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Vietnam getting $736M in assistance from EU
Publication Date : 26-06-2014
The European Union (EU) has pledged US$736.7 million in official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam for 2014, saying this level of assistance would be maintained in the coming years.
This was confirmed yesterday by Franz Jessen, Ambassador and head of the Delegation of the EU to Vietnam, in a ceremony to launch the Blue Book 2014, an annual report on the EU development cooperation in Vietnam.
The EU would also sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Vietnam before the end of this year as a way of supporting the country to develop its trade ambitions and international commitments.
The EU has remained the leading providers of development assistance to Vietnam, with a total of $619.8 million in disbursement in 2013, he said.
The Ambassador said the organisation had encountered some barriers accessing relevant authorities and sectors and solving disbursement procedures, so the disbursement figure was low compared to the pledged aid.
Apart from giving aid to Vietnam, the EU focused on commercial cooperation with the country to help it stabilise the economy. He said that the standoff between China and Vietnam on the East Sea and the Japanese government stopping ODA to Vietnam due to alleged bribery on railway projects would not affect the EU's aid to Vietnam in the coming years.
The EU has been Vietnam's largest trade partner in recent years, with the country's export turnover to the EU reaching $25 billion last year.
This year, the EU has focused on eradicating poverty among ethnic minorities, which was featured in the Blue Book 2014. Although important progress have been achieved in reducing poverty among ethnic minorities, the percentage of poor people is still much higher than the rest of the nation.
The book included some of the challenges the Vietnamese government faces, and recommendations to overcome them.
In 2013, the EU and its members disbursed 56.5 billion euro ($76.8 billion) globally as the world's largest ODA provider.