|Population||96 million (2017)|
|GDP at PPP (current international dollars)||647 billion (2017)|
|GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars)||6,776 (2017)|
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Viet Nam has worked with its GMS partners to increase the productivity of its agriculture sector. The country has prioritized critical reforms that have resulted in steady growth in agricultural output, making Viet Nam the second largest exporter of rice in the world. As in other GMS countries, rural transport and market access have also improved agricultural and rural livelihoods.
Viet Nam seeks to develop its energy resources with better transparency, competition and economic efficiency in order to attract private investment, which will complement public sector investments, and ensure energy supply security for its rapidly growing domestic demand. Viet Nam has worked with its GMS neighbors to benefit from power trading arrangements being developed in the subregion, and on information sharing regarding the exploration, production, and transmission of energy resources. Viet Nam is also expanding electricity access to rural and remote areas, and boosting the share of renewable energy to total energy supply.
Similar to other fast-growing GMS economies, Viet Nam has had to respond to growing pressures on its environment and natural resources. The Government has enacted legislation and launched programs to mitigate the environmental impacts of urban expansion. Viet Nam, in coordination with its GMS partners, has invested in tree planting programs that are showing results in terms slowing the loss of forest cover.
With a large rural and young population that is in need of skills development and training, Viet Nam is seeking to train 27.5 million workers – including 10 million rural workers – by 2020. In coordination with its GMS partners, Viet Nam is focusing efforts on poverty reduction and gender mainstreaming in order to help vulnerable workers benefit from national training programs. As part of its national human resources development work, the country is also strengthening its emphasis on protecting migrant workers, both domestically and across borders.
Viet Nam is sharing knowledge with its GMS partners to develop its fixed and mobile telecommunications systems, as well as Internet service. To promote competition and universal access, the country is promoting more transparent telecommunications licensing procedures and fees (in line with its subregional neighbors), and efficient government regulations. Viet Nam takes part in GMS training programs designed to increase the expertise of officials across the subregion.
Making trade and investment easier between GMS countries is a key priority for Viet Nam. The country has worked with its subregional partners to harmonize and simplify trade and investment procedures.
Viet Nam is a vital link in the emerging subregional transport system of the GMS. It is home to key sections of major GMS corridors, such as the Ho Chi Minh City-Phnom Penh Highway, the East-West Transport Corridor, the Kunming-Haiphong Transport Corridor, and the Southern Coastal Corridor. The country has also embarked on the construction of major expressways to enhance its overall transport efficiency. Viet Nam also hosts important maritime links via its ports. Viet Nam’s fast-growing economy has been a strong contributor to the development of GMS economic corridors that have benefited its own people, and the citizens of neighboring countries.
Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) organized the CLMVT+ Forum 2021 on 24-26 August. The forum highlighted the TPSO study emphasizing the importance of achieving an even economic recovery in the GMS.
Trade promotion agencies of Cambodia, India, Thailand, and Viet Nam held an event promoting cross-border trade connectivity between India and countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) on 19 August. Representatives from each country gave briefings on their business environment and exchanged experiences in facilitating trade and investment cooperation. Noting challenges caused by COVID-19, they urged governments to take measures to help their small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) move beyond national borders and expand markets.
Viet Nam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao PDR President Thongloun Sisoulith pledged to continue to give the highest priority to their bilateral cooperation, and noted the need to closely coordinate in Mekong subregional cooperation mechanisms. The Viet Nam President was in Lao PDR on 9-10 August for his first official overseas visit. On 9 August, he held talks with his counterpart.
The Governments of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam inaugurated the Dakta Ok (Se Kong, Lao PDR) – Nam Giang (Quang Nam, Viet Nam) border gates on 14 August 2021, which were upgraded to international status this year. This new international cross-border point is expected to further boost bilateral trade, investment, and tourism, and promote opportunities for cooperation between Viet Nam’s central key economic zone and Lao PDR’s south-central region, as well as Thailand’s southeast region.
Mr. Nguyen Hong Dien, Viet Nam’s Minister of Industry and Trade, requested support from Mr. Lu Xinshe, Party Secretary of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China (GZAR, PRC), to facilitate cross-border trade between Viet Nam and the PRC by (i) upgrading border gates, (ii) restoring customs services at sealed off border gates, and (iii) extending the operating hours of customs clearance services at border gates, border crossings, and markets.
The 14th Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on 6 August 2021 chaired by Mr. Motegi Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and attended by Foreign Ministers of the Mekong subregion. The meeting underscored that Japan will (i) continuously support mutual development through the Mekong-Japan cooperation framework, and (ii) help Mekong countries overcome the fight against COVID-19.
The 11th Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on 21 July 2021, co-chaired by Mr. Prak Sokhonn, Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India Minister of External Affairs. The meeting noted the progress in the MGC Plan of Action 2019-2022 implementation.
Ho Chi Minh City, a COVID-19 hotspot in Viet Nam, received medical supplies from the Government of Cambodia to help them overcome the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The shipment, which arrived on 19 July, comprises of 1 million medical face masks, 100,000 N95 face masks, 100 five-liter oxygen generators and cash worth $200,000. Writing to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Viet Nam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh expressed his gratitude for the assistance, and emphasized that the donation is evidence of close friendship, solidarity and noble tradition of mutual support between the two nations
The second Mekong-U.S. Partnership Ministerial Meeting held on 2 August 2021 unveiled four flagship projects under the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, and noted the 8.5 million vaccine doses and over $58 million in U.S. COVID-19 assistance to the Mekong subregion countries.
A six-year, pioneering regional technical assistance initiative has boosted the capacity of health systems in Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), and Viet Nam to respond to climate-induced health threats amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced today.