Vietnam has seen good economic growth and is continuing with reforms to move towards a market economy integrated into world trading systems.
The country has made progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – notably in enrolment for education and reduction of infant mortality. Social inequalities need, however, to be addressed and the country’s integration into the international economy requires consolidation.
Support to attain Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
EU priorities in Vietnam – detailed in the EU Vietnam Country Strategy Paper 2007-13 – are to give direct support to the government’s initiatives to reduce poverty and improve healthcare to the poor.
A €140 million EU allocation is provided for the strategy 2011-13. The initial Multi-Annual Indicative Programme (2007-10) allocated a €160 million sum.
EU support is also improving trade and is enabling an EU-Vietnam strategic dialogue under the Vietnam-EU bilateral agreement – notably in the sub-group on ‘cooperation in institution building, administrative reform, governance and human rights’.
A €16 million trade and investment project started up in July 2012. Negotiations between the European Commission and Vietnam’s Ministry of Health were expected to lead to the approval in 2013 of a major budget support programme for the country to bring about improved health service delivery to the poor and an overall improvement in health service management.
Cross-cutting themes – running across several sectors – are also an important part of EU-Vietnam cooperation, including environmental protection, culture and education, gender equality, the promotion of human rights and good governance.
EU regional and thematic programmes – such as those for civil society and human rights which benefit many developing countries in many regions – provide grants to relevant organisations in Vietnam.