USAID delivering needs-based assistance via private sector engagement scheme

January 26, 2022 | 17:00
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment have launched a new project focusing on building the competitiveness of Vietnam’s private sector. Ann Marie Yastistock, USAID Vietnam’s mission director, told VIR’s Huong Thu about the wide ambition of the project.

How important is this new USAID project to improve private sector competitiveness in this country?

USAID delivering needs-based assistance via private sector engagement scheme
Ann Marie Yastistock, USAID Vietnam’s mission director

This new project is USAID’s flagship effort to help Vietnam harness its entrepreneurial spirit in facilitating a dynamic, Vietnam-led transformation of the private sector into one that can compete globally, and provide more equal opportunity for all.

Together, we’ve made great strides in advancing an open, prosperous, and secure country that is effective and inclusive in tackling its own development challenges. Now, we have come together to take an exciting step forward in our development assistance and partnership with the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

Just five months ago in Hanoi, US Vice President Kamala Harris announced the flagship economic development project. The announcement came at a time of great need, with the ongoing global pandemic continuing to pose challenges for businesses in Vietnam. Small and growing businesses are vital drivers of job creation, poverty reduction, and improving living conditions, as well as inclusive and sustainable growth.

What are the general goals of this scheme?

This new project is an effort to help this country harness its entrepreneurial spirit in facilitating a dynamic Vietnam-led transformation of the private sector into one that can compete globally and provide more equal opportunity for all. The initiative will foster and vocally lead locally-owned solutions that leverage the strength of the Vietnamese talent to include the promotion of Vietnamese-made products, services, and technologies as well as solutions that contribute to improving business and also enabling the environment.

We’re pleased to continue our collaboration with the MPI on this project and we look forward to productive and impactful engagement with the private sector, business associations, and others. Project success requires all stakeholders, policymakers, government agencies and departments, business associations, entrepreneurs, and service providers to work together.

Who will be the main beneficiaries of the project?

Small and growing businesses are historically key contributors to Vietnam’s economic growth, accounting for 40 per cent of GDP and 60 per cent of total employment, yet they require continued and sustained growth. They can suffer from a lack of access to new technologies, networking, market links, management training, and skill-building opportunities. We are pleased to be responding to these challenges in cooperation with the MPI.

That is why we have, together, proudly launched this five-year initiative, worth $36 million, to advance competition in the private sector. It will support all types of businesses, including those led by women and vulnerable people, in order to stimulate their growth, spur innovation and technology adoption, and strengthen their links to industries and markets.

It will also deliver demand-driven and needs-based technical assistance on adaptation and growth, market expansion and value addition, digitalisation of business processes and practices, and the strengthening of financial capacity.

By Huong Thu

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