|Sokfarm’s representative introduced products processed from coconut nectar. Photo: N.H|
Attracting international visitors thanks to “green” criterion
At the recent Green Economy Exhibition – GEFE 2022 organized by EuroCham in Ho Chi Minh City, a large number of European customers showed interest in the coconut nectar products of Tra Vinh Farm Co., Ltd.
Sokfarm’s CEO, Pham Dinh Ngai, said that the company’s coconut growing area had recently been certified organic by three major markets: the EU (Europe), USDA (USA) and (JAS) Japan.
This would be key for Sokfarm to open new doors in the international market, following its successful official exports to the Netherlands and Japan.
Mr. Nguyen Hong Dien, Minister of Industry and Trade:
Green growth, green development, and the circular economy are becoming new trends in development, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a carbon-neutral economy. This trend is also changing the rules of the game in terms of trade and investment. Many important import markets are imposing high tax rates on products with large “carbon footprints,” and developed economies around the world are setting stricter environmental regulations for imported goods.
For Vietnam, the shift to a green economy and green growth is not only an inevitable choice, but also an opportunity to become a regional pioneer and align with global development trends. This will help to achieve the National Strategy on Green Growth for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050, and will also support Vietnam’s strong commitment at COP26. Investing in green transition will be a challenge for the business community, as it will require large investments and advanced technology, and the initial cost of green consumption will be higher than the general level of society. However, in the long run, this transition will bring greater efficiency and benefits to all people and enterprises.
Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers:
The pursuit of a green export strategy has a strong impact on the expected competitive advantage of seafood processing enterprises. By pursuing a green export strategy and aiming to green their products, enterprises can make their customers in foreign markets more sympathetic to their products and help to build a “green” image of the enterprise in the market, creating a differentiated competitive advantage in the minds of customers.
This competitive advantage is the leverage that enterprises need in order to achieve good financial performance. Pursuing a green export strategy does not immediately lead to good financial performance, but it takes time for enterprises to create and develop a competitive advantage. Once a competitive advantage has been achieved in the export market, enterprises can achieve financial performance. In other words, achieving desired financial performance in the export market through a green export strategy requires investment in time, through the creation and development of competitive advantages. N.H
Similarly, in the textile and garment sector, Ms. Nguyen Thi Lien, Deputy General Director of Phong Phu International Joint Stock Company (PPJ), said that four years ago, the company quickly transformed itself to adapt to the strong global trend of green consumption. In particular, the sustainable development strategy is associated with the goals of producing and trading green products, improving the efficiency of natural resource use, reducing emissions, protecting the environment, and the health of workers, consumers, and the social community. These are prerequisites for the success of enterprises.
This strategy has helped PPJ to receive more orders. “In 2022, although the textile and garment industry is facing many difficulties due to a lack of orders and labor, thanks to our goal of developing green products, PPJ has still achieved a growth rate of 20% with expected sales of $400 million, and the best thing is that we have been able to maintain stability for our employees,” Ms. Lien said.
In the fisheries sector, many sustainable fisheries programs have also been implemented. In particular, Kien Giang province has just approved the investment policy for a sustainable aquaculture development project in Hon Dat district, covering an area of about 5,500 hectares. Similarly, Ca Mau province is also promoting high-value aquaculture farming with the combined shrimp-forest model. This is a model of ecological natural farming that does not use drugs and chemicals, reducing costs and actively contributing to forest protection and development. Ca Mau currently has over 27,500 hectares of shrimp farming under the mangrove canopy, of which more than 19,000 hectares are certified by international standards (Naturland, EU Organic, Canada Organic, Selva Shrimp, ASC, BAP). The products from this model are favored and appreciated by many markets.
Goals within reach
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Hong Quan, Director of the Institute of Circular Economy Development (ICED) at the National University of Ho Chi Minh City, said that the green economy is opening new doors for export growth by developing green technology solutions to improve productivity and efficiency, enhance investor confidence, open up new markets, and reduce risks in the business environment. The global market for “green” products is growing faster and is more profitable than “brown” products of the same kind.
Mr. Bartosz Cieleszynski, Deputy Head of the Trade Department at the Delegation of the European Union in Vietnam, said that green technology is not out of reach for Vietnam. Every enterprise in the Vietnamese business community can participate in green technology and green commerce. Accordingly, with an export-oriented economy like Vietnam, green technology and sustainable trade should start from key export industries such as agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.
According to Mr. Bartosz Cieleszynski, the export of organic products from Vietnam has developed systematically in the past few years, with a diverse range of products such as tropical fruits, vegetables, processed foods, seafood, and commodities. Given the growing importance of organic farming in the EU, exporters from Vietnam should consider putting more emphasis on promoting the concept of organic farming to better meet the preferences of European consumers. In particular, products with existing voluntary certification for labeling and international certification such as EcoCert or Fair Trade are often purchased at higher prices in the European market.
“Enterprises should familiarize themselves with consumer choices and meet their expectations by providing high-quality, green, and environmentally friendly products and services. The world is changing rapidly and once voluntary practices become the norm, competition in the market will become very fierce. That is why the demand for sustainable development needs to be fully met in the bilateral trade relationship between Vietnam and the EU,” emphasized Mr. Bartosz Cieleszynski.