For Vietnam to reach 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. 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.
Mobile banking for women business owners in remote areas
In Vietnam, cash remains the dominant method of payment, despite telecommunication networks covering almost the entire country. With support from Australian DFAT, we have developed a partnership with the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), a publicly-owned micro finance institution with roughly seven million clients, and Mastercard, to introduce digital financial services in rural, remote, and mountainous areas. More than 60 percent of these new clients are women, 90 percent of whom have micro and small businesses.
NEWS FROM VIETNAM
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.
HIGHLIGHTS ACROSS ASIA
The Asia Foundation Supports APEC Policy Brief on Women, Covid-19, and the Future of Work
January 4, 2021
North Korean Refugee Entrepreneurs in South Korea: Unveiling Korea’s Hidden Potential
December 30, 2020
Asia Foundation Tackles Governance Challenges in GovLab’s 100 Questions Initiative
December 16, 2020
Myanmar Business Environment Index: Covid-19 Impact on Businesses
December 15, 2020
Impact Report 2020
Leading through change