Impetus on green growth to boost trade prospects

Thursday, May 28, 2015 08:21

Green and sustainable growth are necessary for Viet Nam, especially as the country has entered a new period in the global economy that requires better exploitation of free trade benefits. — VNS Photo Duy Khuong

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Green growth will open trade opportunities in all fields, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, industrial production, renewable energy, and tourism, said Bui Huy Son, director of Viet Nam Trade Promotion Centre.

Speaking at a workshop on green growth and trade opportunities for Viet Nam in Ha Noi yesterday, Son noted that over the past 10 years, green growth has become a new economic model, which has been applied by several countries, especially those in Asia and Pacific regions. The model has also seen the participation of international organisations.

"Green growth has supported economic development together with reducing negative effects on the environment by minimising waste generation and greenhouse gas emissions, while using natural resources sustainably," he remarked.

He added that Viet Nam has been one of the few developing countries determined to follow the green growth model.

Green and sustainable growth are necessary for Viet Nam, especially as the country has entered a new period in the global economy that requires better exploitation of free trade benefits.

Sharing the view, Pham Nguyen Minh, director of Institute for Trade Representative from EUD/EU-MUTRAP Project, said the Vietnamese Government in September 2012 approved the National Green Growth Strategy for the period 2011-20, with a vision for 2050. In March 2014, the Government approved the National Action Plan on Green Growth for the period 2014-20.

Meanwhile, at the ministerial level, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has also created an action plan for green growth for the period of 2015-20.

Minh said the plan will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the use of clean and renewable energy resources, effectively utilising natural resources, and encouraging the development of green industries in the agriculture, transport, and construction sectors.

"Green growth is a prerequisite for building a green economy. In addition, trade has been an important factor for economic growth as well as environmental protection," he said, adding that green growth will create more chances for sustainable development and competitiveness.

Tran Huy Hoan, deputy head of the Division of Environment and Trade under the Institute for Trade, agreed that the production sector uses 35 per cent of the world's electricity, over one-fourth of basic natural resources, and is responsible for more than 20 per cent of CO2 emissions.

Moreover, chemical components in agriculture and industries have been one of the five leading causes of deaths in the world.

"Products that are designed and produced by environmentally friendly companies and fulfil sustainable production standards will be at an advantageous position in world markets. Several suppliers tend to follow sustainable production to ensure their position in the global supply chain, Hoan explained.

Production and transaction through renewable energy sources will help access clean and cheap materials and electricity.

World technology markets promoting effective and low carbon products are expected to increase by three times to US$2.2 trillion by 2020.

However, he said, the green growth strategy in Viet Nam has been faced with many challenges as total spending for climate change preventive measures remained low at 2-6 per cent of the GDP, equivalent to $3-9 billion.

The country still lacked policies for mobilising domestic and foreign players, especially international climate funds, to invest in green growth.

He suggested that Viet Nam should review and adjust action plans at each sector and region for limiting the development of economic sectors, which can cause environmental pollution and reduce natural resources.

It should also facilitate new green production sectors while developing green models in rural areas as well as a legal framework to support green growth. — VNS

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