The National Conference on Sustainable Development 2019

In Hanoi, on September 12th 2019, EuroCham Vice Chairman Tomaso Andreatta, Nguyen Hai Minh and Ywert Visser joined the National Conference on Sustainable Development 2019 organised by the National Council on Sustainable Development, in coordination with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the World Bank under the theme “For a Decade of More Sustainable Development”.

The conference was chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tong Thi Phong, and Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, gathering nearly 1,000 delegates from the public sector, business community, and international organisations.
The event aimed to seek practical and effective measures to develop the human capital, build a non-emission economy, and promote the model of sustainable economy to help enhance the competitiveness of the private sector, heading towards the socio-economic development strategy for the 2021-2030 period with new vision and policies to bring the country to a decade with more sustainable development.

Within the conference, participants discussed topics related to the development of circular economy in the next decade and the inter-sectoral growth model and the transformation in the principle of using materials; the public-private partnership (PPP); and human capital.
During the Discussion section, EuroCham Vice Chairman and Green Growth Sector Committee Chairman Tomaso Andreatta highlighted the need to build and transform cities into smart cities. This is one of the solution to reduce the pollution, especially air pollution and plastics waste. With this context, he inquired on the concrete plan and timeline of the Vietnamese Government to realize such transformation.

Addressing the question, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that, as a developing country, Vietnam welcomes and appreciates all the recommendations and best practices from other countries in terms of economic development. Nowadays, the country has faced numerous challenges in a changing world, while there are many countries which have previous experience in dealing with these challenges.

Hence, even though its legal framework is not yet completed, Vietnam is very open and stands ready to learn from the best practices of the world, following the global trend in terms of building smart system: smart services, smart education, smart traffic, etc. Besides, the Prime Minister has directly steered a lot of these models throughout the country. His message – also the Government’s message - is clear: Vietnam wants to apply the latest technology but it should be suitable with Vietnam’s conditions, and should avoid wasting capital for sublime and impractical technology. The country hopes to continue to channels with international experts and stakeholders and above all, to call for both domestic and foreign investors to join hands to deal with the above challenges.

In his keynote speech, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said sustainable development is an inevitable trend of social development and thus, an urgent need for Vietnam. The leader pointed out current problems like the inefficient exploitation and use of natural resources, environmental pollution and ecological imbalance in many areas.
Given this, he stressed the need to focus policies and resources to integrate the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into the 2021-2030 socio-economic development strategy, with specific plans and tasks.
He called for efforts to speed up the restructuring and improvement of economic institutions, towards the more efficient use of natural resources, energy saving, advanced economic competitiveness, climate change adaptation and poverty reduction. National strategies on green growth, climate change adaptation, sustainable poverty reduction, circulated and sharing economy should be implemented synchronously, he said.
He asked ministries, sectors and localities nationwide to encourage businesses and people to be creative and innovative to help Vietnam boost its competitiveness in global markets. He also emphasised that the globalisation of technology will change thinking, but that Vietnam must preserve its cultural values, making changes but still promoting sustainable development.

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