by Mi Bong
HCM CITY — By providing environmentally sustainable technologies and solutions, Finland will help Viet Nam cope with climate change and energy and environmental challenges, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has said.
Speaking at a seminar held in HCM City on Tuesday, she said Viet Nam was seeking advanced solutions for production that go together with environmental protection.
Finland's Minister of Labour, Employment and Economy Anni Sinnemaki told the seminar: "Viet Nam is one of the five countries where climate change will have a serious impact. Thus it has acute need for energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy."
Finland's "clean technology" industry could provide Viet Nam the goods and services it required, she said.
Finland was interested in Viet Nam's views on macro-level challenges to environmental protection and solutions and together the two nations could create synergies, she added.
Ngan said she hoped there would be more and more clean-technology projects in Viet Nam and favourable conditions had been created for investors, especially from Finland.
The European nation has around 2,000 firms operating in the clean tech industry whose achievements and expertise are well known.
Since 2000, the country has thrice ranked top in the World Economic Forum's ESI index which measures environmental sustainability and performance.
A delegation of 15 Finnish clean tech companies is visiting Viet Nam to look for business in waste management, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water and wastewater treatment.
"We identify Viet Nam as a key market in Southeast Asia and want to have direct partners in developing our innovative clean technologies to address Viet Nam's energy and environmental challenges," Santtu Hulkkonen, executive director of Cleantech Finland, said.
Huynh Kim Tuoc, director of the HCM City Energy Conservation Centre, said Viet Nam hoped to have renewable sources providing 7 per cent of its energy needs by 2020 and 11 per cent by 2025.
"While hydropower has been fully tapped, Viet Nam should speed up exploitation of other renewable sources like wind, sun and bio-fuels," he said.
He encouraged Finish businesses to invest in wind-power projects, including manufacture of equipment for wind-energy plants.
According to the city's Energy Conservation Centre, it has become an urgent need to develop renewable energy since power shortages are a big worry for all sectors.
At the seminar, the Viet Nam National Chemical Group and Finland's Kemira Company signed a memorandum of understanding for developing new chemicals to treat industrial wastewater in Viet Nam.
Viet Nam, together with Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, is participating in the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP Mekong) for the Mekong region, a programme to promote the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies, financed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and the Nordic Development Fund.
The EEP is a demand-driven programme with projects expected to improve renewable-energy services and renewable-energy technologies in rural areas, with focus on poor women and ethnic minorities.
It also aims to improve knowledge and tools to support these projects, enact policies and create a legislative framework, and promote access to information and funds for renewable-energy development. — VNS