Water Journal : Current May 2016
www.awa.asn.au 127 Vietwater 2016 Vietnam is changing profoundly. Its economy is growing at a rapid rate and its government is moving towards a more market-based economy, including opening opportunities for private sector participation. The water sector in Vietnam is a key focus in this transition and an area that DFAT has enlisted the Australian Water Association s help on. The main platform of the Association s efforts in connecting the Australian and Vietnam water sectors was Vietwater in November 2015. With more than 60 Australian delegates in attendance, including Association CEO Jonathan McKeown and International Manager Paul Smith, the event was a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing. Smith said the Vietnamese Government is gearing up to encourage international collaboration and private sector participation -- this is an area that Australia has rich experiences in and an area the Vietnam water sector wishes to learn from Australia. "Vietnam is at a very precarious phase in their urban and rural development. In decades gone by, their water sector of Vietnam has been heavily subsidised by donors and central government funding. This is changing and the water sector is now looking to stand on its own two feet financially. As the Vietnam water sector transitions towards a market-based water sector there are many changes to the institutional and regulatory frameworks governing water management in Vietnam," Smith said. Australia s experience in delivering water reforms under the National Competition Policy (1994) and more recently the National Water Initiative (2004) are much sought after in Vietnam. Central to these experiences is enabling the transition towards a more market-based system of water governance. "Vietnam is looking to implement the reforms Australia has delivered in a much shorter time frame, and they are looking to Australia s experience in how we did it, to learn from and transfer those skills." The Association is now planning an Australian delegation to November s Vietwater. "It will involve business meetings, site tours out to projects that are earmarked for development, out to private sector companies that are looking to buy innovative Australian water technology. We will be arranging workshops on public- private partnerships, transfer of technology from Australia to Vietnam," Smith said. "There will be a whole program wrapped around the Vietwater trade exhibition, which is really designed to connect the Australian delegates with the demand for Australian capabilities in Vietnam." The Association has been working with the Government of Vietnam, including a recent visit from both McKeown and Smith to meet with Vietnam Prime Minister Designate, to ensure that Australian expertise can be effectively utilised to support the objectives for water of the Vietnam Government. "We are also facilitating relationships between the Australian water sector and the Vietnam water sector. We form alliances with our counterparts in Vietnam and all over the world, and through those networks we can create a platform and connect individuals, businesses, academic institutions, government agencies and utilities. With a group of 31 Vietnamese delegates visiting in May for Ozwater 16, there is plenty of opportunity to forge relationships with Vietnam s water sector counterparts to explore prospects. Smith encourages Australian water professionals to register their interest in outbound delegation for the upcoming Vietwater. "It s an exciting time to do business," he said. Strengthening international ties THERE WILL BE A WHOLE PROGRAM WRAPPED AROUND THE VIETWATER TRADE EXHIBITION, WHICH IS REALLY DESIGNED TO CONNECT THE AUSTRALIAN DELEGATES WITH THE DEMAND FOR AUSTRALIAN CAPABILITIES IN VIETNAM. VIETWATER 2016 WHEN: 9-11 November WHERE: Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam HOW: For more information, please contact Paul Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org An Australian Australian Water Association delegation meets Prime Minister Designate Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
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