Associate Professor, Dr Nguyễn Thế Chinh, former director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment) spoke to Vietnam News Agency about policies and laws to promote the development of the circular economy in Việt Nam.
|Growing cordyceps, one of One Commune, One Product (OCOP) programme of Mekong Delta province of Cần Thơ. Developing OCOP products is one of measures to promote green and sustainable development in Việt Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh|
How do you assess the development of a circular economy in Việt Nam?
Việt Nam is following the general trend of the world. We are implementing a circular economy in three main sectors, construction industry, agriculture and services.
The circular economy is promoted in the economic development strategy for the period of 2021-30. That means Việt Nam is gradually shifting from the current linear economy (the traditional one) to the new economic model that meets the economy – society – environment needs.
It will help saving resources, improving the products’ qualities and moving towards zero emissions to the environment.
The development of the circular economy is the trend, so we can apply this economic model in some potential sectors. Some related to technology or required higher standards will proceed in the future.
What advantages will our country see if we implement a circular economy?
The first advantage will be saving resources. For example, waste can be recycled. Wastewater can be used for other purposes or recycled. Same as the world, gas emissions are collected to use for economic purposes and by that, we can save resources and have higher quality products.
Currently, it is worth noting the problem of environmental pollution. So it is necessary to fundamentally solve the economic model, create jobs, handle labour problems and set high environmental quality standards and make environmentally friendly products.
The circular economy will help create competitive products for export markets. The most important is that we are working together with the world to achieve the commitment to the sustainable development of land, marine and air environment or effectively using natural resources.
To develop the circular economy, the Party has issued resolution No. 55-NQ/TW on “Orientations of strategy for national energy development by 2030 with a vision towards 2045.” So how do we implement the circular economy in our country?
The Party and the Government have determined that circular economy development is one of the country’s important orientations for the 2021-30 period.
Việt Nam will deploy a circular economy model based on three pillars: designing, prolonging the material life cycle, reducing emissions and restoring the ecosystem. Three issues need to be discussed for the circular economy which are the interpretation of the circular economy; guidelines and policies to develop a circular economy in Việt Nam; some recommendations on developing a circular economy towards the green economy.
The Party’s orientations are in Article 142, Environment Protection Law. Resolution No. 08/2022/NĐ-CP has also concretised provisions on circular economy (roadmap, responsibility for implementing circular economy and mechanism to encourage circular economy implementation).
In 2023, we will promulgate the action plans, and provide related information to locals to implement the development plan.
For example, in the agriculture sector, the sector deploy the national One Commune, One Product (OCOP) programme in the 2021-25 period to promote green and sustainable development. According to the programme, each province has to build up plans and develop OCOP products following the value chain, towards the circular economy, green OCOP associated with stable raw material areas.
The Circular Economy Development Plan offers a multi-sectoral approach instead of just encapsulating resources and the environment sector. All of those policies are now coming into life, taking effect so that businesses in many different fields can fundamentally develop a circular economy model.
What additional conditions are needed to bring a circular economy into play soon?
In fact, the circular economy has been included in the document of the 13th National Party Congress and is also constantly mentioned in many national socio-economic policy dialogues. This definitely confirms that the circular economy is chosen as the new direction for the country.
However, the circular economy should be implemented in multi-sectors. Besides policies, mechanism, the conditions to apply the model are the science-technology development and the market.
Investment capital is an important part, so how we can invest and what mechanism should be in place to encourage businesses are critical matters. Currently, the regulations have not been completed but we already have a mechanism to implement the circular economy so that businesses can take advantage in the market. — VNS