UNDP Administrator trip to Viet Nam to focus on issues facing Viet Nam as Middle-Income Country

19 Mar 2014

imagePhoto: @ UNDP Viet Nam 2013/ Doan Bao Chau

Ha Noi - United Nations Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark will visit Viet Nam from 21-24 March to see firsthand the challenges facing Viet Nam in its transitions to a Middle-Income Country, including the remaining poverty and emerging inequality, and to promote strategic intervention towards structural reforms and reorientation of Viet Nam’s economic growth to a more sustainable and inclusive path.

Miss Clark will deliver a keynote statement at the International Conference “Economic Reforms for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth: International Experience and Lessons for Viet Nam”. The conference will be jointly organized by the Government of Viet Nam and UNDP in Ha Noi on 24 and 25 March to bring international lessons and experiences to assist Viet Nam in furthering the economic reforms (particular in SOEs, banking sector, industrial and agriculture development and international integration) in its pursuit for more inclusive and sustainable growth. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Pham Binh Minh will be the other keynote speaker at the conference. Prominent international and national experts will also speak at this conference.

The conference will attract more than 150 participants including policy makers from different line ministries and provinces, researchers from national research institutes, representatives from domestic (state and private) enterprises, ambassadors from G20 and ASEAN countries, and representatives from multilateral development agencies such as the World Bank, IMF and ADB.

Before the conference, Miss Clark will have field visits and interact with communities and officials in southern Viet Nam to observe the conditions of the poor and vulnerable groups. She will visit Ho Chi Minh City (21 March) to see firsthand persistent poverty among migrant workers and other vulnerable groups as well as efforts to address these issues through UNDP policy-level support, including better targeting and multidimensional poverty measurement. She will then visit the Mekong river delta province of Can Tho (22 March) to understand the challenges poor households face in climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness and travel to Tra Vinh province to discuss issues faced by ethnic minorities and the need for integrated development solutions addressing the issues of inclusion..

Viet Nam has shown robust progress towards the Millennium Development Goals having achieved or exceeded most of the 2015 targets, in particular on poverty reduction and primary education. The country has halved the poverty rate in the nine years from 1993, and then halved it again in the four years between 2002 and 2008. By 2010, the country was ranked 6th globally in terms of progress, both in absolute and relative terms. However, pockets of poverty remain with half of ethnic minority people in 2012 still living below the poverty line and lagging behind MDG national averages. Challenges remain but the country is working toward  improving progress on MDG 6 on HIV targets and MDG 7 on environmental sustainability.