On the morning of February 20th, 2023, the General Statistics Office (GSO) organized the Kick-off Project “Development of new statistical resources and capacity building in new data technologies and resources” funded by ADB. Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong, General Director of GSO and Mr. Andrew Jeffries, Country Director, Asian Development Bank’s Resident Representative in Vietnam co-chaired and delivered the opening remarks. Attending the Workshop, on the GSO side, there were Deputy Director General Le Trung Hieu – Project Director; representatives of leaders and specialists of a number of units under the GSO. Attending in person and online the seminar were Mr. Shige Watanabe, Deputy Ambassador, Embassy of Japan in Vietnam, Asian Development Bank experts in Manila (Philippines) and Vietnam; representatives of a number of relevant ministries and branches.

Speaking at the opening of the training conference, Director General Nguyen Thi Huong said that Project Kick-off Workshop “Development of new statistical resources and capacity building on new data technologies and resources”, JFPR Project TA 6856 for short, funded by ADB. This is a regional joint project funded by the Japan Poverty Reduction Fund on the basis of grant aid and managed by the Asian Development Bank, supporting 8 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam.

Project JFPR TA 6856 was approved by the Minister of Planning and Investment in Decision No. 1492/QD-BKHDT dated September 5, 2022. The aim of the project is to equip policymakers with the data tools needed to capture in a timely and detailed manner the impact of crises on the economy and society. The project plays an important role in decision-making by supporting the implementation of tasks to provide knowledge solutions from new data tools and strengthening the capacity of participating countries to adopt these data tools, and assist participating countries in measuring and tracking different sectors of society and the economy through the adoption of new data tools, thereby responding better than future shocks or crises.

With this project, Vietnam will participate in activities in three areas with the following specific outputs: (i) Developing crop maps using digital technology and remote sensing; (ii) Using big data sources as alternative policy tools, focusing on implementing the activity “Using health monitoring devices for public health purposes”; and (iii) Establishment of satellite accounts in the fields of tourism, health, environment and digital economy.

All of the above fields are aimed at contributing to improving the quality of information on Vietnamese society, promptly reflecting the socio-economic situation in the context of an emergency, as well as taking advantage of new statistical resources. New technologies and data sources promptly serve the information needs of policy makers. In addition, the Project will support decision-making in the public and private sectors, support analysis and research by improving access to more reliable and high-quality data at all levels.

In the early years of the 1990s, ADB provided technical assistance in the form of experts for Vietnam Statistics to successfully transform and apply the 1993 national account system. It can be said that ADB is an international organization providing prestigious technical assistance to Vietnam.

Following ADB’s previous support, the General Statistics Office hopes that the project will contribute to improving the capacity of providing timely, reliable and high-quality statistical data and information based on advanced technology, a new statistical resource to create accurate, timely evidence, to meet the information needs of policymakers for timely response to emergencies and better serve evidence-based policymaking to track the impact of shocks on the economy and society.

Director General Nguyen Thi Huong emphasized that GSO is committed to working closely with ministries and sectors in Vietnam and ADB experts to successfully implement this project, and thanked Mr. Andrew Jeffries, Country Director, Asian Development Bank Resident Representative in Vietnam, experts and program staff of the Asian Development Bank in Manila and Vietnam have cooperated and supported support and create favorable conditions for GSO to build and implement the Project.

Also speaking at the seminar were Mr. Andrew Jeffries, Country Director, Asian Development Bank Resident Representative in Vietnam. He said, ADB believes that Data and statistics are important. “Better data, better life” – Data and scientific evidence play an essential role for the effective formulation and implementation of socio-economic development policies, solutions and plans at the national, local and economic sectors, from which the data benefits the people.

ADB recognizes the important role of the General Statistics Office as the national statistical agency in the state management of statistics, aggregating and providing important socio-economic statistical information. Therefore, ADB is pleased to continue its partnership with the GSO and to have this new technical assistance project to assist in strengthening the GSO’s capacity for new statistical sources and technologies. With the 3 outputs mentioned by Director General Nguyen Thi Huong, all of which are related to many different ministries and branches, it is necessary to closely coordinate with relevant ministries and branches, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and Ministry of Industry and Trade and others. Mr. Andrew Jeffries expressed his sincere thanks to the Government of Japan for the grant through the Japan Foundation for Prosperity and Adaptation of Asia and the Pacific to make this Project possible.

Mr. Shige Watanabe, Deputy Ambassador, Embassy of Japan in Vietnam, said that the leaders of the two countries Japan and Vietnam determined to raise the relationship between the two countries to a new height in 2023, looking towards 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Japan has contributed significantly to Vietnam’s development over the years, in which cooperation in the field of statistics has been and is an essential foundation for Vietnam’s development, prominent is the Memorandum of Understanding between the Japan Statistical Office and the Vietnam Statistical Office signed in 2015; The technical cooperation program on information technology for statistics was officially launched in 2018. He believes that the technical assistance in 3 areas of the JFPR TA 6856 project will meet the current needs of Vietnamese society and believes that it will help Vietnam strengthen the capacity of the national statistical system. Today’s JFPR TA 6856 kick-off seminar is an important milestone, contributing to raising the relationship between the two countries Vietnam and Japan to a new height.

At the Workshop, the delegates listened to the presentation of ADB experts on the JFPR Project Overview TA 6856, the objectives of each Output Component of the Project; Director General Nguyen Thi Huong shared about Vietnam Statistical Development Strategy for the period of 2021-2030, with a vision to 2045 with key changes; as well as listen to experts and representatives of ministries and sectors to contribute ideas and discuss the contents and effectiveness of the Project.

Speaking at the closing of the Workshop, GSO General Director Nguyen Thi Huong suggested that all GSO components closely coordinate with ADB component focal points, relevant ministries and branches in implementing the Project’s activities. With a high spirit of cooperation, strong commitment, and good coordination among stakeholders, the Director General believes that GSO and ADB will well implement project activities to achieve the set goals. /.

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