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Opening Remarks by Mr. Kamal Malhotra United Nations Resident Coordinator at Closing Workshop Project “Implementation of Eco-industrial Park Initiative for Sustainable Industrial Zones in Viet Nam”

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Event: Closing Workshop Project "Implementation of Eco-industrial Park Initiative for Sustainable Industrial Zones in Viet Nam"

Date: 12 June 2019

Venue: InterContinental Westlake Hotel, 5 Tu Hoa Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam


  • Excellency Mr. Nguyễn Văn Trung, Vice Minister, Ministry of Planning and Investment;
  • Excellency Mrs. Beatrice Maser Mallor, Ambassador of Switzerland to Viet Nam;
  • Mr. Nguyen Duc Thuan, Director of Viet Nam Environment Protection Fund and GEF Viet Nam Operational Focal Point;
  • Mrs. Le Thanh Thao, UNIDO Country Representative;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen;


Thank you for the invitation to this closing workshop of the MPI-UNIDO Project on "Implementation of Eco-industrial Park Initiative for Sustainable Industrial Zones in Viet Nam".

I am happy to speak on behalf of the United Nations in Viet Nam on this occasion, and to congratulate our colleagues from UNIDO and our Vietnamese partners for the successful completion of this project as well as to deliver some forward looking reflections from the point of view of the United Nations in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam has been recognized by the world for its efforts to transform the country and the lives of its people, being one of the fastest growing economies over the last 30 years. Industrialization has been and remains one of the key driving forces for these achievements. Viet Nam is, however, facing major challenges in ensuring high quality and sustainable growth and development, including increasing vulnerability to climate change and environmental degradation, low productivity growth based on labour intensive employment and low resource efficiency. It needs to step up both innovation and private sector engagement to unlock Viet Nam's potential as well as to attract investment in large scale projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Viet Nam has also achieved impressive developments in terms of poverty reduction. Nevertheless, important bottlenecks remain for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Viet Nam is lagging behind on the SDGs related to Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9), Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability (SDGs 13, 14, 15), and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16). Substantial financial resources are required for Agenda 2030 implementation at a time when grant ODA is declining.

Against this background, the project on Eco-industrial park (EIP) development came at the very right time to help the Government and businesses to address some of these key challenges. Over the past four years of implementation, the project has helped to:

  • First, increase awareness and capacity of the Government to guide the development of industrial parks in a new direction to be greener and environmental-friendly. The project has provided instrumental inputs to creating a regulatory framework for the development of Eco-industrial parks as a result of Decree 82 issued by the government in 2018. This was a key milestone for Eco-industrial park development in Viet Nam.
  • Second, creating new business models for industrial park developers in order to attract quality investment including foreign direct investment.
  • Third, facilitating companies' investments in new technologies and resource and energy efficient solutions. In this regard, the total amount of investment from companies in five pilot industrial parks has been EUR 10 million with an average pay back period of just only 7 months, and clear benefits in saving costs - by reducing resource consumptionresulting in an annual savings of EUR2.8 million- while at the same time reducing the discharge in the environment and improving labourers' health and quality of life.

Colleagues and friends,

This project fits very well within the UN's One Strategic Plan 2017-2021, especially in prioritising two out of the four main areas of the UN's work in Viet Nam: climate resilience and environmental sustainability and fostering prosperity and partnership for an inclusive and sustainable economic growth model.

This project also provides a vivid illustration of what some aspects of a circular economy will entail, about which the Government of Viet Nam is keen to learn from the experience of the UN and other development partners in order to identify strategic priorities for its socio-economic development over the 2021-2030 period. For this medium-term vision, the Government is placing high ambition on achieving "dual targets": sustaining a high growth rate and protecting the environment. Eco-industrial parks should be one of the key priorities given that there are 325 industrial parks in Viet Nam which contribute significantly to national industrial outputs and employment.

The UN Secretary General, H.E. Antonio Guterres will convene a high-level Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019 to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In supporting this process, the UN Country Team in Viet Nam is currently conducting a bottleneck analysis to identify challenges and opportunities to enhance the implementation of Viet Nam's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The analysis focuses on six transformative areas which will be covered by the Summit, including energy transition, industry transition and climate finance.

The Eco-industrial park initiative has been highlighted by stakeholders as one of the key potential accelerators to boost the ambition and commitments by the Government of Viet Nam. However, for this to materialize or happen, more conducive inter-ministerial coordination between MONRE, MOIT and MOST on development of technical guidelines for Eco-industrial parks conducive to a circular economy are needed to address the pending policy level and implementation bottlenecks which include but are not limited to the application of a sizeable renewable energy system within the parks or the reuse of recycled water among companies, and other industrial and industrial-urban symbiosis solutions.

I am pleased to note that even though this is the closing workshop, it is not the end of this very innovative initiative since there will be a continuing project through the Viet Nam component of UNIDO's global Eco-industrial parks programme funded by the Government of Switzerland whom I would like to thank. I hope that institutional coordination will be improved, and regulatory barriers will be removed to enable further achievements of this initiative including its scaling up at a national level.

I wish you all good health, happiness, and success!

Thank you! Xin cảm ơn!