VietNamNet Bridge – Many businesses are facing difficulties, particularly financial in applying clean technology.
Over the past few years, the industrial sector’s revenue has accounted for more than 70 percent of the country’s export revenue, which has significantly contributed to restructuring the national economy, balancing the structure of all economic sectors, especially foreign-invested businesses and non-State sectors.
However, experts say that changes in Vietnam’s industrial sector have only been made in quantity not quality, because it largely relies on processing and assembling while the proportion of its added value remains low and its technological standards are outdated.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Vietnam’s level of technological innovation makes up just 0.2-0.3 percent of businesses’ annual revenues while this figure in India is 5 percent and 10 percent in the Republic of Korea. The UNDP says Vietnam’s proportion of technological imports accounts for 10 percent of total import turnover while that of developed countries make up 40 percent of their total import turnover.
Poor technological investment has resulted in a huge consumption of energy resources, 1.5-2 times higher than in other countries in the region, and serious environmental damages which greatly affects the sustainability of the economic growth.
In addition, low technological value of products lowers their competitiveness.
Tran Hung, Deputy Head of the Light Industry Department says despite having applied clean technology from 1993, businesses have paid no or little attention to investment in clean technology for fear that their profits would fall. Apart from investment in the production process using clean technology, huge maintenance costs would hinder businesses’ operations, particularly in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Heavy Industry Department says it is difficult for businesses involved in heavy industry such as metallurgy, mining and engineering to invest in clean technology which involves a great deal of costs because their initial investment in production is also high, while the investment returns are gained slowly.
A representative from the Hanoi Women Association of Small and Medium Business says huge volumes of waste from textile, ceramic and cosmetic sector have adversely affected the environment. However, private businesses find it difficult to invest in financial capacity or pay no attention to clean technology, due to their limited budgets.
Pham Hong Hiep from the Institute for Industrial Strategy and Policy concludes that apart from lacking investment capital, Vietnamese businesses still lack information about the use of alternative technology and human resources. Businesses fail to abide legal regulations on environmental protection and still use outdated technologies which pollute the environment.
Sustainable development goes along with clean technology
Not using clean technology in production has raised obstacles in developing the industrial sector.
Tran Van Hung, Deputy Head of the Light Industry Department says the garment and textile sector is considered the key industry equipped with modern machines. But there are still many issues in its waste treatment as up to 50 percent of waste is released into the environment without any proper treatment. Therefore, the sector is facing difficulties in expanding production areas because of localities’ opposition.
At a recent seminar on using clean technology for the environment and sustainable development held by the Finnish Embassy in Hanoi and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Finnish Deputy Head of Mission, Elina Poikonen said industrial development must go together with environmental protection which is a primary concern of many countries around the world.
Developing the economy sustainably should go hand in hand with environmental protection. Moreover, building “green brands” for products is the key to the easier penetration of import markets in the world. Vietnamese businesses’ improper application of technology in industrial production will reduce their competitive value and profits, and even consumers will not choose products with low technological value and which harm the environment.
To raise business awareness of environmental protection, it is essential to adopt incentive policies to provide capital and human resources-related assistance.
Finnish experts point out that using clean technology in production will not reduce businesses’ profit but instead, help them increase productivity and competitiveness of their products. This will help Vietnamese businesses overcome stringent barriers of product quality control imposed by developed countries.
Vietnam is striving to become an industrial country by 2020. Therefore, to ensure sustainability of the national economy, using clean technology together with environmental protection is a must.