USAID promotes trade acceleration in Vietnam

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported 19 ministries and agencies in implementing trade-related legislation, building trade liberalisation and governance capacity, and boosting economic integration in Vietnam.

The outcomes of the USAID-funded “Support for Trade Acceleration” project (USAID STAR PLUS) over the past three years were unveiled at a ceremony jointly held by the US agency and the Vietnamese Ministry of Justice in Hanoi on August 26.

Launched in 2010, the project has focused on areas related to preparation for and implementation of trade agreements, customs modernisation, facilitation of agricultural trade, and legal transparency.

Deputy Minister of Justice Le Hong Son affirmed that the project has played a positive role in developing the rule of law, improving transparency in the business environment consistent with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations and international practices.

It also creates a healthy competitive environment to enable investors in all economic sectors to compete successfully and take advantage of new opportunities arising from trade liberalisation, he added.

“Our work through USAID STAR Plus and previous economic growth programmes dating back to 2001 is testimony to the growing partnership between the United States and Vietnam to build a rule-based trading system in line with the WTO and BTA,” said US Embassy Charge d’Affaires Claire Pierangelo at the project closing ceremony.

These efforts contributed to developing the rule of law, governance, and economic relations between the two countries, Claire Pierangelo noted.

Trade acceleration has been a key feature in the relationship between the United States and Vietnam, with bilateral trade growing from US$1.5 billion in 2001 to close to US$25 billion in 2012.

This trade expansion is partly thanks to extensive trade liberalisation under the BTA and the WTO, which benefited from technical assistance of USAID STAR Plus and its predecessors, USAID STAR I and II.