Businesses need to change for sustainable development

Thursday, Sep 16, 2021 08:53

Phan Duc Hieu, CIEM deputy director

More than 85,000 enterprises suspended operations in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 24.2 per cent over the same period in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, local enterprises need to have measures on maintaining operation and developing a sustainable business.

Phan Duc Hieu, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), spoke to the Vietnam News Agency about this issue.

What has Viet Nam been doing to achieve the goal of having a sustainable development economy?

The Government has had a lot of actions to reach this goal, including a National Action Plan issued in 2017 to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

From 2020, the Government has also implemented the National Action Programme on Sustainable Production and Consumption for the 2021-2030 period and many other actions.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is creating a prolonged economic crisis, it certainly requires more efforts from the Government, localities and businesses in the coming years.

The Government has submitted to the National Assembly to amend the Statistics Law. Of which, the amended law will supplement the sustainable development measurement indicators that Viet Nam has committed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

At the same time, the Government will issue the National Green Growth Strategy to replace the one issued in 2012.

Especially, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has submitted to the Government a programme to support private enterprises in implementing sustainable business.

Thus, the Government will have many policies on improving the quality of this private economic sector in the future.

Regarding the restructuring for economic recovery after COVID-19 and sustainable development, Viet Nam as well as many other countries have launched economic stimulus packages that are called sustainable recovery packages or green recovery packages.

The Government has those policies to support the implementation of sustainable development. What do businesses need to do?

The Government promotes sustainable development with many policies to create a favourable environment and conditions for enterprises. But if the enterprises do not take action, it probably would not result in changes. Therefore, the enterprises must take action to acheive sustainable development.

Because sustainable development will promote business efficiency and save costs, bringing many benefits to the enterprises. In addition, sustainable development will also support businesses in fighting climate change.

Besides that, people's consumption habits are changing as more and more consumers choose organic products. Therefore, the enterprises must change to meet the changing needs of the consumers.

One more thing is that by 2030 Europe will not sell new versions of gasoline or diesel cars. The European Parliament has also decided to impose a cross-border carbon tax on all tangible and intangible products, including software, from 2023. Technology can now determine exactly how much carbon that a shirt will emit into the environment. That is the basis for them to tax products.

Therefore, if Vietnamese and foreign enterprises do not change their operating models and do not move towards a cleaner and safer production process, their competition will be reduced, including higher costs. Therefore, it will be difficult to grasp future development opportunities.

Moreover, the economic stimulus packages issued by the Governments of the countries, including Viet Nam, are not only supportive packages to help businesses recover, but also green supportive packages for sustainable development.

Thus, if the enterprises do not change, they will lose opportunities to enjoy the Government's supportive policies.

What actions should the enterprises take for sustainable development?

Last year, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) conducted a survey. Accordingly, up to 50 per cent of enterprises said that they have been investing in training employees to implement sustainable development. About 33 per cent of them have been applying information technology to ensure more sustainable production.

In the future, they need to restructure business operations, not only to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic but also to have more sustainable business. This is for the benefit of enterprises themselves and also to improve the absorption capacity of policies.

The change towards sustainable development is both a need of the businesses themselves and a must for them to have long-term business development. — VNS

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