Central region to go ‘green’ amid digital transition

March 18, 2023 - 09:44
Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang spoke at the Việt Nam Connect Forum – Breakthroughs for central Việt Nam – in the central city on 17 March, emphasising that the region plays a crucial role in promoting rapid and sustainable growth.
Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang speaking at the Việt Nam Connect Forum on green growth and digital transition for central and central highlands region. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Economic Times

ĐÀ NẴNG — The central and Central Highlands region has been designated as one of the areas for fast economic and sustainable development, along with remarkable climate change resilience.

Deputy Prime Minister Trần Lưu Quang spoke at the Việt Nam Connect Forum – Breakthroughs for central Việt Nam – in the central city on March 17, emphasising that the region plays a crucial role in promoting rapid and sustainable growth.

“The region needs to adopt green growth in agriculture, forestry, processing industries, the blue sea economy and tourism,” Quang said. “By 2045, the region should become the largest centre of high-tech industries, services and international cooperation in Asia.

Drastic breakthroughs are necessary in the action plans of the provinces in the region to achieve sustainable goals in the future.”

He noted that this year will mark a turning point in the country's master plan for the national digital transformation process, which will create new value.

The central and Central Highlands region should focus on key areas of green and digital transformation for overall sustainable development goals, in line with the country's 'green' growth, he added.

Quang said Việt Nam has set targets for sustainable development in terms of the digital economy, circular economy and 'green' growth as global trends in 2021-2030.

“Việt Nam has committed to achieving 'zero' carbon by the middle of the 21st century, reducing methane emissions, declaring forests and land use, as well as transitioning from coal-fired thermal power to renewable energy,” he said.

The deputy PM also said that the country's digital economy was valued at US$23 billion in 2022 and is expected to increase to $49 billion in 2025.

He suggested that the central and Central Highlands region should promote a twin approach of 'green' and digital transformation for sustainable economic growth strategies.

A solar and wind power farm in the central Việt Nam. The region has been changing into renewable energy development for green growth. VNS Photo Công Thành

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hà Kim Ngọc said green economy and digital transition has been booming in the world, and Việt Nam has to adapt from natural resources-based economy to ‘greener’ growth.

He said the country needs funds, green technology and knowledge for its green and digital transforming process.

Speaking at the forum, operations manager of World Bank in Việt Nam, Stefanie Stallmeister said:“Natural risks to coastal communities are substantial and increasing. Nationwide, disasters cause well-being losses of $11 billion every year, with 60 per cent of this occurring in coastal regions.”

“Investments in adaptation are absolutely necessary to deal with immediate and worsening challenges. An action plan and national investment programme are needed to address the risks and opportunities of coastal development is urgently needed,” she added.

“Investments are regional, not provincial in nature because it is very hard to invest in coastal protection measures province by province. It is very hard to invest in river management province by province.”

Stallmeister added: “Over the last 30 years, Việt Nam has lost half its mangroves, mainly to deforestation and clearing for shrimp ponds. Even though Việt Nam is a low emitter of greenhouse for gases by global standards, the carbon intensity of growth is rising and this is a problem for a globalized economy.

“I need to underscore the importance of lowering the carbon footprint of Vietnamese exports to ensure that Vietnamese exports remain competitive. Consumers, importers, and investors pay increasing attention to climate change mitigation efforts and may start deserting highly polluting countries and industries going forward. The World Bank is eager to support the central region of Việt Nam as you seek to continue your impressive development path.”

Trailing Việt Nam’s ‘zero carbon emission’ commitment, LEGO Group has been building a new LEGO factory sustainability with energy-efficient equipment and solar power, water, and waste in the southern Bình Dương Province.

Vice President and Programme Lead for LEGO Group in Việt Nam, Preben Elnef said it’s also a challenge in reaching ‘zero’ carbon factory, and it needs supports from central government and local authorities in reaching the ‘green’ target.

Lâm Đồng Provincial people’s committee unveiled that low-and efficient energy consumption high-tech agriculture, ‘smart’ and organic farming has been used in the past two decades.

The province is trailblazing in agro-tourism as a 5ha farm could host 3 million visitors in exploring smart farming per year.

General director of Qalcomm Việt Nam-Laos and Cambodia, Thiều Phương Nam, said investing in technology will help businesses reducing energy use and emissions in following the country’s ‘zero’ carbon target.

Chairman of the digital sub-committee, Euro Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam said Vietnamese business can co-operation with European investors in agriculture, wind power in growing net-zero targets by 2050.

At the forum, the organisers presented golden dragon awards to top 50 outstanding FDI enterprises in Việt Nam. — VNS