Going green creates competitive advantage for exports: forum

November 29, 2022 - 15:46
Shifting to green production and exports would help businesses improve their competitiveness and catch up with global market trends, the 2022 Vietnam Export Promotion Forum has heard.
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên speaks at the 2022 Vietnam Export Promotion Forum in HCM City on November 28. — VNS Photo

HCM CITY — Shifting to green production and exports would help businesses improve their competitiveness and catch up with global market trends, the 2022 Vietnam Export Promotion Forum has heard.

Speaking at the forum in HCM City on Monday, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên said green growth and circular economy were becoming global trends as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.

Major import markets were imposing high taxes on products with large "carbon footprints" and many developed economies had set stricter environmental regulations for imports, he said.

So exporting countries like Việt Nam needed to change their mindset to pay more attention to the "greenness" of their supply chain and trade, he said.

“For Việt Nam, shifting to a green economy and green growth is not only inevitable but also an opportunity to become a pioneer in the region in catching up with the global trend, contributing to realising the National Green Growth Strategy for 2021-30 and Việt Nam's strong commitment at the UN Climate Change Conference,” he said.

Việt Nam has issued mechanisms and policies to encourage the development of a green economy, a circular economy and an environment-friendly economy.

“Many industries and businesses have grasped the green trend and made drastic changes in their production chain to meet the standards of green production and green and sustainable exports, helping improve their competitiveness and that of Vietnamese exports.

“Our country's foreign trade activities continue to achieve outstanding results, making an important contribution to bringing Việt Nam into the group of 20 leading economies in terms of international trade with total imports and exports in the first 10 months of 2022 reaching nearly US$620 billion and is expected to reach $750 billion for the whole year, up 16 per cent over 2021.”

However, global trade was under pressure due to geopolitical tensions, inflation, disruption risk in supply chains and others, he said.

This required closer and more effective co-ordination between ministries, sectors, localities and industry trade groups and Vietnamese trade offices abroad to update information about markets and new regulations and policies in other countries, he said.

Trương Đình Hòe, general secretary of the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said many enterprises had adopted the strategic shift towards green development to better meet the requirements arising from regulations, laws and standards related to the environment, competition and markets.

“The pursuit of this strategy has a strong impact on the competitive advantage achieved and the financial performance of enterprises.”

Bartosz Cieleszynski, deputy head of the trade section of the EU Delegation to Việt Nam, said: “It is without a doubt that Việt Nam can reap many benefits from application and promotion of green technologies. Trade in green tech and sustainable products has become a prevailing trend in developed economies.

“Green export – or precisely the exports of low carbon products or environmental goods – is a promising avenue for countries wishing to decouple their economic growth from environmental degradation.”

He said green tech was not beyond Vietnamese companies’ reach.

“Each and every company in the Vietnamese business community can participate in green tech and trade in green products. For export-oriented economies like Việt Nam, green tech and trade in sustainable products should start from sectors that play a major role in exports such as agriculture, fisheries and forestry.”

The forum, which had the theme ‘Green Export Promotion,’ was organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the European Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam as part of the 2022 Green Economy Forum & Exhibition. — VNS