Vietnam is a country in South-East Asia with a population approaching 100 million. After shifting to a market economy in the 1980s, it has become one of the most dynamic emerging economies in the region, with a yearly GDP growth of 6-7% (pre-pandemic).
Vietnam is one of the EU’s main partners in South-East Asia, with the highest number of agreements, including a partnership and cooperation agreement, a free trade agreement, and a forest law enforcement, governance and trade voluntary partnership agreement (FLEGT).
The EU supports Vietnam towards sustainable and inclusive development, in line with the 2021-2030 Vietnam Socio-Economic Development Strategy (SEDS) and the Vietnam Green Growth Strategy, as well as the EU’s Global Gateway and Indo-Pacific Strategies. EU action builds on Vietnam’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and fosters a sustainable green transition through the Just Energy Transition Partnership.
Team Europe Initiatives in Vietnam bring together the EU, the European Investment Bank, as well as Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden.
For the period 2021-2027, the EU supports Vietnam under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI-Global Europe). Under that framework, the EU allocated €210 million to Vietnam for the period 2021-2024. Vietnam also benefits from investments mobilised through the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+), Global Gateways’ main financial tool.
At the EU-ASEAN summit in December 2022, the EU announced an expected investment from Team Europe of around €10 billion for South-East Asia. As a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam and the EU also cooperate at the region-to-region level, notably through two Global Gateway flagships: the regional Team Europe Initiatives on Green and Sustainable Connectivity with ASEAN.
Our flagship initiatives
Team Europe in Vietnam focuses on several key sectors:
- Climate-resilient, low-carbon circular economy - to support the country in climate change mitigation and adaption. EU support focuses on:
- Climate resilience - restoring carbon sinks, removing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing climate resilience, through a dedicated Team Europe Initiative. Team Europe set up a Water and Natural Resources Management Facility (WARM), which funds feasibility studies and provides technical assistance to eight climate change adaptation investment projects in Vietnam. The EU also engages with state and non-state actors in the sector. With initiatives like the “Women led Green partnership programme”, the EU aims to strengthen women’s participation in green deal related actions
- Energy - supporting Vietnam in its commitments to end the use of coal and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, through the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP). The EU and UK, as co-lead, and other International Partners’ Group members pledged a financial package of USD 15.5 billion, including private sector investment. The EU is currently the largest provider of grants to JETP with €176 million. Under this framework, and through the EFSD+, Team Europe accelerates JETP relevant investments, notably by Vietnam Electricity (EVN) and for the “Bac Ai Hydro Pump Storage”, Vietnam’s first pumped storage hydropower plant (1.2 GW)
- Forests - focusing on forest restoration and conservation, through sustainable management practices to prevent deforestation and forest degradation and improve forest-based value chains. A regional Team Europe programme (Sustainable Agriculture for Forest Ecosystems - SAFE) will support Vietnam in its transition to deforestation-free supply chains
- Decent employment and inclusive entrepreneurship - to create and promote jobs in Vietnam that provide decent earnings, ensure safe working conditions, give social protection, and safeguard workers’ rights. Through a dedicated Team Europe Initiative, we aim to empower people, especially youth, to acquire knowledge and competencies needed for job opportunities providing ‘soft’ infrastructure under Global Gateway:
- Decent work - accompanying Vietnam in its labour reform process that started during the trade liberalisation years by promoting the Decent Work Agenda and supporting the implementation of international labour standards, the elimination of unacceptable forms of labour and the reduction of inequalities in the workplace
- Better skills - supporting the improvement of job skills to foster climate change mitigation, green and digital transitions, particularly through technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to match national and international labour market demands. It aims to increase the recognition of TVT as a viable educational option in the green and digital transitions
- Inclusive and responsible business - stimulating inclusive entrepreneurship in all economic sectors, with a focus on green and climate neutral businesses, by supporting the formalisation of business, equal opportunities to start and operate businesses – in particular for EU small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), linking EU and Vietnamese SMEs in global supply chains, business support structures (link with ASEAN-wide networks and Enterprise Europe Network) and social entrepreneurship
- Governance, rule of law and institutional reform - improving the quality of governance, including e-governance, is fundamental to Vietnam's prosperity and stability and requires further institutional reform. EU support notably focuses on:
- Justice and Legal Empowerment - supporting legal empowerment and access to justice since 2014 with the EU JULE programme