Ambassador Praises Own Efforts in Vietnam

Let the lobbying begin. In light of recent suggestions from members of the Danish governing party Venstre to phase out the economically booming Vietnam from the list of Denmark’s aid recipients, the Danish ambassador in Hanoi, Mr. Peter Lysholt Hansen, took the liberty this week of making his case for a continued development cooperation with Vietnam. In an exclusive interview with nationwide daily Politiken on Tuesday, Mr. Lysholt Hansen sang the praises of those development efforts that he himself has overseen in the past few years and of Vietnam’s ability to effectively cooperate with Denmark’s official aid organization, Danida.
     “It is a country with an enormous will power. You must not underestimate that it has defeated every super power which has waged war against them,” the ambassador stated, adding that the average income per inhabitant has gone up six per cent each year for five years running.
     The ambassador went on to emphasize that Denmark is the only donor country in Vietnam’s fishing sector, and that Danida has helped create many jobs for the locals as well as an increased export of fish and fish products, going from half a billion USD in 1995 to 2.7 billion USD in 2005.

Trying to Stay on the List
Knowing that Denmark’s council for international development cooperation (Rådet for Internationalt Udviklingssamarbejde) will gather at a conference in Copenhagen in September to present the Danish government’s new development priorities for the next five years, Mr. Lysholt Hansen did not hesitate to promote his reasons for keeping the Danish aid money flowing into Vietnam in the future.
     “In a country in progress it is important that we also reach the poorest who might not feel the growth yet,” he emphasized, also mentioning that the embassy is planning to target even more aid projects at the poorest provinces in Vietnam, which has many ethnic minorities.
     Any political suggestion to change the list of recipient-countries of Danish development aid must first be approved by a vote in the Danish parliament.

For more information about Denmark’s development activities in Vietnam, you can go to the official website of the Danish embassy:

For more information about Denmark’s global development activities (and to see the list of recipient-countries), you can go to the official website of Denmark’s Foreign Ministry:

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