HCMC – The Australian Government and World Bank Vietnam have committed to contributing an additional AUD5 million to the Australia-World Bank Strategic Partnership – Phase 2 to support Vietnam’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
The agreement was signed by Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie and World Bank Country Director for Vietnam Ousmane Dione on June 24, according to the Australian Embassy in Vietnam.
The additional funding will protect the most vulnerable from the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and support Vietnam’s economic recovery in various ways including through digitizing social protection systems, providing world-class advice on economic reforms and stimulus, facilitating sustainable infrastructure development and ensuring a strong focus on gender equality and social inclusion.
“By providing support in key areas, the program aims to help the country’s economy gain back its full potential in the fastest and most sustainable way,” Dione stated.
“Vietnam should be very proud of how it has tackled Covid-19. The next challenge for Vietnam and for Australia will be to replicate the success of the health response in the economic response,” Mudie noted.
“I am proud of the role the Australia-World Bank Group Strategic Partnership is playing in Vietnam’s economic recovery. It will continue providing world class economic advice and analysis for Vietnam’s leaders and policymakers to accelerate economic recovery, with an increasingly strong focus on gender equality and social protection,” she added.
According to the World Bank, Vietnam has been effective in containing the Covid-19 pandemic with a limited number of cases and no registered deaths. However, the pandemic has shaken the country’s traditional resilience to external shocks, with economic growth in the first quarter reaching only 3.8% compared to the projected growth of 6.5% prior to the crisis.
In order to mitigate the economic and social impacts of Covid-19, it is critical for the government to target sectors and activities that create jobs and improve long-term productivity and growth, such as infrastructure, innovation, social protection, health and education.
The additional AUD5 million takes forward part of the AUD10.5 million commitment from Australia toward Vietnam’s Covid-19 recovery efforts, discussed at a meeting between Mudie and Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung on June 5, 2020.
The ongoing Australia-World Bank Strategic Partnership – Phase 2, signed in April 2017, aims to support Vietnam’s key national reforms, which are intended to gradually benefit millions of Vietnamese people and help the country reach its ambition of becoming a high-income economy by 2045.