Vietnam Ripe for Green Investment
Vietnam is a pioneer among developing countries, taking a leadership role in green growth. From 2012, the Green Growth Strategy has aimed to develop Vietnam into a low carbon economy and to enrich natural capital. The strategy marks the direction in sustainable economic development with the objectives of restructuring the economy and applying advanced technology to improve living standards. The initiative has seen support from Vietnam and been praised by Vietnam’s President and World Bank Vice President Rachel Kyte.
Establishment of a carbon market, allowing carbon trading for countries to meet obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, is currently underway under the VNPMR project. The project aims to implement the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) plan to create carbon credits for waste management and steel manufacturing. Vietnam has received US$3 million in aid to support the VNPMR from the World Bank. While the overall benefits of carbon trading are debatable, integrating into the global carbon market offers Vietnamese firms more flexibility in meeting environmental obligations.
Investors are confident in the rewards of green investment in Vietnam. The US$2bn environmentally conscious investment from into an Eco Smart City in Ho Chi Minh City is a partnership between Japanese Mitsubishi, Toshiba and South Korean Lotte. Lotte Chairman Shin Dong Bin has confirmed that the Eco Smart City project will be an example of modern green architecture, and is one of Lotte’s largest overseas investments. The development will feature trade centers, hotels, office building and apartments on a 10 hectare area in the new urban area of Thu Thiem in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2. Ground is expected to be broken for the project in September 2015, when the government celebrates 70 years of independence.
Vietnam is partnering with governments and international organisations to keep its green growth strategy on track. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has been actively supporting Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) regarding the project, including in a January 2015 workshop in Hanoi on the Legal Framework for Vietnam’s Green Growth Strategy. Similarly, the MPI is working closely with the United Nations Development Programme and USAID to develop capacity of its and other Vietnamese ministries’ staff, and to develop policies and regulations for green growth investments with an eye on sustainable development.
Green investment in Vietnam is taking place at the nexus of private sector initiatives and public sector cooperation and capacity building. From carbon trading to green construction, Vietnam is the place for green innovation in ASEAN.
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