For Vietnam to reach its goal of achieving middle income status by 2035, government, business, and citizens will need to meet the challenges of globalized markets, mitigate climate, environment and health risks, and respond to the rising expectations of an emerging middle class. This requires a transformation of political, economic, and social institutions. The Foundation’s office in Hanoi is supporting these efforts by promoting effective governance and informed policy making; improving the quality and inclusiveness of economic growth; addressing environmental challenges; and creating opportunities and strengthening protections for women.
Using blockchain to ensure supply chain security
Opportunities can be found in unexpected corners of the rapidly evolving technology sector. A case in point: blockchain, a distributed ledger technology with built-in cryptographic authentication that first emerged as the underpinning technology that maintains Bitcoin. With support from the Australian Government, our Vietnam office is adapting blockchain technology to create a digital proof-of-provenance platform for the Vietnamese dragon fruit supply chain. For the growers and other actors involved in the supply chain, mostly micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, the blockchain creates a secure brand identity that cannot be faked, while importers and consumers receive trusted information on the provenance of the fruit, from point of origin to point of consumption, including important food-safety information. The blockchain creates trust, increases transparency, and ensures regulatory compliance, and is likely to be a component of future Foundation programs.
NEWS FROM VIETNAM
Mobile Banking expands economic inclusion
In Vietnam, where mobile-phone penetration is virtually 100 percent, two-thirds of adults still lack formal banking services. In a pioneering initiative—funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade—The Asia Foundation, MasterCard, and Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) have developed the nation’s first-ever mobile banking platform. The project targets VBSP’s 7 million clients, more than half of them women micro-entrepreneurs in rural, remote, and mountainous areas. Since early 2017, 4.7 million VBSP customers have received account information via SMS, and extended banking services will rollout this year.
HIGHLIGHTS ACROSS ASIA
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The longest-running and broadest nationwide survey of Afghan attitudes and opinions.