Swedish groups pioneer innovation

June 04, 2022 | 16:04
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Innovations from Sweden are increasingly prevalent in Vietnam, with climate change forcing a sustainable shift towards new high-tech and digitalised offerings.
Swedish groups pioneer innovation
From healthcare to robotics and renewables, Sweden is showing the way in combating future issues

The Swedish Embassy to Vietnam and Business Sweden, in partnership with Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will jointly host a 2-day event on June 2-3 as part of the celebration of bilateral ties surpassing 53 years in 2022.

The event, called Pioneer the Possible, will enable the showcasing of green solutions by Swedish businesses and promote a modernised image of Sweden as a hub for sustainable innovation.

With keynotes, TEDTalks, workshops, panel discussions, and an exhibition, the event provides a common platform for Vietnamese and Swedish policymakers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, innovators, and young people from the tech and startup community to engage in co-innovation and partnership.

The sessions range from sustainable energy and production to consumption and material use, with insights from Swedish companies such as ABB, Ericsson, H&M, IKEA, Tetra Pak, which promise to offer concrete examples of Swedish sustainability and innovation in action.

Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Måwe said, “Climate change is the defining crisis of our time, and it is happening even more quickly than we feared. As a leader in innovation and sustainability, Sweden has the policies in place – and Swedish businesses the technologies – to drive the green transition.”

“With an ambitious aim of halving emissions and doubling sustainable solutions, Sweden is on track to become the first fossil-free welfare nation in the world. “Skype, Pacemaker, Spotify, and others are just a few Swedish innovations that have made a difference around the world,” Måwe added.

Vietnam and Sweden have enjoyed strengthened relationships over the past decades, while the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is offering the pair more economic, investment, and trade cooperation.

Ambassador Måwe elaborated that many powerful corporations from Sweden have been increasing their presence in Vietnam, paving the way for others to invest in the Southeast Asian country. She believed that small- and medium-sized enterprises will invest in Vietnam while domestic firms here will bolster investment and exports to Sweden.

Like other countries worldwide, Vietnam is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change and is taking bold action. Its commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 and methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030 are in line with the national economic restructuring programme and the global trend of green, circular, and digital economic development.

Vietnam is also accelerating digital transformation and promoting digitalised innovations as part of efforts to achieve sustainable development. Therefore, innovation and sustainability shifts from international businesses like those from Sweden will greatly contribute to this effort.

Globally, Sweden is a success story when it comes to these shifts, and last year it ranked second in the Global Innovation Index. The Scandinavian country is also on track to become the first carbon-neutral country in the OECD bloc by 2045.

In the digital age, ICT has the potential to enable other industrial sectors to move towards a low-carbon economy that will be central to meeting sustainable goals. Now, countries are looking to leverage 5G connectivity such as those pioneered by Ericsson, to help close the sustainability gap.

Elsewhere, the steel industry generates between 7-9 per cent of direct emissions from the global use of fossil fuels. But the world’s first zero-carbon process is coming true in Sweden, and commercial-scale production will be up and running in 2026. The HYBRIT project is a unique partnership between steel producer SSAB, iron ore mining company LKAB, and energy provider Vattenfall, delivering zero-carbon steel for bridges to braces and cars to construction.

Sweden’s automotive industry is also revving up as electric vehicles speed into the market, bursting with new design and technological ideas.

Meanwhile, the German-Swedish Pathways Coalition and its founders E.ON, H&M Group, Scania, and Siemens have committed to zero carbon by 2050. They say that developing new technologies, infrastructure, and business models make it easier for smaller players to follow the same path, which is just one of many possible bilateral roads to fulfilling the Paris Agreement.

By Bich Thuy

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