Vietnam is a priority country of SECO’s economic cooperation and development. Despite an overall positive economic development, Vietnam’s productivity growth remains slow. SECO has three objectives here: a more efficient use of public resources, improved competitiveness of the private sector and sustainable urban development.
The government of Vietnam has introduced cautious market-oriented reforms over the past 30 years. This has led to a considerable reduction in poverty and the development of a more open economy. Per capita income has risen constantly by around 5% p.a. over the past 20 years. Labour-intensive sectors, such as the garment industry, have contributed most to this growth.
Remaining challenges require further reaching reforms
Nevertheless, Vietnam continues to face a number of important challenges and much remains to be done to sustain long-term economic growth. State-owned enterprises with low productivity continue to have privileged access to resources with a negative impact on development. SMEs have a weak competitive standing, in particular in terms of participation in global value chains, and find it difficult to find skilled workers. Moreover, the country faces regional disparities. Also, on account of its long coastal line and the low lying Mekong and Red River delta, Vietnam is particularly susceptible to climate-related disasters.
What are SECO’s objectives?
Effective economic policies and institutions
SECO supports public-sector reforms targeting more efficient and effective use of public resources. Moreover, it promotes a well-developed financial sector. Thereby, SECO fosters access to capital for growing businesses.
A competitive private sector
SECO supports Vietnam’s private sector, in particular SMEs, to improve competitiveness and gain access to international markets. It fosters sustainable trade and investment as well as resource-efficient industrial production.
Sustainable urban development
SECO supports Vietnam’s fast growing cities in sustaining their role as economic and social hubs. It promotes long-term urban planning. Moreover, SECO helps cities deliver reliable public services in the waste and transport sector.
Apart from SECO, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs also operates in Vietnam through global programmes.
From 2017 to 2020, a total of some CHF 80 million is earmarked for SECO’s economic development cooperation with Vietnam.