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Measures sought to promote innovation, human resources development in Mekong Delta

Measures sought to promote innovation, human resources development in Mekong Delta


The US Agency for International Development (USAID) held a conference on innovation and human resources development in the Mekong Delta in Can Tho on April 5 with the participation of leaders of 13 regional localities.

The event focused on analysing the current opportunities to advance a culture of innovation in the Mekong Delta region, how policy can be reformed to promote innovation, and the workforce investments needed to fuel a knowledge-based economy.

During the event, USAID and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) launched the Mekong Innovation Initiative to help Vietnam advance the digital economy and Fourth Industrial Revolution through developing a more robust, digitally-ready workforce and mobilise resources to support innovation in the Mekong Region.

The Mekong Innovation Initiative will help address a growing demand for digital skills across Vietnam’s economy by training 500 individuals in the Mekong Region in digital transformation and e-commerce skills, unlocking new employment opportunities. This programme builds on Vietnam’s own investments in reforming its workforce and supports Vietnam in advancing its Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy.

According to Ann Marie Yastishock, USAID Vietnam Mission Director, the opportunities are significant for Vietnam to realise the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and thrive through this economic transition, but to do so requires enabling its digitally equipped workforce to power a knowledge-based economy across many sectors.

“USAID is excited to expand our collaboration supporting Vietnam in finding innovative approaches for supplementing conventional degree paths and accelerating the digital transformation of Vietnam’s workforce,” she stated.

In his remarks, MPI Deputy Minister Tran Duy Dong said that the Mekong Innovation Initiative will expand interest in digital opportunities and motivation to join the digital transformation and help combine resources to accelerate innovation for the Mekong Delta.

The Mekong Innovation Initiative is supported by USAID Vietnam’s Workforce for an Innovation and Start-up Ecosystem (WISE) activity, which Vice President Kamala Harris announced during her visit to Vietnam in 2021. WISE is a collaboration between USAID and the MPI’s National Innovation Center that focuses on expanding digital skills within Vietnam’s labor market to improve the upward mobility and competitiveness of Vietnam’s workforce. WISE will support the Mekong Innovation Initiative to develop the digital labor force of the Mekong Region. This is part of WISE’s commitment to bridge urban-rural and gender digital divides, helping to ensure that the digital economy and Fourth Industrial Revolution opportunities are accessible to all of Vietnam’s population./.