Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai hoped to intensify the development cooperation between Viet Nam and Ireland during his meeting with Trade and Development Minister Jan O'Sullivan yesterday.
At the meeting, Deputy PM Hai thanked the Irish government for its continuing support in providing Official Development Assistance for Viet Nam, in addition to supporting other development programmes in the next five years, especially in poverty reduction.
Hai said Viet Nam hoped to continue receiving support from the Irish government in the fields of education and vocational training for rural labourers, as well as in FTA negotiations with the European Union.
O'Sullivan said she recognised Viet Nam's socio-economic development progress and that her visit aimed to promote bilateral trade and increase investment in poverty reduction programmes such as Programme 135.
On the same day, the Irish Minister and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh in Ha Noi signed the new development cooperation strategy between two countries in the 2011-15 period.
Accordingly, the Government of Ireland will provide 55 million euros (nearly US$74.7 million) in non-refundable grant aid to support the implementation of Viet Nam's 2011-15 Socio-Economic Development Plan.
With 11 million euros ($16.5 million) per annum, the strategy sets out to aid in poverty reduction among the most marginalised groups, including undocumented migrants, ethnic minority people and those with disabilities, and support inclusive economic growth which is resilient to economic shocks.
"Our strategy is highly targeted, and focuses on three key areas to help address those specific needs: tackling rural poverty, especially among ethnic minorities, helping civil society to build its capacity with a strong focus on working with people with disabilities, and sharing experiences between Ireland and Viet Nam to strengthen sustainable and inclusive economic growth and development," said Minister O'Sullivan.
In recent years, Ireland has helped Viet Nam with poverty reduction and in the achievement of growth targets through a number of partnerships and modalities such as credit support for poverty reduction, the Irish development experience sharing programme and facilitating civil society.
The Irish Minister also met with Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan yesterday and discussed a wide range of educational matters, including Irish Aid scholarships for Vietnamese students to study in Ireland.
The two ministers signed an MoU to co-operate in the higher education sector to help create links between the education sectors of both countries as well as encourage co-operation between institutions and facilitate exchanges of both students and lecturers. — VNS