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Remarks by Standing Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh at Int'l conference on green and inclusive economic rebound

VGP - Below are full remarks by Standing Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh at the International Conference on "Green and Inclusive Economic Rebound: Lessons from International Experience", held in Ha Noi on February 25.

02/27/2022 17:56

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to attend and deliver my remark at the International Conference on "Green and Inclusive Economic Rebound: Lessons from International Experience." On behalf of the Government of Viet Nam, I wish to extend to you all my warmest greetings and best wishes.

I also applaud the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the UNDP to timely convene a conference on this important topic, that is also closely aligned with prevailing global trends.

The participation of prestigious domestic and foreign panelists bears testament to the international community's joint responsibility toward common issues facing mankind.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about an unprecedented crisis since the foundation of the UN, severely affecting all aspects of the socio-economic life of all nations worldwide, and hindering efforts to fulfill Sustainable Development Goals.

The accumulated impacts of the pandemic, climate change, depletion of natural resources and environmental issues have been causing detrimental, multifaceted and long-term consequences.

However, the world is also witnessing unprecedented scientific and technological progress, the 4th Industrial Revolution, and the increasing connectivity among countries.

Against this particular backdrop, countries and communities can now have a new and clearer understanding of the dire threats stemming from environmental and healthcare issues. We can also better grasp the significance of protecting our living environment, sustainably utilizing natural resources, and ensuring the harmony between human and nature, and between economic development and environmental protection.

Countries also have an opportunity to review, issue and implement policies and measures to safely adapt to the pandemic, transition to new growth models, promote a green and circular economy, bolster international cooperation and connectivity, and accelerate digital transformation, so as to foster more inclusive and sustainable recovery and development.

A number of countries have put forth Green New Deal proposals, comprising legislative initiatives on recycling and processing waste or cutting emissions.

At the global level, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development constitutes a relatively comprehensive vision and framework for the international community to together pursue common sustainable development goals.  

Ladies and gentlemen,

In contrary to prior discussions, the issue facing the Vietnamese Government in the post-pandemic era is not merely recovery, but the means to achieve recovery. The Government of Viet Nam has vigorously implemented its largest-ever vaccination campaign, having administered around 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Since October 2021, Viet Nam has transitioned to safe and flexible adaptation, while effectively containing the pandemic. And with the strong commitments made at the COP-26 Summit, the Vietnamese Government has reached a concrete answer, which is to pursue a green and inclusive rebound.

In particular, Viet Nam will continue to actively partake in prevailing global trends, such as re-opening, socio-economic recovery and development, green transition, and digital transformation. At present, Viet Nam is resuming international commercial flights, and working hard to return international tourism activities to pre-pandemic levels.

Second, Viet Nam has issued the Socio-economic Recovery and Development Program to continue to assist its people and businesses, and expedite socio-economic recovery. The program revolves around 5 core groups of measures.

These include (i) re-opening the economy in conjunction with making further investment in bolstering healthcare and pandemic prevention capacity, (ii) ensuring social security and creating more jobs, (iii) supporting the recovery of enterprises, cooperatives, and business households, (iv) investing in infrastructure development, and (v) implementing institutional reforms, administrative reforms, and improvements to the business and investment environment. 

Third, Viet Nam has been drafting and implementing numerous programs and plans, most notably the 2021 - 2030 Green Growth Strategy, so as to fulfill the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress and the 2021 - 2030 Socio-Economic Development Strategy.

Such efforts, in particular, are built on such key directions as the pursuit of a green and circular economy, and serve to realize Viet Nam's strong commitments to climate action, especially the pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 at the COP-26 Summit.

This will be an extensive transition, requiring Viet Nam to focus on improving its institutions and policies, restructuring its economy, and pursuing relevant national goals and strategies.

These endeavors will be conducted in ways that promote green growth, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and bolster resilience against the adverse impacts of climate change and external shocks.

This also constitutes an opportunity to transition from fossil fuels to green and clean energy, cut methane emissions, particularly in agricultural production and waste management, and accelerate digital transformation in service of climate action.

We are also fully aware that this process will be one of profound hardships. Such challenges lie in improving institutions and addressing obstacles in enhancing the productivity, quality, effectiveness and competitiveness of the economy. There are also difficulties in mitigating the social consequences of the transition, wherein jobs in traditional sectors will lost, and workers have not been equipped with necessary skills and know-hows to partake in a more demanding labor market. And there is the lack of finance, technology and capacity in service of this transition.

At the same time, given Viet Nam's experience in Doi Moi, in the opening of its economy, and in its process of integration over the past 35 years, every transition needs to be accompanied by a change in mindset and approach. Such transition also needs to aim at the long-term, overarching development interest of the nation and the people.

At this Conference, I look forward to hearing from experts, international organizations, and researchers at home and abroad on international vision and experience in fostering green, sustainable and inclusive socio-economic recovery.

These would allow us to learn from international lessons and put forth comprehensive recommendations in line with the conditions, capacity, and priorities of Viet Nam. Such proposals should also contribute to implementing the Socio-economic Recovery and Development Program and other socio-economic development plans, and fulfilling Viet Nam's commitments to climate action.

In particular, I do hope that discussions and recommendations will revolve around the following areas:

First, we need to address the environmental impacts of growth, such as climate, the environment, health, natural resources, and biodiversity. This can be achieved through the pursuit of a resilient and productive economic model, focusing on renewables and effectively utilizing resources in a circular and carbon-neutral economy.

Second, we need to promote comprehensive and sustainable growth. To this end, it is necessary to improve legal frameworks and put in place effective policies to protect disadvantaged groups, ensure equitable access to economic opportunities and other services, and leave no one behind.

Such efforts would reduce inequalities, step up multifaceted poverty reduction, lower vulnerabilities, and build a society that is equitable for all, with the people serving as the core, actor, goal, and driver of development.

Third, we need to enhance the productivity, quality, effectiveness and competitiveness of the economy by establishing a low carbon production system, promoting innovation, and making the most of the achievements of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

In addition, we should assist SMEs in gaining access to long-term and sustainable finance, share experience in economic and energy transition, engage in consultation on green finance, access to green technology, and means to address the social impacts of this transition.

I am confident that your recommendations today will help Vietnamese Ministries and agencies better advise the Government in implementing the Socio-economic Recovery and Development Program and realizing other socio-economic development goals in ways that promote green, sustainable, inclusive, and innovative growth.

These exchanges will also prove conducive in Viet Nam's more effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developments, the Paris Agreement, and the commitments made at the COP-26 Summit.

In the implementation of these goals and commitments, the Government of Viet Nam looks forward to the continued and more effective cooperation and assistance from countries, international organizations, businesses, and international friends and partners.

Such support will help Viet Nam realize its vision for national development, and contribute to the joints efforts in promoting global prosperity and protecting our blue planet.

May our Conference be a great success.

Thank you.