New US-funded project to promote Vietnam's economic growth through technological transformation

October 01, 2021 | 17:50
The Vietnam Workforce for an Innovation and Startup Ecosystem (WISE) project showcases the US government’s commitment to partnering with Vietnam along with its economic transformation, which centres on mastering and integrating new advanced technologies, spurring innovation, and accelerating the growth of the digital economy.
New US-funded project to promote Vietnam's economic growth through technological transformation
The new US-funded project is to promote Vietnam's economic growth through technological transformation

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Planning and Investment launched the WISE project, a two-year, USAID-funded initiative that will support Vietnam’s National Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy to advance continued economic transformation.

After decades as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Vietnam’s industry and services sectors are entering a new phase of growth propelled by the brainpower of an expanding young workforce. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is at Vietnam’s door step, creating immense opportunities and challenges for upskilling and reskilling the workforce to take advantage of new technologies, which in turn will advance and build new competitive advantages. The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation, making it even more imperative to retool workers for the digital economy and the new normal.

At the launch event, USAID Vietnam mission director Ann Marie Yastishock said, “USAID and WISE showcase the US government’s commitment to partnering with Vietnam along with its economic transformation, and will help advance this strategy, which centres on mastering and integrating new advanced technologies, spurring innovation, and accelerating the growth of the digital economy.”

WISE will support scalable, market-driven, and sustainable models to prepare Vietnam’s workers for 4IR via partnerships with the private sector. The project will build basic digital literacy, provide 4IR career pathways to make smart talent investments, IT technologies, and explore innovative financing mechanisms for 4IR skills acquisition. The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s National Innovation Center (NIC) will be the key partner for WISE. The project will build the capacity of the NIC and associate government agencies in human resource development to enable them to work effectively on upskilling and reskilling the workforce for innovation.

Equally important, WISE will support Vietnam’s efforts to emphasise 4IR skills development opportunities to all demographics by devoting a special focus on women and vulnerable groups to help narrow the country’s digital divide. This priority is consistent with the USAID Digital Strategy and will deliver long-term impact on Vietnam through an IT technology sector that features leaders, coders, designers, and technicians that advance the use and development of 4IR as it takes root across Vietnam’s economy.

Tran Duy Dong, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment said, “In order to create a skilled labour force, as well as take advantage of technology to improve the labour productivity and increase the competitive capacity of the economy, Vietnam needs to focus on training the labour force. Thus, the cooperation between the NIC and USAID in developing WISE is necessary and timely work.”

By Ha Vy

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