Australian Embassy


DATE: 24 July 2009
SUBJECT: International Development

Australia supports economic integration in Vietnam

Australian Trade Minister Mr Simon Crean today announced that Australia will provide AUD12 million (approximately VND180 billion) to the five year Beyond WTO program to maximise the employment and poverty reduction benefits of Vietnam’s ongoing integration with the global economy.

Mr Crean is in Vietnam for the 8th meeting of the Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee, which is co-chaired by the Vietnamese Minister for Planning and Investment, HE Mr Vo Hong Phuc. Economic integration is an important topic of the discussions.

The contribution is to Phase II of the Beyond WTO Program which will
• strengthen the institutions of the market economy in areas such as competition, state owned enterprise reform and land management
• help the rural sector adjust to the impact of economic integration through research and analysis of new market opportunities to inform policy making
• build the capacity of key Vietnamese institutions that are implementing economic reforms
• work at the provincial level to support the implementation of key economic reforms.

“These ‘behind the border’ reforms are critical to ensuring that Vietnam is positioned to take full advantage of the resumption of trade and investment flows when the current global recession is over,” Mr Crean said.

Australia invested AUD1.3 million to support the first phase of the program in 2007-08. This laid the groundwork for Phase II by bringing together key Vietnamese institutions to develop a long-term plan for international integration that will enable future opportunities and challenges to be met effectively.

Beyond WTO is a joint initiative of the Governments of Australia, Vietnam and the United Kingdom, and the World Bank.

Mr Crean also conveyed to the Vietnamese Government Australia’s commitment to funding the Vietnam Agriculture Cooperation Program which will help Vietnam improve pest risk analysis and pesticide residue detection to comply with international standards for traded goods.