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I am very pleased to be here today to virtually witness the launch of the Network for Development of Business Services for Older Persons in Vietnam, whose members are representatives from many national and international agencies, organizations, businesses and vocational training institutions as well as domestic and foreign investors.


UNFPA is delighted to contribute to the establishment of the Network which connects all stakeholders in sharing information and promoting consultations in the senior care service industry. I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the support and trust by the Government of Japan to UNFPA by funding the set-up of the Network through the Project "Mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable population groups - Ensuring National Progress to Achieve SDGs in Viet Nam".


About 2 months ago, I had the honor to virtually attend the first ever business forum for Viet Nam, organized in HCM City, in which national and international businesses discussed how to promote the private sector participation in the development of business services for older persons in the COVID-19 and the new normal context in Vietnam. At this forum, a Report on Market Outlook for Elderly Care Service in Vietnam was presented and its findings indicate that the domestic service market for the elderly is very promising with 20 million "potential customers" by 2035. And the coming into being of the Network is one of the results of this forum. I would like to congratulate the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce for this success.


Reality has shown that senior care service industry is expected to expand into many fields such as basic and advanced health care, tourism, legal services, finance, insurance among others. Vietnam’s population ageing is progressing fast due to mortality and fertility declines. In 2020, older people aged 65 and above accounted for 8% of the population, and it is estimated that by 2036, Vietnam will transit from the “ageing” to the “aged” country where those aged 65 and above will be 14% of the total population. The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs estimates that the number of older persons who require daily care will increase from 4 million people in 2019 to around 10 million by 2030. So, the Network demonstrates the private sector’s interests in maximising the gain from population ageing, and “finding Gold in the Silver economy.”


To promote the senior care industry development, the Network for Development of Business Services for Older Persons in Vietnam will gather inputs and feedback to the State management agencies for the legal and policy framework, domestic and foreign partners on the potential of service development, investments, and joint implementation of activities.


Distinguished guests,


Despite world-wide efforts to contain COVID-19, the virus is still posing us a big challenge. According to the report from the World Health Organisation, the global number of new COVID-19 cases keeps increasing. As of 26 December, over 278 million cases and just under 5.4 million deaths have been reported globally.


In Vietnam, the number of new COVID-19 infections was reported from all 61 provinces and cities. According to the Ministry of Health, Viet Nam has now recorded over 32,000 deaths related to COVID-19, making up 1.9 per cent of total patients.


The pandemic has had significant effects on older people and put a spotlight on the health and rights of older persons in society. It is undeniable that older persons need better care and support, and as a result, the Network for Development of Business Services for Older Persons in Vietnam will become an indispensable framework. It is about promoting the private sector partnerships in support for the enhanced elderly care in light of population aging in Viet Nam.


The Network is designed to contribute to developing a diverse senior care service industry in terms of types, sizes and fields of operation, meeting the growing needs of older persons,  promoting business links, and attracting domestic and foreign investors. The Network also supports the development of human resources with qualifications and skills to work in the senior care service industry.


With these functions, I wish the Network every success in its operation, thus developing a diverse senior care service industry for older persons in Viet Nam, and ensuring that no one is left behind in humanitarian response as well as in development effort.


Thank you for your attention.