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USAID launches $36million project on improving competitiveness of Vietnam’s private firms

The project will contribute to improving the business enabling environment in Vietnam.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) launched a US$36 million project focused on building the competitiveness of small and growing businesses. 

 Delegates attend the launching event on January 18. Photo: USAID Vietnam

The five-year project was first announced during US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Vietnam in August 2021. 

The project will be implemented in cooperation with MPI’s Agency for Enterprise Development.

Small and growing businesses are key contributors to Vietnam’s economic growth, accounting for 40% of GDP and 60% of total employment in 2018. 

However, these businesses face barriers and constraints impeding their continued and sustained growth, including new technologies, networking, market linkages, and lack of access to management training and skills-building opportunities.

USAID’s new Improving Private Sector Competitiveness project will encourage broad-based, inclusive economic growth through improved business practices, innovation and technology adoption, policy reform, and increased market access. 

This project will foster locally-led, locally-owned solutions that leverage the strength of the Vietnamese talent pool, including the promotion of “Made by Vietnam” products, services, and technologies, as well as solutions that contribute to improving the business enabling environment. 

“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,” said USAID Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock at the launch event. 

Yastishock lauded the MPI for its long-running partnership with USAID. She called on key stakeholders, from policymakers to the private sector, to “work hand-in-hand” with USAID and MPI to achieve the project’s ambitious targets.

Over the life of the project, the Improving Private Sector Competitiveness project aims to support 5,000 small and growing businesses, with 240 businesses successfully participating in domestic, regional, and international markets and 60 pioneering these businesses successfully creating value-added products and positioning their “Made by Vietnam” brands in regional and global markets.