During her first official visit to Vietnam, Vice President Kamala Harris announced U.S. government funding provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help Vietnam continue to fight COVID-19, as well as new initiatives to increase clean energy and natural resource conservation efforts, boost Vietnam’s inclusive business environment, strengthen higher education, and continue improving the lives of people with disabilities.
These new efforts are expected to total nearly $100 million in new activities in Vietnam.
It was announced that USAID and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to boost Vietnam’s competitiveness, expand market opportunities for U.S. companies, and strengthen Vietnam’s environmental policy.
The MOU will improve VCCI’s focus on sustainability, green technology, and climate change. USAID plans to support VCCI’s development of a Green Index to help U.S. businesses select provinces that are investing in green operations.
In addition, the U.S. government announced the Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program II (V-LEEP II), a five-year, up to $36 million USAID project which aims to accelerate Vietnam’s transition to a clean, secure, and market-driven energy system.
The project will work to improve government energy planning, increase competition to encourage U.S. private sector involvement in energy service provision, and increase renewable and zero emissions energy systems.
The project will help Vietnam scale up adoption of electric motorbikes and implement the Direct Power Purchase Agreement mechanism to allow businesses to procure electricity directly from private firms producing renewable energy.
Protecting key coastal habitats in Vietnam was also part of the agenda. Through USAID, the U.S. government launched the Mekong Coastal Habitat Conservation project, a new three-year, up to $2.9 million project with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
This project aims to protect key coastal habitats in the Mekong Delta region to increase the sustainability of fisheries, enhance climate change adaptation and improve biodiversity conservation.
For the full list of Vice President Harris’s announcements in Vietnam, click here.