of Industry and Trade), the Institute for Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as a flexible fund to support urgent priority issues arising during the course of implementation.

The Aus4Reform Program has assisted the government of Vietnam through fostering research and analysis of issues related to economic reform by Vietnamese agencies; enhancing dialogue among policy makers, the public, academia and politicians; and strengthening cooperation and learning experiences and exchanging information between agencies of Vietnam and other countries, especially agencies of Australia.

Photo 2_Chairs of the closing workshop.
Chairs of the closing workshop. (Photo: Australian Embassy in Vietnam/WVR)

At the workshop, the Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment highly appreciated the contributions of the Program: "Australia's technical assistance to Vietnamese agencies in general and the Ministry of Planning and Investment in particular has always been given special attention, because the support has directly contributed to changing mindsets and improving the capacity of local agencies, Vietnamese agencies and officials".

To recognise the outcomes of the Program, Mr. Andrew Goledzinowski - Australian Ambassador to Vietnam stated "Australia and Vietnam have cooperated closely on economic reform since shortly after the opening of Vietnam’s economy in the early 1990s, including during important periods such as when Vietnam joined the WTO, commenced participation in free trade agreements and most recently during the its economic response and recovery from COVID-19".

"Although today’s conference marks the conclusion of the current phase of the Aus4Reform Program, our economic reform and cooperation journey continues. This is underpinned by the trust that exists between our governments, and our common goals to enhance our economic relationship, increase investment flows and strengthen regional prosperity and stability", Mr. Goledzinowski said.

Photo 3_Ambassador Goledzinowski and Dr Le Dang Doanh.
Ambassador Goledzinowski and Dr Le Dang Doanh. ( Photo: Australian Embassy in Vietnam/WVR

The outcomes of the Aus4Reform Program are used as a basis for implementing reforms aimed at improving the business and investment environment, enhancing market economy institutions, developing the private sector, and strengthening competition and consumer protection institutions, accelerating the restructure of the rural economy and increasing added value in agriculture; thereby contributing to improving labour productivity and competitiveness of the economy.

Along with the process of economic reform and transformation of the country's growth paradigm, the need for technical assistance in this field will be enormous in the coming years.

The outcomes achieved from this program will serve as the basis for building the next of Australia's support programs for economic reform in Vietnam.

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(Source: Australian Embassy in Vietnam/WVR)