History of development cooperation in Vietnam

Over the past three decades, globalisation and technological advances have led to significant global economic growth, along with general improvements in living conditions. As a result, more than one billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty worldwide. Switzerland’s international cooperation programmes have contributed effectively to this positive trend by providing expertise and financial resources. While the decline in poverty is to be celebrated, global challenges persist. These relate to economic structural change, good governance, pandemics, demographic change, inequality, climate change, urbanisation and digitalisation, among others.  Switzerland has therefore renewed its commitment to increased solidarity with Vietnam and other countries.

Switzerland started to engage through Official Development Assistance (ODA) in Vietnam in 1991 and to this day, successfully supports the country in its reform and transformation process. Switzerland carries out development cooperation through two main agencies: SECO (State Secretariat of Economic Affairs), under the Federal Department for Economic Affairs, Education and Research and SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), under the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Due to Vietnam’s rapid socio-economic development over the past two decades, including its remarkable success in alleviating poverty and its transformation into a middle-income country, SDC had closed its bilateral poverty reduction and governance programme by the end of 2016. It is currently present in Vietnam through global and regional programme initiatives that address climate change, water and food security. SECO is, therefore, the sole remaining Swiss agency for cooperation that maintains a permanent presence in Vietnam.

By the end of 2020, Vietnam has received over CHF 600m of ODA grants from Switzerland. Vietnam remains among the 8 SECO focal countries to receive ODA from the Swiss Government (Indonesia is the only other country in the SEA region). SECO focuses on promoting market-oriented and reliable economic framework conditions and enhancing the private sector’s competitiveness and market access. In order to continue the longstanding and successful collaboration between the two countries, the partnership has been renewed for the 2021-2024 phase. During this period, Vietnam will continue to benefit from Swiss support to drive sustainable economic reforms and to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals. You can find more details regarding the ongoing cooperation programme here: SECO Cooperation Programme Vietnam 2021 – 2024

Further information regarding ongoing projects in Vietnam can be found by following this link: SECO/SDC Project Database