EU-Vietnam sustainability cooperation on forum agenda

November 07, 2022 | 16:27
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The Green Economy Forum and Exhibition is expected to look at sustainable solutions in Vietnam to support the country in its net-zero emission path.

Hosted by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), the event (GEFE 2022) will take place on November 28-30 at Ho Chi Minh City’s THISO SkyHall. It will gather top policymakers, academics, innovators, students, business professionals, and the public together for conferences and a free-of-charge exhibition.

Vietnam’s climate commitments made at the end of 2021 triggered a series of comprehensive policy initiatives implemented across all levels of the government, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions intensity per unit of GDP and maximising renewable energy production.

EU-Vietnam sustainability cooperation on forum agenda
EuroCham’s MoU with VIETRADE means that more groups across various fields can participate at GEFE 2022 later this month

As one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, the country has relied heavily on carbon-intensive development to sustain its growth. This has led to lingering environmental consequences, and a reorientation of its industrial output may be required.

Building and maintaining sophisticated energy infrastructure, as well as other pressing challenges, will also likely require an unprecedented amount of investment to level up Vietnam’s human capital and technology capacity.

Vietnam’s draft Power Development Plan VIII, for instance, calls for $11 billion in additional funding for energy projects until 2030. Likewise, the World Bank recommends that Vietnam invest $368 billion by 2040 to achieve climate resilience.

This is where EuroCham and the European business community can play a critical role, according to chairman Alain Cany, who was a member of the Vietnamese delegation to Glasgow when Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made his COP26 commitments.

“Although Vietnam’s government and private sector will spearhead the green transition, European businesses are here to raise capital and bring green technologies to Vietnam through GEFE 2022. Private sector participation can help maintain a healthy balance between socioeconomic development and environmental protection,” said Cany.

He added that European firms and policymakers have considerable expertise in green, sustainable industries and renewable energy development. This makes them ideal for collaborating with the Vietnamese government and businesses to fill resource gaps.

“Vietnam offers many possibilities, particularly for solar and wind. Companies with the right expertise and technology can unlock this potential,” said Cany. “Vietnam can greatly benefit from the expertise and advanced technologies that European companies and policymakers have built up over decades of practical experience.”

Through sharing this expertise and technical experience with Vietnamese companies and policymakers through comprehensive dialogue, investment coordination, knowledge exchange, and technology transfer, GEFE 2022 intends to enhance EU-Vietnam sustainable development cooperation and assist Vietnam in objectives like the COP26 commitments.

GEFE 2022 has set forth an extensive plan to accomplish this. It will begin with a plenary conference on November 28, which will host high-level representatives of the EU and Vietnamese governments, business leaders and international agency officials. Participants will discuss Vietnam’s most stubborn green growth obstacles, how to eliminate them as quickly as possible, and how removing them will impact the country’s long-term progress.

In addition, the plenary conference will provide an opportunity to review and expand upon the outcomes of COP27, which will take place in Egypt on November 6-18.

GEFE 2022 will also consist of conferences covering energy and green finance on November 28, waste and sustainability on November 29, and innovation and entrepreneurship on November 30. More than 20 green topics will be discussed, including but not limited to the circular economy, renewable energy, smart cities, green tourism, sustainable agriculture, and water treatment.

“This is a unique opportunity for experts and academics to exchange knowledge with policymakers, industry representatives, students, and the public. No matter what your level of expertise is in green growth, our conferences will provide you with the opportunity to ask questions and deepen your understanding,” said GEFE project manager Yasmina Depas.

GEFE 2022 will also feature a three-day exhibition showcasing cutting-edge green technologies and sustainable initiatives from Europe, Vietnam, and beyond. More than 150 exhibitors, including firms involved in renewable energy, banking, fast-moving consumer goods, and non-governmental organisations, are anticipated to attend.

Eight themed pavilions will be present at the exhibition, including national pavilions for France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Vietnam, as well as EuroCham’s Incubator Corner, where startups specialising in plastic recycling, food waste management, and sustainable packaging will present their offerings.

EuroCham has signed an MoU with the Vietnamese Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) to promote Vietnamese companies at the Vietnam National Pavilion and GEFE 2022.

“Our partnership with VIETRADE allows us to bring the best of Team Europe and Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City, including in the fields of green energy, waste treatment, manufacturing, and more,” said EuroCham chairman Cany.

Along with EuroCham and VIETRADE, the Delegation of the EU to Vietnam, EuroCham’s Green Growth Sector Committee, its nine affiliated European business associations, and European embassies and governmental organisations, as well as the Vietnamese government and various ministries, are also contributing to GEFE 2022’s organisation.

EuroCham will also launch the Sustainable Innovation Lab at GEFE 2022. Students from leading universities in Vietnam will join forces with businesses to develop solutions to real-world corporate, environmental, and social problems. Mentoring services will be provided by Schoolab, academic institutions, experts, and business professionals to ensure the success of all participants.

EU-Vietnam sustainability cooperation on forum agenda
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By Bich Thuy

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