Implementing phase 2 of GREAT project in Lao Cai and Son La provinces

On the afternoon of June 6, in Lao Cai, the delegation of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam and the Inter-provincial Steering Committee of the Project to promote gender equality through improving economic efficiency in agricultural production and tourism development in Lao Cai and Son La provinces (GREAT) held a meeting to implement the GREAT project phase 2.

Attending the meeting were Ms. Cherie Russell, Counselor in charge of Cooperation and Development of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam; Ms. Majdie Hordem, First Secretary for Cooperation and Development of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam; Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, Senior Program Manager of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam and some related units.

Delegates attended the meeting.

Participating in the meeting, on the Lao Cai province, there were Mr. Hoang Quoc Khanh, Standing Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Head of the GREAT Project Steering Committee in Lao Cai province; members of the GREAT Lao Cai Project Steering Committee. On the Son La province, there were Mr. Le Hong Minh, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Head of the GREAT Project Steering Committee in Son La province; members of the GREAT Son La Project Steering Committee.

Ms. Cherie Russell, Counselor in charge of Cooperation and Development of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam spoke at the meeting. 

According to the assessment of the Interprovincial Steering Committee of GREAT Project in Lao Cai and Son La provinces, by May 2022, the project has had more than 70 sub-projects signed with partners of different components such as: State and private economic sectors, NGOs and FDI enterprises; 15,257 women have received increase in income, 86% of women participating in the project are confident in their technical capacity in production and providing tourism services, 97% of women have participated in decision-making in business, financial expenditure of the family and sharing the houseworks with their husbands.

Representatives of the project consultant spoke at the meeting.

The application of national and international quality standards, strengthening business connections with enterprises, development of breeding and financial support services, capacity building for enterprises and cooperatives and local production groups have helped women (of which nearly 80% are ethnic minority women) to participate in the market, contributing to higher economic value.

Comrade Hoang Quoc Khanh, Standing Vice Chairman of Provincial People's Committee, Head of GREAT Project Steering Committee in Lao Cai province spoke at the meeting. 

The success of the models implemented by the project in the commodity industry (cinnamon, bamboo shoots, green hemp, tourism...) have been replicated by the two provinces and incorporated into the industry development policies; at the same time, the introduction of digital solutions through the project's training courses has helped cooperative groups, cooperatives and enterprises to access and participate in e-commerce...

Comrade Le Hong Minh, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Head of the GREAT Project Steering Committee of Son La province spoke at the meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, Mrs. Cherie Russell, Counselor in charge of Cooperation and Development of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam acknowledged the results that Lao Cai and Son La provinces have achieved in implementing the GREAT project phase 1. Mrs. Cherie Russell together with delegates from 2 provinces discussed the implementation of GREAT phase 2 in Lao Cai and Son La provinces.

Delegates from Lao Cai province spoke at the meeting.

Regarding the implementation of the preparation and implementation of the GREAT project phase 2, Comrade Hoang Quoc Khanh, Standing Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Head of the GREAT Project Steering Committee of Lao Cai province has proposed to have a working session soon with the Ministry of Planning and Investment on collecting opinions from relevant ministries and branches for comments on the design of the new GREAT project phase 2 (new project), to submit for approval according to regulations. The Project Steering Committees of the two provinces continue to direct the project management board to coordinate with the consulting unit to prepare the contents related to completing the new project design for the period of 2022 - 2027, completing, sending comments to central ministries and branches, submitting them to the Provincial People's Committee for approval and sign the implementation agreement.

On the side of Son La province, Comrage Le Hong Minh, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, Head of the GREAT Project Steering Committee of Son La province, has proposed a number of contents to implement the project phase 2 such as: It is needed to strengthen capacity for local cooperatives and enterprisees to maintain sustainable linkage chain; local authorities need to step in to replicate the successful models in phase 1 so that more households can benefit in phase 2 of the project; strengthening field supervision to monitor the implementation of field activities to promptly remove difficulties and ensure project objectives...

Delegates from Son La province spoke in the meeting. 

At the meeting, the delegates focused on discussing and sharing experiences during the implementation of the phase 1 of the project, supplementing and perfecting to ensure that the operation management and coordination among the relevant parties are improved better next time; at the same time, exchanging, discussing and agreeing on the content of work related to the finalization of the draft GREAT Project Document Phase 2 on approval process, procedures, progress, and time to soon approve and sign the implementation agreement between the parties.

The parties signed the minutes of the meeting and the action plan phase 2.

At the meeting, members of the GREAT Project Interprovincial Steering Committee approved and signed the meeting minutes, action plan, and project implementation in the coming period. Accordingly, the expected budget to finance the preparation and start-up the phase 2 of the project is 2.2 million UAD (Australian dollars).

According to Kim Thoa - Ngoc Bang/LCDT

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