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State should be first consumer of green labeling products: expert

By Le Hoang

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HCMC – Aside from policy support in terms of finance, taxes and others, the State’s commitment to willingly becoming a consumer of eco-labeled products would encourage enterprises to shift to green production, said an economic expert at the Green Economy Forum 2022 organized by the Saigon Times Group in HCMC on April 22.

Local consumers have shown growing interest in the environment over the past few years. Also, the Government has made significant efforts to protect the environment, preserve natural resources, and tag a wide range of products from food and beverages to garments, construction materials as eco-friendly items.

As per the prevailing regulations, manufacturers and distributors of eco-labeled products in Vietnam will be subject to incentives concerning land, capital and taxes. These incentives will encourage enterprises to proactively implement the eco-labeling process.

However, such incentives are not yet enough, said experts.

“We are moving from a pro-growth economy to a sustainable ‘green’ economy. It is a really rough path with more obstacles awaiting ahead… Completing this shift will require massive support from the State, especially in terms of mechanism,” Associate Professor Dr. Tran Dinh Thien, an economic expert, told Session 3 of the Green Economy Forum 2022.

Incentives for green growth have come in various forms such as tax, finance, interest support but Thien suggested the incentives take the market and consumers into account.

This means the State should prioritize procuring eco-friendly products. It needs to pledge to be a pioneering consumer of eco-friendly products to encourage green production. This solution will mean a lot to enterprises, Thien said.

A law on green shopping should be passed so that the market can enjoy benefits of green production while green manufacturers are given further encouragement, the expert suggested.

In reality, green growth comes from the demand of the market. Especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers have paid more attention to green living and green consumption. There is a growing number of people willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. This indicates that the market of eco-friendly products is expanding and trendy.

As shared by real estate developers Keppel Land Vietnam and Hung Thinh Corporation at the event, a certain number of consumers is increasingly asking for an eco-friendlier and safer living and working space.

Vo Van Khang, deputy general director of Hung Thinh Corporation, said Hung Thinh has a portfolio of customers requiring green properties, and green real estate is among the main targets on which Hung Thinh will focus to achieve in the upcoming years.

Over the past few years, Hung Thinh has already developed green property projects. The corporation in the past two years has searched for quality landscape companies to implement M&A deals or coordinate with them to develop its projects.

Joseph Low, chairman of Keppel Land Vietnam, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Keppel Corporation, said Keppel Land Vietnam has leveraged the comprehensive strength of its parent company to bring about innovative solutions, sustainable values to the community, and offer high-quality products to its customers.

Keppel Land is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Keppel Land Vietnam will execute sustainable urban projects, promote circular economy, and develop green buildings, he added.

Business representatives and experts at the event also exchanged their views on solutions to assist the shift to green growth while still working out issues with capital, investment costs, revenue, and profit, in addition to ways to catch up with green economy and green growth trends to meet consumers’ demand in the new normal.

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