SMEs show limited engagement in circular economy

Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have showed their limited participation in circular economy for both subjective and objective reasons, mostly related to resources, awareness, capacity and vision for benefits of circular economy, said Director of the Institute for Circular Economy Development (ICED) Asso. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Hong Quan.

SMEs show limited engagement in circular economy hinh anh 1

A renewable power complex of Trung Nam Group in Thuan Bac district, Ninh Thuan province. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have showed their limited participation in circular economy for both subjective and objective reasons, mostly related to resources, awareness, capacity and vision for benefits of circular economy, said Director of the Institute for Circular Economy Development (ICED) Asso. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Hong Quan.

From an efficiency perspective, the impact of circular economy comes more slowly and is not as strong as expected, he said, adding that financial, sci-tech, education and training, and communication support policies for circular economy remain limited while there is a lack of coordination between policy-making agencies, businesses and sci-tech institutions.

Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam Ramla Khalidi remarked that circular economy is an economic opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises.

Studies showed that the switch to circular economy brings in economic opportunities worth 4.5 trillion USD globally via reducing wastefulness, stimulating innovation and generating jobs. Therefore, the Vietnamese business community, particularly SMEs, should have a new perspective to join this process.

At present, Vietnamese SMEs account for nearly 96% of the total firms, using 47% of workforce and contributing 36% to the added value of the national economy.

"We need to ensure that businesses are provided with the technical and financial support needed to transform the production and consumption model, align with national policies on CE, and reap the benefits of the trade agreements between Vietnam and other countries," said Khalidi.

To this end, a recent UNDP-initiated capacity-building programme, in partnership with the Netherlands Embassy, has trained over 100 Vietnamese enterprises in various sectors to scale up CE models, adopt low-carbon technologies, and shift production and consumption models to greener ones.

SMEs show limited engagement in circular economy hinh anh 2

Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Mai The Toan, Vice President of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment, underlined circular economy as an inevitable path for Vietnam, given its limited natural resources, high population, and the growing pressure of environmental pollution.

He also revealed that his institute had recently outlined the National Action Plan on circular economy, which is slated to be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval before December 31, 2023. However, for the time being, the outline was handed out to local authorities, enterprises, and research institutes to elicit their comments.

"We need to develop a set of guidelines on circular economy transition in Vietnam, which would instruct enterprises how to incorporate circular economy into their operation," Toan added./.
Source: VNA
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