Diplomatic corps share green development experience at HCMC Economic Forum 2023

Diplomatic representatives from Singapore, Italy and Israel contributed their perspectives of green development with HCMC as they participated in the HCMC Economic Forum (HEF) 2023.
(09.24) Tổng Lãnh sự Singapore tại TP. Hồ Chí Minh Roy Kho chia sẻ về kinh nghiệm phát triển xanh của đất nước Đông Nam Á với TP. Hồ Chí Minh. (Ảnh: Bến Thành)
Consul General of Singapore in HCMC Roy Kho shared his country's sustainable development experience with HCMC. (Photo: Ben Thanh)

A new mission

Sharing some of his country’s lessons on promoting green growth towards sustainable development/developing circular economy of, Consul General of Singapore in Ho Chi Minh City Roy Kho said that in order to overcome challenges of climate change, his country has embraced sustainable development for years and have yielded certain results.

The Singaporean diplomat stated: “Today, Singapore is one of the greenest cities in the world. A third of our island is covered by trees. In addition, we are one of the few countries who has water loops that can recycling, reusing every drops.”

Nevertheless, he also acknowledged some of the difficulties that the country is currently facing in sustainable development such as the lack of natural resources, areas for large deployment of renewable energy. However, Consul General Roy Kho firmly believed: “As how we confronted national challenges in the past, we are continuing to do so in the present using technology, policy solutions”.

Regarding cooperation with Ho Chi Minh City, he stated: “Singapore has been working closely with Ho Chi Minh City in sustainable development. Some of this includes capacity building and training, exchange of information and ideas between government officials from both sides.”

The diplomat also mentioned several agreements, signed during the meeting between Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong and Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh met. One of this was in the green and digital economy. This agreement was translated into projects in the circular economy, renewable economy and carbon credit trading.

He said: “Now our mission is to pilot this project in HCMC, as the city has favorable conditions and potentials. With this project, we will further help Vietnam in setting its goals, directions to meet the challenges of climate change”.

(09.24) Tổng lãnh sự Italy Enrico Padura (phải) và ông Mario Jorizzo, đại diện Cơ quan Quốc gia về Công nghệ mới, Năng lượng và Phát triển Kinh tế Bền vững Italy, chia sẻ về hai cách tiếp cận của Italy trong phát triển bền vững. (Ảnh: Bến Thành)
Italian Consul General Enrico Padura and Mr. Mario Jorizzo, representative from the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development shared the dual approaches of Italy in sustainable development. (Photo: Ben Thanh)

“Soft” and “Hard” approach

Italian Consul General Enrico Padura and Mr. Mario Jorizzo, representative from the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, also shared their perspectives on Ho Chi Minh City’s green development and potential cooperation between their country and the City.

Consul General Enrico Padura praised People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City in organizing the HEF 2023, as it was an important even for exchanging experiences, lessons on the local level to further relations, not only between states, but also between big cities from all over the world to exchange experience.

Believed that green development is “the key for our future cooperation”, the Italian diplomat stated that there are room for further cooperation between the two sides, especially when HCMC is already a sister city with some Italian cities.

For his part, Mr. Mario Jorizzo stated that circular economy is one of the key pillars of the ecological transition at the European level and is in line with Italian national policies and strategies. According to the Italian representative, while the concept of the circular economy as “maintaining the flow of the values of reserve as long as possible within the economic model” is straightforward, the devising of a proper strategy and its implementation can be rather difficult across sectors. In addition, it is important to include different stakeholders in the process of defining the strategy for transition to a circular economy.

As a result, Italy has created the ICESP (Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform), where people can share their ways and opinions to highlight the best strategy and find a common solution. Another important element is the involvement of citizens in the process: Circular economy is a process that involves not only production, but also consumption and behavior of the citizens.

For the implementation, Mr. Jorizzo shared the “soft” and “hard” approach of Italy. “Soft” approach refers to regulation, qualification that needs to be improved and adapted on by businesses. Meanwhile, “hard” measure relates to technology aspect, for example, the technology requires to recycle composite materials…etc. Moreover, the other “hard” approach can be referred to the increasing in capacity, the know-how on utilizing resources to develop and apply a circular economy.

At last, the Italian scholar believed that another important factor was creating the network, relationship between actors, as a circular economy is often based on a lot of collaboration, innovations in order to stimulate green economic growth.

(09.24) Đặc phái viên của Bộ Ngoại giao Israel Gideon Behar mong rằng Israel và TP. Hồ Chí Minh sẽ tiếp tục các hoạt động trao đổi đoàn chuyên gia, thúc đẩy hợp tác chặt chẽ, trong đó có lĩnh vực biến đổi khí hậu. (Ảnh: Bến Thành)
Mr. Gideon Behar, Israel Special Envoy for Climate Change and Sustainability at Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hoped that Israel and HCMC will continue to their exchange of delegations to further promotion, especially in sustainable development. (Photo: Ben Thanh)

“Regular” exchange of delegations

At last, Mr. Gideon Behar, Israel Special Envoy for Climate Change and Sustainability at Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that Vietnam-Israel relations is in a good state: “This year, we are marking the 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relationship. We also signed a Free Trade Agreement. I am sure that it will boost the economic and business relationship between Israel and Vietnam.”

The Israeli diplomat believed that this will serve as the foundation for further cooperation in innovation, green development and renewable energy. He said: “There is a lot of cooperation going on between the two countries. We see already, the volume of commerce that is going up and it is already few billions of USD. There is also a lot of cooperation between Israel and Ho Chi Minh City, for instance, in the field of innovation, water, agriculture etc. On a regular basis, there are delegations coming from Ho Chi Minh City, including experts, to Israel and there are also Israeli experts coming to Ho Chi Minh City to create a better exchange and development, as well as knowledge transfer and capacity building in water management, in renewable energy and innovation.”

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