Australian Embassy
Vietnam

Development Cooperation

Overview of Australia's Aid Program to Vietnam

Dao women working in tea factory in Bac Ha, Lao Cai

Dao women working in tea factory in Bac Ha, Lao Cai as part of the GREAT project

How we are helping

Estimated Australian ODA in 2021-22 is $78.9 million. This includes:

Bilateral  - $57.2 million

Regional - $4.7 million

Global - $12.5 million

Other government departments - $4.4 million

Australia and Vietnam’s partnership extends across political, security, economic and people-to-people activities. Australians born in Vietnam represent the sixth largest migrant community in Australia, and around 30,000 Vietnamese students enrol in education institutions in Australia each year. Vietnam is one of our fastest growing trade partners, and is central to regional security in South East Asia. The country’s further development as a strong trade and investment partner is vital to our national interest and the region’s prosperity.

Vietnam experienced remarkably rapid economic growth in the past two decades. However, there are risks to the medium term outlook.  Businesses are constrained by the lack of a skilled workforce; and investments in infrastructure and deeper economic reforms are needed to sustain private sector growth. Inequality is a continuing challenge, with 9.3 million people (9.8 per cent of the population) living below the national poverty line (World Bank, 2016). It is a particular issue for women and ethnic minorities. Vietnam is one of few countries in which the gender pay gap has widened over the last decade. Ethnic minorities have still not benefitted equally from economic growth — although they comprise just 15 per cent of the population, they account for around half of those living in poverty.

Vietnam's Socio-Economic Development Plan 2021-2030 provinds the country’s overarching policy for responding to these challenges

Australia’s commitment to development cooperation with Vietnam is ongoing. Reflecting our maturing economic partnership, we will continue to leverage Vietnam’s significant domestic resources and foreign investment, and support Vietnam’s efforts to enter a new phase of economic development. By helping to stimulate the private sector, upskill the workforce, and support inclusive growth, we will contribute to achieving our shared, overarching goal of promoting prosperity and reducing poverty in Vietnam.

Our program is organised around the following three mutually reinforcing objectives as outlined in the Vietnam COVID-19 Development Response Plan Vietnam COVID-19 Development Response Plan | Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (dfat.gov.au)

A visit by members of Women in Leadership Journey 2 to the Hanoi Association of People with Disabilities to learn how to better support people with disabilities

A visit by members of Women in Leadership Journey 2 to the Hanoi Association of People with Disabilities to learn how to better support people with disabilities

Health Security

To strengthen health security in Vietnam, Australia will promote a more resilient Vietnamese health system, better able to maintain full health service delivery in the event of further health security threats, including a future wave of COVID-19. Our global health investments will help strengthen Vietnam’s health systems, provide access to lower cost health products and address other major disease burdens, including tuberculosis and malaria. We will support equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in Vietnam through multilateral and regional initiatives to finance, assess, deliver, and monitor COVID-19 vaccines. Australia will continue its regional support for sexual and reproductive health. We will invest in Vietnamese innovation to support new health approaches, including the trial of artificial intelligence in COVID-19 responses. 

We will increase links between Australian and Vietnamese scientists, health professionals, security forces and research institutions. This will include offering health fellowships, identifying health as a development priority within our scholarship programs, and linking scientific research efforts through CSIRO, Australia’s Centre for Disease Preparedness and the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security. 

Australia’s law enforcement agencies and defence forces will continue to exchange information with Vietnam to strengthen health security. Australia will contribute to COVID-19 recovery effort through ASEAN dialogues and forums. Australia will exchange knowledge with border officials on strengthening border reopening practices as the health situation improves.

Cat Lai and Cai Mep Port tour by the Logistics Industry Reference Council

Cat Lai and Cai Mep Port tour by the Logistics Industry Reference Council

Stability

Australia will support Vietnam to strengthen its institutions and train its future leaders, so they are equipped to manage future shocks and regional challenges. The new Vietnam-Australia Centre (VAC), situated in the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics will be the centrepiece of these efforts. The VAC will strengthen collaboration in leadership and innovation to enable Vietnamese and Australian experts to pursue solutions to shared regional challenges and to protect international rules and norms. Australia’s cyber security program will assist Vietnam to navigate challenges and opportunities in the digital sphere while driving economic growth.

Australia will promote social cohesion by enhancing Vietnam’s awareness of human rights standards and ways to protect the most vulnerable. Australia will work to prevent and respond to violence against women and children, ensure gender equality is central to recovery efforts and promote inclusive recovery. We will deliver training to strengthen Vietnamese law enforcement, including promoting the role of women in police management. We will continue our whole‑of‑government efforts to reduce transnational crime in the region.

