US, Vietnam strengthen ties with $100M comprehensive strategic partnership

The $100 million USAID commitment over two years seeks to enhance Vietnam’s digital economy readiness, strengthen higher education and expand the skilled workforce.

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In a significant development for US-Vietnam relations, President Joe Biden and General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong have solidified their partnership by embarking on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

This strategic move includes a generous $100 million commitment over two years from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to Vietnam. The funding is aimed at advancing digital development, global health security and higher education in Vietnam to prepare the nation for success in the global digital economy.

Enhancing education

Central to this new phase of partnership is the “Upskill Vietnam and Foster Digital Growth” initiative. This approach focuses on three key areas to enhance skill and knowledge development in Vietnam:

Higher Education Policy Support: A five-year project in collaboration with Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training seeks to improve the quality of higher education in Vietnam. Emphasis will be placed on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, digital transformation, and aligning academic curricula with international accreditation standards. USAID has a history of success in Vietnam, with 121 educational programs accredited, including 12 by the globally renowned ABET.

Digital Trade: Over three years, USAID plans to strengthen Vietnam’s participation in the growing digital economy, focusing on small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) integration and traceability of goods. This initiative aligns with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, promoting high-standard digital trade policies.

Innovative Workforce Development: This forthcoming five-year project aims to empower Vietnam’s workforce for the digital era. It will enhance information and communication technology (ICT) skills, promote intellectual property commercialization and address digital disparities, particularly those based on location and gender.

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