As part of the Municipal Partners for Economic Development Programme (MPED), a workshop was co-hosted by the Association of Cities of Vietnam and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in the central province of Da Nang on March 13.

Local authorities from Vietnam and Cambodia , as beneficiaries of the programme, participated in the workshop. Filipino and Thai organisations also attended to share experiences.

The workshop focused on exchanging experiences, learning from the first phase in Vietnam and Cambodia , and proposing ideas for MPED in Asia .

It also creates opportunities for participants to compare the results and strategies of other project sites, therefore boosting local economic development.

Local authorities were introduced to areas that will be prioritised in Phase Two. They were told how to build a strategic plan for economic development, and shown different approaches and methods in the fields of agriculture, and small and medium enterprises.

Another priority for Vietnam is the building and management of a land use plan.

The concept of municipal services supporting business is quite new in Vietnam and Cambodia . However, it has been successfully applied in Canada and many other countries, with focus on female and young businesspeople.

One of the main purposes of MPED is to support gender equality by creating support services for businesswomen to help them overcome difficulties in training, obtaining capital, networking, and other risks.-VNA