Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNDP sign economic diplomacy project

Oct 8, 2007

Harvard and Cambridge Universities to support training and research initiatives

HA NOI - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced a USD 2.5 million initiative today to build knowledge networks on economic development policy and promote business-government dialogue as part of the nation’s continued process of international economic integration.  
The new project, “Capacity Development for Economic Diplomacy and Business-Government Dialogue,” was signed at an official ceremony attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem , representatives of UNDP, Harvard University, MOFA, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), and the Office of the Government (OOG).  
“Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem has designated 2007 as the Year of Economic Diplomacy, reflecting the importance of economic diplomacy in this era of globalization,” MOFA Vice Minister Vu Dung said at the signing ceremony. “This project will help the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reach out more effectively to the global economic and business communities in support of our national objective of deeper international integration. In particular, with an enhanced capacity for economic diplomacy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be better equipped to further facilitate economic and trade ties between Viet Nam and other countries.”
Economic integration will be promoted through the creation of knowledge networks on economic development policy involving senior policy makers, scholars, research institutes and international and national business leaders. Harvard University in the United States and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom have joined UNDP and MOFA in designing the project, and will assist MOFA in implementing the training and research components.  
A primary objective of the project is to develop the Government’s capacity to conduct economic diplomacy, including intensive training for MOFA officials. A master plan for economic diplomacy, bringing together the various strands of existing initiatives and plans under one strategic framework, will be produced and formally approved by the Government. Economic diplomacy refers to official activities designed to promote national economic objectives such as increasing trade and inward investment or improving access to technology and skills.
The project will support the Government’s participation in international business-government dialogue events such as the World Economic Forum. MOFA will also sponsor new business-government initiatives specific to Viet Nam to improve the flow of information between leading policy makers and business leaders.  
“Globalization is not just about the movement of capital and goods,” said UNDP Country Director Ms. Yamazaki. “It is also about the flow of knowledge and ideas, and harnessing the power of ideas to promote economic growth and human development.”
As part of the project, a new Viet Nam Executive Leadership Programme (VELP) will be held at Cambridge University each year. The VELP will bring together preeminent international scholars and global business leaders to discuss globalization issues with senior Vietnamese policy makers. Topics identified for the first VELP may include the development of financial markets, energy policy, infrastructure development, and the impact of globalization on world business systems.  
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Vu Dung said that the new project provides timely support for the Government’s efforts to derive maximum benefits from globalization for national development. He noted that as the country further integrates into global trade and investment markets, it will need to develop new channels through its economic diplomacy efforts to acquire timely and accurate information about economic and business trends.  Vice Minister Vu Dung further expressed the Vietnamese Government’s appreciation for UNDP’s valuable and effective assistance in designing and funding this important project.

Contact informationUNDP
Ms. Nguyen Viet Lan,
Tel: 84-4-822-4383 ext. 121
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ms. Nguyen Thu Hang, Economic Affairs Department, MOFA, Tel: 84-4-799 3242