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Green growth a part of Vietnam-EU trade talksNegotiations between Vietnam and the European Union over the free trade agreement (FTA) will include the highest incentives for companies making investments in green technologies, green growth and green commodities, EU sources said on Wednesday.

Jacques Bouflet, minister counsellor and head of the trade and economic affairs section at the Delegation of the EU to Vietnam, said that there would be a chapter on green growth in the FTA under negotiations between the two sides. He was speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on Wednesday to introduce Green-Biz 2013, which comprises a conference and exhibition on the green solutions scheduled to take place on September 19-20 at the Hanoi-based Melia Hotel.

Green growth will be an important chapter in the FTA. The chapter will mention solutions for entities to obtain priorities through credit supporting programs or credit subsidies to balance the benefits for the related sides, he said.

Both EU and Vietnam have agreed to offer the highest priorities to companies applying technologies for sustainable development and production of environmentally-friendly items, Bouflet emphasized.

European consumers now are favoring green products and obviously Vietnamese customers will also adopt this trend in the future. One important thing is that green technologies are costly with huge investments needed but investing in future sustainable development is the most cost-saving way but creating highest economic efficiency, he noted.

At present, capital is seen as the biggest challenge for Vietnamese enterprises in green solution applications. Preben Hjortlund, chairman of EuroCham Vietnam, meanwhile informed that most countries joining the Green-Biz 2013 all have financial solutions to support Vietnamese companies.

Specifically, a representative of a Swedish firm said that a network of up to 1,000 Swedish enterprises active in Vietnam all expect to make tie-ups for business and supports with Vietnamese entities.

“We not only commit to providing non-refundable aids or low-interest loans for Vietnamese firms but also want to set up business cooperation with them on a fair basis,” the representative said.

More than 70 European businesses have put their names down for the Green-Biz 2013, which is predicted to rise to about 100, said Hjortlund of EuroCham Vietnam, adding the event lures many non-governmental organizations as well.

Specially, the organizers will set aside part of the exhibition area for Vietnamese enterprises wishing to join the event. Green-Biz 2013 is organized by EuroCham in coordination with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Having the same scale as that in previous years, the third Green-Biz will focus on actual challenges and solutions via an international exhibition and a conference. It therefore is expected to connect companies, and between companies and the Government.

(Sai Gon Times)

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