New ACVN project in Vietnam is keen to learn from the DELGOSEA network

Participants at the household survey
03/06/2014

Viet Nam

Following the successful cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation within the DELGOSEA network, the Association of Cities in Vietnam (ACVN) has embarked on another partnership with KAS for a EU co-financed project. Inspired by what they heard about the DELGOSEA family, the three pilot cities look for partners in the DELGOSEA network that they could visit to learn more about best practices in local governance.

The national level project called “Strengthening Local Governance for Local Economic Growth in Vietnamese Cities” - LoGoViC fits well with DELGOSEA thematically and is drawing on the experiences made by the Vietnamese pilot cities. It is designed as a two-year project from July 2013 to June 2015. For ACVN, this EU-cofunded project is a step forward, since it is the first time that the EU Delegation in Vietnam has drawn up the grant contract with the Vietnamese partner rather than the European counterpart – a big responsibility, but very much a sign of trust into ACVN and its operational capacities.

The focus on local economic growth is also a novelty in Vietnam: For the first time the substantial contribution small household businesses make to the national income is recognised and the focus of LoGoVic is on economic development through these small enterprises. Since Vietnam has turned towards developing a market-oriented economic system, small and medium sized enterprises, family business and cooperatives have sprung up, mostly in urban areas. By 2011, they occupied 90% of national economy and contributed 60% to GDP. These forces have been acknowledged to play an important role in sustaining economic growth, poverty reduction, creating employment and improving people’s life.

However, the framework for private economic and social activities is far from perfect. Local small businesses face many challenges including the lack of available and relevant business operation training, lack of competent technical advisors and limited access to capital, information and technology. Communication barriers between local governments and the business sector as well as the lack of supportive policy mechanisms and incentives related to taxation impose further challenges on these enterprises.

The project is a response to these challenges. It aims to strengthen the local governance system and to create an enabling environment for local economic growth. Three cities, Hai Duong City, Hue City and Tay Ninh, are being targeted with the aim of promoting better economic and social conditions for the population of these cities. LoGoViC helps to harness the economic development potential of small-scale family enterprises and to raise awareness of the role and significance of local SMEs. As part of the inclusive approach, LoGoVic is involving a variety of stakeholders, such as local governments, community organisations and authorities, as well as professional associations, schools, research institutions and the media.

As a starting point, LoGoViC conducted a survey with 100 family businesses and with a large number of local government officials in each of the three pilot cities. This survey asked about the current business climate, local government services, the deficits and problems small businesses face in their everyday activity and especially the effects this has on the business owners and their workers (for example in the areas of social insurance, access to further education and safety at the work place). Based on the survey results, the three cities have now developed action plans for improved participatory local government and local economic growth, using the methodology developed by DELGOSEA. A first round of training for local government staff and business representatives provided much needed skills and enhanced capacity to deal with the issues identified through the survey.

In June 2014, i.e. later this month, a nationally competition including televised round table debates between the three pilot cities for the title of City of Good Local Economic Development and Liveability will be launched. LoGoViC will accompany the competition with a PR and media campaign and will provide information about the lessons learned to the other member cities of ACVN.

For your information, you can reach the LoGoViC Team at:

Association of Cities of Vietnam (ACVN)

Floor 6th-Knowledge Palace Buildings Hanoi, Lot D25* Cau Giay New Urban Area, Tran Thai Tong Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel:+ 84 (4) 37629571
Fax: 84 (4) 37624884
Email: acvn@fpt.vn

Or directly through the EU Project Manager Marion Fischer – marionhome@aol.com