First of all, on be half of VWU and the women in Vietnam, I would like to extend to you our warmest greetings and sincerest thanks for inviting us to join your significant even – the South African Women’s Inventors and Innovators - and visit your beautiful country and meet you all.




Mme Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa,

Member of the Vietnam Party Central Committee

Member of the National Assembly of Vietnam

President of the Vietnam Women’s Union,


Your Excellency MadameBuyelawa Sonjica, Minister of Minerals and Energy

Distinguished guests

Dear sisters and friends

First of all, o­n be half of VWU and the women in Vietnam, I would like to extend to you our warmest greetings and sincerest thanks for inviting us to join your significant even – the South African Women’s Inventors and Innovators - and visit your beautiful country and meet you all.


Dear sisters and friends


Globalization is an objective trend and embraces in it many conflicts, positive and negative sides, cooperation and fights among economies and countries. However, globalization has multi-dimensioned impacts o­n all countries.Especially to the developing countries including Vietnam and South Africa, it has opened both development opportunities and challenges. Therefore, we, in both South Africa and Vietnam, have to be initiative and active to integrate into international economy and extended international cooperation in all other fields.


Distinguished guests and friends


We are very impressed with the theme of the Symposium “Boosting Sustainability through Innovation”. We think for development at the global and regional level as well, it is essential to have peace, stability, cooperation and innovation.


Vietnam supports efforts and innovation for a better world in which economic development is harmonized with social progress, as well as with culture preservation and environment protection. We also support and actively participate in the struggle of developing countries for an equal and mutual beneficiary international economic order. Therefore, joining you in this meaningful symposium, we want to learnt from you and to share with you the experiences that Vietnam and VWU have learnt and drawn in the last over 20 years of renovation and recent international economic integration.

The economic renovation of Vietnam initiated in 1986 has been pushed up and resulted in rather high GDP growth rate at 7.5 - 8% per year for many years. Moreover, the national export increased rapidly especially with rice exportation as the 2nd largest exporter of rice in the world given the fact that in the past Vietnam had to import rice due its deficiency before.

Besides, Vietnam has achieved the Millennium Development Goals in reducing poverty rate by half by the year 2010. In fact, the poverty rate has reduced from 70% in the mid 80’s to 14% in 2007 while the income per capita has been more than doubled. Vietnam also almost achieved other MDGs of illiteracy eradication and gender equality in education. External relations and international integration of the country have been so ever developed as Vietnam became the 150th member of the World Trade Organization in Jan 2007 and most recently, Vietnam has accomplished its Presidency of the Peace Security Council of the UN in July 2008.


There are many factors and causes for the development in Vietnam such as peace, stability and innovation and breakthroughin its policy and strategy.Vietnam tries to make the best use of available advantages of natural resources and an abundant workforce. Vietnam is accelerating the process of national modernization and industrialization with a view to creating more value in the global value chain and effectively engagingin the region’s production network. The government is developing economic models such as industrial parks, export processing zones and improving infrastructure and logistic services.Currently the Government and businesses are working together towards developing appropriate policies to grasp the new opportunities to develop and integrate into the global economy.


Distinguished guests and friends

In tune with the country’s renovation in the last 20 years, Vietnam Women’s Union has made a big lift in its organizational and operational development that motivated women in the whole country to make innovation for the development of their family, community and the country.

The Vietnam Women’s Union is a national organization representing the women’s legal rights and legitimate benefits. VWU has 13 millions members all over the country and a well-organized network that reaches to every province, district and commune. VWU has been so active and successful in various fields especially in introducing new ideas for policy advocacy and in creating frameworks and models of development for women.


On policy advocacy, VWU has made much innovation in suggesting the Party and the Government to pass resolutions and laws respectively creating opportunities for women to promote their potentials, innovation and invention.


Most recently, VWU was successful in proposing and coordinating the drafting of the Gender Equality Law approved in November 2006 by the National Assembly. Resolution No. 11 of the Party regarding “The work of women in the period of accelerating industrialization and modernization” was passed in April 2007 at the advoccy of VWU. This provesthe growing capacity of law advocacy and the high sensitivity of gender of VWU in policies and laws making related to gender equality.

