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Vietnam Australia Water Week to connect nations' water leaders

The first ever Vietnam Australia Water Week (15–17 September) is set to launch, offering water professionals a free-to-attend, online conference and exhibition proudly facilitated by the Australian Water Association (AWA) and Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA).

Supported by the Australian Government and the Australian Water Partnership, the event will bring together leaders from across Australia and Vietnam’s water sectors to share experiences, support policy directions and discuss opportunities for future collaborations.

AWA Head of International and Industry Programs Sally Armstrong said the new event is all about bolstering Vietnam and Australia’s water sector relationships, and contributing to the Strategic Partnership signed in 2018.

“The relationship that Australia has with Vietnam is really important strategically, for governments and the private sector. AWA and VWSA’s role in this relationship is about sharing expertise and innovation, as well as connecting our water leaders to enhance the platform for policy dialogue,” Armstrong said.

“With water being fundamental to human life and economic development, this relationship is about helping strengthen our water sectors by supporting efforts to improve water management outcomes.

“The event is all about sharing our experiences in tackling some of the greatest challenges our water sectors face, so that we can collectively prioritise the next phase of our partnership and continue to strengthen our relationship as we move forward.”

“Following the event, we will be compiling a report of key findings from discussions and information shared. The aim is to shape, in partnership with VWSA, a path for how our water sectors build on our existing foundation of collaboration to expand our impact and reach in future,” she said.

Productive collaborations

The Vietnam and Australian water sectors have collaborated for many years and achieved significant outcomes together, including in response to COVID-19.

“We are helping Vietnam with COVID-19 surveillance in wastewater, and sharing Australian knowledge with the Vietnamese sector in terms of sampling process and outcomes,” Armstrong said.

“But our close partnership with the Vietnamese water sector has also produced some incredible achievements including trailing small-scale treatment plants to provide drinking water to remote and rural communes that didn’t have access to safe drinking water.

“The partnership has also facilitated water utility twinning partnerships between 17 Vietnam and Australian water utilities to share knowledge and innovation that has resulted in enhanced capacity of water operators to deliver improved water services for over 12 million customers.

“We’ve achieved so much already, and we are now looking to the future and how we can do even more.”

The event offers an impressive three-day program, designed to inspire water leaders of the future and demonstrate the power of collaboration, as well as share policy and water security challenges, along with advances to shape future reforms and deliver socio-economic advancements.

“The program has come together as a reflection of the partnership we have with VWSA. Planning and designing the event has been a collaboration, the whole way through,” Armstrong said.

“The program provides the opportunity for water leaders and experts from Vietnam and Australia to come together to shape the water management of both countries.”

New trade platform builds relationships

Further, the event will launch the Water Innovation Online Trade Platform, featuring a collection of reputable Vietnamese and Australian exhibitors showcasing their innovative technologies and services.

The trade platform will continue the work of facilitating and supporting Australia–Vietnam private sector partnerships in Vietnam.

“With the trade platform, our aim is to provide a space for Australian water businesses to present their products and services to the Vietnamese sector. We will be hosting the platform for six months and potentially longer if it is as successful as we believe it will be,” Armstrong said.

“We are already getting a lot of interest in terms of how we can expand the trade platform for Vietwater, Vietnam’s annual water sector event, which is coming up at the end of this year.

“The trade platform is also about offering support to businesses interested in expanding their reach into South-East Asia. It’s about connecting people, connecting problems with solutions, and also about helping Australian businesses get their products overseas, especially in times of COVID-19 and limited travel. It’s all about keeping people connected.”

A sustainable future

Armstrong said Vietnam Australian Water Week is crucial to strengthening ties and ensuring we can collectively plan for our water future and map we can best support one another on this journey.

“The event and the program is exciting in itself, but what comes next could be even more exciting. We will be using this event and all the information shared as an important foundation to co-create our future activities towards achieving a sustainable water future,” she said.

Interested in participating in the future of collaboration between Australia and Vietnam’s water sectors? Registration is now open.