Viet Nam steps closer to green production

Update: September, 20/2013 - 08:26
An engineer checks a solar system on Da Dong B Island in the Truong Sa Archipelago. Solar energy is among many advanced technologies displayed at Green-Biz 2013. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau

HA NOI (VNS)— The third conference and exhibition on European environmental problems and solutions, Green-Biz 2013, opened yesterday in Ha Noi. Its aim is to assist the public and State stakeholders discover opportunities for green growth and investment.

The two-day event was organised by the European Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam (EuroCham), the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

EuroCham vice chairman David Champion said it provided an opportunity for private and pubic dialogue and also for Vietnamese and European businesses to interact.

Nearly 100 high calibre speakers, including experts from the private sector, academia, governments and independent institutions will take part, together with about 70 European firms.

The conference is not only focusing on traditional technical solutions for energy efficiency and resources management but also on providing a green education and encouraging a green mindset. This includes access to healthcare, green consumption and production.

Champion said green production was important now that Viet Nam was negotiating an EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement.

The deputy minister of the Ministry of Industry, Nguyen Cam Tu, said the Government was aware of the challenges, including controlling the impacts of climate change, environmental pollution and wastage of energy.

"As the ministry manages most key industry sectors, it plans to make industrial production more advanced by using natural resources and energy more efficiently, moving forwards a green economy," he said.

The Swedish Secretary for Trade, Gunnar Omm, said European companies, particularly Sweden, were at the cutting edge of green and clean technologies.

"We are looking for partnership with Vietnamese companies," he said, noting that although Viet Nam had become a middle income country at an amazing speed, there were challenges ahead as rapid economic growth often came at the cost of the environment, raising the need for measures to combine economic growth and sustainability.

VCCI general secretary Pham Thi Thu Hang said that technology was the key to production and technology transfer from European to Vietnamese companies. He said this could introduce waves of advanced technology and boost productivity.

She also said that Vietnamese enterprises needed to be more active and creative in raising their competitiveness as well as helping the country avoid the middle-income trap.

At a conference yesterday on green consumption and green production, Frans Verspeek, team leader of the Switch Asia Network, said that barriers included lack of business awareness about resources-efficient production, lack of technical and managerial skills on clean technology and poor access to financial services for small and medium sized enterprises.

He said there were also barriers shaping demand, including weak communication of products to consumers, low accessibility to sustainable products and services. And there were barriers against investment. including the low cost of non-compliance.

"To address the barriers, access to information must be provided, skills must be developed by businesses and networking on green finance set up by businesses and policy makers," Verspeek said. — VNS