Viet Nam pursues green, inclusive recovery: Deputy PM

Among the countries heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Viet Nam is determined to pursue green and inclusive recovery, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh said at the International Conference “Green and Inclusive Economic Rebound: Lessons from International Experience” in Ha Noi on February 25.
Việt Nam theo đuổi tiến trình phục hồi kinh tế xanh và bao trùm
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh delivered a keynote speech at the conference. (Photo: Tuan Anh)

The Government of Viet Nam and the UN Development Programme co-organized the international conference “Green and Inclusive Economic Rebound: Lessons from International Experience”, bringing in world leaders and scholars to share country experiences for driving policy, finance, and institutional change to deliver a green, clean, and inclusive economic rebound from COVID-19.

To attend the conference there were Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu, Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Le Cong Thanh. From the international side, there were UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, the Nobel Memorial Prize economist Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant, Green Climate Fund’s Executive Director Dr. Yannick Glemarec, University College London’s Professor Mariana Mazzucato, and speakers from key development partners and countries including Botswana, India, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore and South Africa, among others.

“Viet Nam continues to be a pioneer in designing and implementing solutions to pressing development challenges such as stubborn pockets of poverty, economic and social inequalities, and limited digital and energy access" - UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner.

“As ever, UNDP and the UN family will be on hand, working together with you, to ‘co-create’, test and scale the solutions needed at this pivotal moment” - Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh underlined that serious threats from non-traditional security challenges require countries to re-evaluate, develop and implement policies and measures to innovate growth models, promote green and circular economies, strengthen international economic cooperation and linkage, digital transformation for a more inclusive andsustainable recovery.

"As one of the countries heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Viet Nam is determined to pursue a green and inclusive recovery", Minh said.

While acknowledging the difficulties and challenges faced by Viet Nam in the transition process, he wished leaders and experts at home and abroad to share experiences on green and inclusive recovery, propose overall solutions suitable to Viet Nam's circumstances, conditions and priorities, thereby supporting Viet Nam to effectively implement the Socio-economic Development and Recovery Program Association, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and Viet Nam's commitments at COP26.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner commended Viet Nam for impressive achievements in reducing poverty, reaching high human development, and rapidly rolling out universal adult vaccination.

He affirmed that a green and inclusive rebound is possible if we transcend the logic of trade-offs of economy versus environment and focus instead on the synergies from economic development that prioritizes sustainability and inclusivity.

Steiner highlighted 6 lessons from UNDP’s global efforts to support countries in driving a green circular economic rebound, including: innovative long-term financing; just climate transition; bridging the digital divide; gender equality; triple-a governance (anticipatory, agile, and adaptive); and shock-resilient social protection.

Việt Nam theo đuổi tiến trình phục hồi kinh tế xanh và bao trùm
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu at the Conference. (Photo: Tuan Anh)
“Viet Nam has used the power of trade and investment to trigger and sustain economic development. To support a continued successful development path, it is worth exploring new and innovative ways to adapt trade agreements and investment strategies to enhance sustainability and inclusiveness" - Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Isabelle Durant.

The conference is timely as Viet Nam stands at a critical juncture in seeking to rebound from COVID-19 in ways that generate job-rich, sustainable and inclusive growth. It provided a platform for policy makers and other stakeholders to share visions, knowledge and best practices relating to green economic stimulus, COVID-19 economic recovery, climate action, circular economy, anticipatory and inclusive governance and green finance and investment.

The conference touched upon current fundamental development issues facing Viet Nam, including ensuring green recovery and resilience; strengthening the role of government in accelerating the transition to renewable energy and the circular economy, in line with Viet Nam’s ambitious COP26 commitments; stimulating innovation and preparing the workforce for the jobs of the future; and promoting a sustainable rebound through trade, investment, and innovation.

The one-day conference had three sessions with keynote addresses and panel discussions. Session 1 focused on “Green Recovery and Resilience”, what other countries have done to address this set of difficult decisions in the transition to a low carbon green and circular economy; and what opportunities are available to prompt countries to transition to clean energy.

Session 2 on “Trade, Investment and Innovation for a Sustainable Rebound” discussed how Viet Nam should adjust its approach to trade agreements and FDI to promote a sustainable and inclusive growth pattern that encourages domestic innovation and productivity.

Session 3 focused on Strengthening the Role of Government in Accelerating a Green and Inclusive Rebound. Discussion sought answers to the questions: What can Viet Nam learn from the experiences of other countries regarding the synergy between competitive markets and innovative government policies? What policies and governance structures have countries put in place to promote sustainability and inclusion? And how can a mission-oriented approach help Viet Nam cope with issues like the Mekong River Delta and endemic poverty in upland and remote regions?

An exhibition on the sidelines of the Conference includes 12 enterprises and initiatives visioning a green and inclusive future.

Việt Nam theo đuổi tiến trình phục hồi kinh tế xanh và bao trùm
At the conference. (Photo: Tuan Anh)
“...As the world begins to cautiously emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we also have an opportunity. To build a green, sustainable recovery that also significantly helps global climate efforts by unlocking much needed financial flows. I want to send a strong message today that GCF is with you on this journey" - Green Climate Fund (GCF) Executive Director Yannick Glemarec.
Foreign scholars highlight values of President Ho Chi Minh’s writings on anti-racism
Viet Nam plants 1 billion trees to go green
Action plan to help with implementation of national green growth strategy
Viet Nam targets green and climate-resilient agricultural sector by 2030
Phu Quoc represents golden hope for Vietnamese tourism rebound