Int'l confab to help promote inclusive green economic rebound in Vietnam

World leaders and scholars will gather at an international conference in Hanoi on February 25 to share country experiences for driving policy, finance, and institutional change to deliver a green, clean and inclusive economic rebound from COVID-19 for Vietnam, according to a UNDP official.

Following is an interview UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the event titled “Green and Inclusive Economic Rebound: Lessons from International Experience”.

1/ The International Conference “Green and Inclusive Economic Rebound: Lessons from International Experience” will take place on 25 February, could you please share the purpose of the Conference?

Vietnam stands at a critical juncture as it seeks to rebound from COVID-19 in ways that generate growth, are job-rich, sustainable, and inclusive.

Vietnam faces three immediate strategic challenges:

(i)      Addressing the environmental impact of growth (climate-, disaster-, environmental and health-risks and natural-resource and biodiversity-degradation) by moving towards a resilient and productive economic model focused on nature regeneration and efficient use of resources in a carbon neutral Circular Economy.

(ii)   Making growth and sustainability inclusive, including aligning legal frameworks and ensuring policy enforcement to protect the rights of vulnerable groups and ensuring equitable access to basic services and economic opportunities to leave no one behind, to minimize inequality, reduce multidimensional poverty and vulnerability, and to build a fair society for all.

(iii)   Prioritizing more sustainable and responsible investments and promoting export competitiveness, including creating low carbon production systems and market niches, by championing innovation and industry 4.0 relevant skills, including for the majority SMEs, as the keys to restarting productivity and income growth, and accessing suitable sources of long- term finance.

In seeking the transformations required to address the three challenges highlighted above, the government recognizes the need for innovation in governance across the whole of government and the whole of society. This includes governance that is anticipatory, adaptive, and agile or Triple A governance. In addressing the efforts needed across a range of sectors and themes, the Conference will bring together global and country development practitioners to share their practical experiences in addressing policy and institutional change in a challenging global context. 

As the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources, UNDP is delighted to partner with the Government of Vietnam to host this International Conference, 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. 

2/ What will be the focus of the Conference?

The Conference provides 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 will address current fundamental development issues facing Vietnam, 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 will have three sessions with keynote addresses and panel discussions. Session 1 will focus on “Green Recovery and Resilience”, what other countries have done to address this set of difficult decisions in the transition to 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” will discuss how Vietnam 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 will focus on Strengthening the Role of Government in Accelerating a Green and Inclusive Rebound. Discussion will seek answers to the questions: What can Vietnam 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 Vietnam cope with issues like the Mekong River Delta and endemic poverty in upland and remote regions?

3/ You mentioned that Conference will bring in world leaders and scholars, could you please name some of them?

The International Conference will bring in eminent international and national thought leaders and policymakers. UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner will be delivering a keynote address to the Conference, alongside the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh, Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz the Nobel Memorial Prize economist, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant, Green Climate Fund’s Executive Director Dr. Yannick Glemarec, University College London’s Professor Mariana Mazzucato, leaders of Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and Ministry of Industry and Trade, and speakers from key development partners and countries including Botswana, India, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore and South Africa, among others.