Vietnam has seen good economic growth in recent years and continues reforms to move towards a market economy integrated into world trading systems. Still predominantly an agricultural country, three-quarters of the population, and over 90% of the poor, live in the countryside. In less than ten years, Vietnam has lifted 20 million people out of poverty and its march towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) shows consistent improvements in areas such as education enrolment and infant mortality. Social inequalities, however, need addressing and Vietnam's integration into the international economy needs consolidation.
EU priorities in Vietnam – contained in the EU Vietnam Country Strategy Paper 2007-13 – directly support government initiatives:
- helping to reduce poverty and reach the MDGs under the Vietnam Socio-economic Development Plan;
- assisting the government's pro-poor health policy.
Additional initiatives include trade-related assistance and support to EU-Vietnam strategic dialogue under a bilateral cooperation agreement, in particular the sub-group on ‘Cooperation in institution building, administrative reform, governance and human rights’.
Cross-cutting themes, an integral part of EU-Vietnam cooperation, include environmental protection, culture and education, gender equality, the promotion of human rights and good governance.
To address these priorities, €160 million were allocated under the multi-annual indicative programme for the first four years of the strategy (2007-2010) [2 MB] while the MIP for the period 2011-13 allocates around €140 million – for a total of around €300 million.
EU regional and thematic programmes – specific projects on topics benefitting many country partners – are also available to provide grant support to relevant organisations in Vietnam.
Find out more:
European External Action service