Australia will help Vietnam’s planners manage the pressure of rapid economic restructuring necessary for recovery, including by strengthening food, energy and water security. We will strengthen local resource planning and water delivery, with a strong gender focus. The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research will continue to foster research connections and Australia will provide grants to support agricultural resilience.

Australia Awards and Australia Awards-ASEAN Scholarship recipients with the Ambassador to Vietnam at their Pre-departure Briefing, November 2018

Australia Awards and Australia Awards-ASEAN Scholarship recipients with the Ambassador to Vietnam at their Pre-departure Briefing, November 2018

Economic Recovery

To support economic recovery, Australia will provide targeted policy advice to Vietnam’s economic leaders to help reform the policy and business environment and accelerate public and private investment. We will work with Vietnamese partners to lift the quality of public and human capital in order to buttress Vietnam’s long-term growth. This includes developing skills, especially through vocational education and training, for the workforce of the future. 

Australia will support the development of industry skills boards, strengthen education and university governance standards, and quality assure higher education qualifications, including online delivery. We will deepen bilateral innovation system partnerships, preparing us to access future growth industries and manage tomorrow’s shocks. We will help Vietnam’s transport planners more rapidly access high-quality infrastructure finance to support recovery. 

Australia will support Vietnam’s trade and customs officials to reopen supply chains disrupted by the pandemic and implement trade commitments. Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will support the biological security of trade in plant and animal products with Vietnam.

Austrade will support Australian businesses to trade and grow their connections with Vietnamese partners. We will work with the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam to continue to represent and promote the interests of Australian businesses operating in Vietnam.

Australia is increasing women’s economic empowerment by encouraging greater female participation in the labour market and global value chains.  This includes supporting Vietnamese farmers, logistics providers and tourism operators to revive and improve their livelihoods, especially businesses led by women and people from minority groups. 

Protecting the most vulnerable, especially women and children, will be a cross-cutting theme of Australia’s engagement in Vietnam. Australia will work with partners to tackle domestic violence in Vietnam and ensure that women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities are not left behind in recovery efforts. We will promote human rights to strengthen social cohesion and promote rights for the vulnerable. Australia’s law enforcement agencies will work with Vietnam to prevent COVID-19 related spikes in child sexual exploitation.

Members of the Hop Thanh-Thanh Van Cooperative in Thanh Van commune, Cho Moi district, Bac Kan province present their banana products, 2019

Members of the Hop Thanh-Thanh Van Cooperative in Thanh Van commune, Cho Moi district, Bac Kan province present their banana products, 2019

Our results

  • The Cao Lanh Bridge ($160 million, 2011-2020)—Australia's largest single aid activity in mainland Southeast Asia—was completed in May 2018, and will create new economic opportunities for the five million people living in the surrounding area, including an estimated 170,000 road users per day.
  • The Women's Economic Empowerment through Agricultural Value Chain Enhancement (WEAVE) project has trained 587 households (98 per cent of the program's target) on post-harvest processing, product marketing and budget management. Project beneficiaries applying advanced farming or post-processing techniques have reported a 15 to 20 per cent increase in selling prices for their products at the market, compared with the sale of raw materials.
  • Between July 2017 and June 2018, Aus4Skills delivered 13 Australia Awards short courses and 12 informal training opportunities to 645 Vietnamese participants.
  • Fifty Australia Awards Scholarships were offered for Masters level study commencing in 2019.
  • Since 2007, Australia has awarded over 2,000 scholarships to Vietnamese students for tertiary study in Australia.
  • The pilot Logistics Industry Reference Council that is promoting industry linkages with vocational education and training was launched in 2017. Increased industry engagement in vocational education and training curriculum design and provision will help graduates develop skills to meet the requirements of employers and the labour market demand of Vietnam and the region.
  • To increase productivity and competition in the Vietnamese economy, the Aus4Reform program and now-concluded Restructuring for a More Competitive Vietnam program, have helped abolish 3,299 ineffective business conditions and draft a strengthened competition law.
  • Through our partnerships with the Australian Water Association and East Meets West Foundation, Australia provided over 20,000 rural poor in Son La, Ha Nam and Khan Hoa provinces with clean water – more than doubling our performance benchmark, and significantly exceeding our 2017-18 target of using the private sector to supply rural populations with water.
  • Through the Australia-World Bank Strategic Partnership Phase Two, Australia supported a legal review and gap assessment that recommends legislative changes required to ensure Vietnam's compliance with the TPP-11.

Australia\\\\\\\\\'s largest single aid activity in mainland Southeast Asia - was completed in May 2018

Australia's largest single aid activity in mainland Southeast Asia - was completed in May 2018

Publications

Fact sheets