Vietnam Seeks France’s Experience in Green Development
Delegates attend the Vietnam-France Economic Forum 2023. Photo: Mai Anh

The Vietnam-France Economic Forum 2023 is organized by the University of Economics, and International Francophone Institute, Vietnam National University in Hanoi in collaboration with the Vietnam-France Friendship and Cooperation Association, the Institute for European Studies (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences).

More than 150 delegates representing agencies, departments, sectors, experts, researchers, policy makers, businesses of the two countries attended the forum. They contribute many recommendations and initiatives for green and sustainable development.

Useful experiences

At the forum, France’s practices and experiences in green and sustainable development were shared and suggested by experts and researchers.

The French government requires businesses to extend the life of their products to reduce their environmental impact. They require electrical products to be repairable, facilitating product repair with readily available spare parts.

The French government also strongly supports green finance through comprehensive subsidy programs such as tax support and the development of financial instruments, a clear climate strategy for France that all investments must match, and France holds a leading position as an issuer of green bonds.

France reduced domestic waste equivalent by 10% per individual by 2020, waste generated by economic activities, especially in the construction and engineering sectors public compared to 2010.

Comprehensive innovation in product design, increasing reuse and recycling for organic products to 55% by 2020 and 65% by 2025 for non-hazardous waste, especially electrical and electronic equipment, textiles and furniture.

France is also a country that has transformed jobs in the green economy when promoting training to find job opportunities in green fields.

In 2018, the French Ministry of Labor, Employment, Vocational Training and Social Dialogue launched a program called 10Kverts to promote the accessibility of youth and job seekers in “green” occupations.

At the forum, the book “Vietnam-France Economy: Towards sustainable green development”. In the photo, Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, President of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations (center) and delegates receive books donated by the author group. Photo: Mai Anh

According to Thomas Honnet, a representative of the France-Vietnam Friendship Association Vietnam needs to establish a legal framework for businesses to comply with regulations on environmental protection during production and business activities.

Concerns about the longevity of information technology products, the repairability of electrical and electronic products, or the responsibility of consumers in the use of technology products should be considered as mandatory provisions.

Nguyen Chien Thang, director of the Institute for European Studies (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences) said that Vietnam needs to refer to the experience of France in taking green growth as a growth engine, then spreading to all aspects of economic and social life.

Vietnam also needs to institutionalize legal provisions to bind the implementation responsibilities of actors.

Attract investment in green technology development

Speaking at the forum, Le Cong Thanh, deputy minister of Natural Resources and Environment said, “The transformation of the current linear economic model into a circular economy, green economy, and digital economy is an urgent requirement in the context of climate change, degradation of natural ecosystems, and environmental pollution, which are seriously affecting all aspects of life, production and business globally”.

According to Le Cong Thanh, in the transformation process, enterprises play the role of both the subject and the driving force. Therefore, it is necessary to create conditions for businesses to renew their investment portfolios in Vietnam.

Enterprises should prioritize the development of green, low-carbon infrastructure that is resilient to the impacts of climate change, and restore natural ecosystems.

They promote and attract investment in areas that are driving forces for the transition such as renewable energy, clean fuels, green technology development, eliminating projects that cause environmental pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Projects need to promote investment, transfer eco-friendly technologies into Vietnam to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce carbon footprint in products made in Vietnam to meet export requirements to the European market, and markets with high emission standards.

This also contributes to achieving the goal of achieving net zero emissions, converting energy from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Discussion between Vietnamese and French experts on green and sustainable development. Photo: KT

Vietnam promulgated the National Strategy on Climate Change for 2050, the National Power Development Plan for the 2021-2023 period, with a vision to 2050, and the Green Growth Strategy.

It promotes strong development of offshore wind power, solar power, onshore wind power, conversion of coal power to renewable energy, and conversion to electric vehicles.

Rosie Nguyen