HCM CITY — Việt Nam needs to go all out in its pursuit of green growth if it is to develop stably and sustainably, mobilising all resources at hand for the purpose.
This was an opinion shared by lawmakers and other participants from different walks of life at the Vietnam Connect Forum 2022 held in HCM City last week.
Dr. Tạ Đình Thi, vice chairman of the National Assembly's Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, said at the forum that after nearly 10 years of implementing the Green Growth Strategy, awareness of green and sustainable growth had improved significantly among localities, people and business community.
They had gradually made changes in production and daily life and made other practical contributions to implementing the green growth strategy.
However, the Government and several international organisations maintained that Việt Nam's economy had not developed sustainably, and that quality, productivity, efficiency and competitiveness remained low.
The macroeconomy was not stable because development still relied heavily on the exploitation of natural resources, investment capital, and labour intensive industries, besides inefficient use of resources and energy increased environmental pollution and high greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hà Kim Ngọc said Việt Nam's development perspective for the next 10 years would be "fast and sustainable development" while ensuring environmental protection and adaptation to climate change.
The Government approved the National Green Growth Strategy for 2021-30 with vision beyond 2050, which set out the overall goal of promoting economic restructuring in association with transforming the growth model that would incorporate environmental sustainability and social equity, Ngọc said.
Việt Nam showed its strong commitment to green growth at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference when the Prime Minister pledged that Việt Nam would reach its net zero carbon emissions target by 2050. In addition, the Government’s Socio-Economic Development and Recovery Programme promulgated on January 30, 2022 also affirmed the determination to develop a "green and circular economy associated with sustainable development", he added.
Meanwhile, in the global value chain, a new-generation of bilateral and multilateral agreements that Việt Nam had signed also specified regulations and standards for green growth. It was clear that green growth would not only be a long-term trend but a need, an immediate and urgent requirement for Việt Nam, Thi said.
"If our economy is slow to ‘green’ industries, if businesses are slow to ‘green transformation’ of their operating models and production, investment and trade processes, we will miss out on many cooperation and development opportunities. In this decade and many decades to come, it is certain that the global trend will be ‘green competition’”.
Ngọc said that to achieve sustainable development goals, the country needed to achieve three strategic breakthroughs in terms of institutions, human resources and infrastructure, with a focus on innovation and development of science and technology.
“These are the basis for Việt Nam to effectively use resources, strengthen its management capabilities in finance and technology, and promote the participation of the community, business sector and international organisations in implementing our sustainable development goals.”
“According to calculations by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the World Bank, the implementation of Việt Nam’s green growth strategy by 2030 is expected to cost some US$30 billion. The State budget can only meet around 30 per cent of this cost, so the remainder expected to come from the private sector, mainly the foreign business community,” Thi said.
“Now is the time to work together to identify solutions regarding access to resources, spreading value and accelerating effective green transformation. Policymakers, managers, leaders of localities, economic and social experts, and scientific, technological and business communities need to join hands to find new and feasible approaches to address the problems facing the green economy,” he added.
Renewables, electric vehicles
Bruce Delteil, managing partner, McKinsey & Company Vietnam, identified some themes for Việt Nam’s decarbonisation journey, saying decarbonisation needs to be a priority for Việt Nam as climate change will disproportionately affect the country, both through physical risk and transition exposure.
In addition, to achieve net zero emissions, “Việt Nam needs to install approximately 70GW of solar and about150GW of wind power by 2050.”
Electrifying road vehicles would be another key focus area, where Việt Nam is already taking pioneering steps.
“Coordinated effort across all sectors will be required to accelerate Việt Nam’s decarbonisation, especially in implementing key levers like high-speed rail, public transport, and shifting towards advanced manufacturing,” he said.
Golden Dragon Awards
Co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnam Economic Times, the forum was followed by the Golden Dragon Awards 2022 ceremony that honoured foreign invested enterprises for their contribution to green growth and sustainable development.
Samsung, Intel Products Vietnam, Qualcomm Vietnam, VSIP, Gamuda Land Việt Nam, La Vie, DHL-VNPT and Best Express Vietnam were among the winners of the Top 10 Golden Dragon Awards.
The awards also honoured the top 50 outstanding FIEs in Việt Nam in 2021, with winners including Standard Chartered Bank, Deloitte, Citi Vietnam, KPMG, Honda, Zamil Steel, Prudential, Amway, Grab, Oppo Vietnam and GreenFeed Vietnam.
Fausto Tazzi, La Vie’s managing director, said “As the leading mineral water company in Việt Nam, our priority is to protect our precious natural mineral resource and develop initiatives to help provide people with high quality water in an environmentally sustainable way.
“At La Vie and at Nestlé, we are embarked on a journey that has the ambition to take us even beyond sustainability, towards regeneration. We aim at creating positive impacts on the environment and on the society, to help protect ecosystems and to renew and restore the environment for this generation and for future generations to come.” — VNS