Along with policy advocacy, VWU takes lead in conducting many activities to raise gender awareness and skills for decision and policy makers in Vietnam. WU at all levels practise their representative roles by proposing many innovative ideas to the respective local administrative and authorities in adressing the women’s issues.


One of the most successful experiences VWU has done so far in order to motivate women at all levels and all fields to overcome their gender bias and promote their potentials and innovation is to launch Women’s Movement to call women to actively study, creatively work, and nurture happy families.”


The movement has enhanced the role of women in every field as a farmer, a worker, a scientist or a teacher contributing to the implementation of the national socio-economic development. Through this movement, in partnership with national and international partners, VWU has created many new approaches and new models of women in development.VWU was among the first to support poor women in the late 80’s with micro finance service and then started supporting SME women in the mid 90’s with SME management trainings, providing loans, market information, networking...To maximize cost and effect, VWU used to integrate poverty alleviation with agricultural and aqua-extension, plant protection, reproductive health care, sanitation, environment protection, illiteracy eradication, energy saving and solar alternative energy...The nation wide campaign “Women’s mutual assistance for household economic development” and “A saving day for poor women” have helped to mobilize resources and motivate women and the community to alleviate poverty. In addition, VWU developed its partnership oftrust contract with Social Policy Bank, People’s Credit Fund, Agriculture and the Rural Development Bank to provide loans without collaterals to women for their IGAs or SME development. o­n average, every year, over 2 million women are provided loans and business management training through VWU for their economic activities. As a result. Many women beneficiaries have been able to be innovative in poverty alleviation and to get rich in a legitimate way.


The Women’s Movement also created good exemplary women who have made innovation and contribution to the common development, VWU has a number of awards and prizes in recognition to women’ contribution such as Kovalepxkaia Award for scientist women, the Vietnamese Women’s Award for talented women in every field, Golden Rose Award for business women…


Over the last 20 years of renovation, women in Vietnam have proved their important role in many fields. 83% of the Vietnamese women are economically active and account for 50% of the social labor force. Women make up 48,72% labor in processing sector, 50 % in aquaculture, 64% in commerce and 68% in hotels and restaurants, 30% are women-own among 2.3 million household businesses.


The WU at all levels has worked so hard with the slogans “there are women, there are Women’s Unions” to better care for the women to develop their innovation. VWU paid attention to building new and diversifying models to unite women at all strata, at the same time giving proper attention to the ethnic minority, religious women, and women in difficult situation, especially in the remote and border areas.

International relations and cooperation of VWU have been fostered and developed as we see this kind of work always creating win – win position. It, in fact, gives us valuable new ideas of approach, models and resources for our work.So far, VWU has maintained bilateral and multilateral relations with more than 300 partner organizations in 67 countries around the world. In June, 2008, VWU was honor to be o­ne of the organizers of the global summit in Hanoi, Vietnam with more than 1000 business women and women leaders from 76 countries in the world including Southern African countries. We look forwards to strengthen our relationship and cooperation with South Africa and other African countries in the future.

Dear sisters and friends,


However, as many other countries in the world, Vietnam is facing many difficulties including high inflation at present. VWU supports the Government in implementing measures to control inflation. o­ne of the most effective way is to motivate women to help each other, practise saving and contribute to the social safety net. A new campaign which has been launch recently is to build new houses every week for the poor women.


Dear sisters and friends, o­nce again, we want to fully share with you the idea of your symposium that is “Boosting Sustainability through Innovation”. We would like to congratulate the Minister of Mineral and Energy for the meaningful and wonderful symposium they organized successfully. We certainly learn a lot from you sisters and humbly hope that what we have shared with you from our own experiences will be of some value to your innovation and invention in your near future work. Finally, many thanks to your invitation and the care you provided to our delegation. My best wishes for the success and more power to the women in South Africa. /.