The Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (BeLuxCham), the Embassy of Belgium in Vietnam, and DEEP C Industrial Zones have organised their conference “ESG: Evolving To The Next Level”. The conference focused on exchanging insights on exemplary business practices based on the three pillars of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG), particularly in the context of implementing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Vietnam’s commitment to achieving near-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In recent times, the adoption of ESG methodologies has been gaining momentum and attracting businesses in Vietnam, primarily due to the proactive efforts of the Vietnamese government in promoting sustainable investment and development in addressing the country’s numerous social and environmental opportunities and challenges. In light of this, the conference “ESG: Evolving To The Next Level” was organised with the objective of bolstering awareness and comprehension of ESG business practices among private sector partners and governmental entities in Vietnam, while fostering collaboration and growth between Belgium, Luxembourg, Europe, and Vietnam. Belgium’s largest investor in Vietnam, DEEP C Industrial Zones, showed during the Conference first hand how implementing ESG principles supports its sustainable growth in Vietnam.
The “ESG: Evolving To The Next Level” conference consisted of 1 plenary session, 12 breakout sessions, and a closing gala dinner. The plenary session facilitated high-level dialogue among distinguished participants including European, Belgian, Luxembourgish, and Vietnamese government representatives and key private sector leaders and stakeholders. Break-out session topics included sustainable agriculture, carbon emission reduction, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Industry 4.0, and leadership development.
H.E. Ambassador of Belgium to Vietnam – Mr. Karl Van Den Bossche, shared: “As the beating heart of Europe, Belgium has consistently contributed to and played a significant role in building and shaping the future of the region. We demonstrate our commitment to global goals by focusing on the development of a sustainable society based on ESG principles. This conference is a unique opportunity to highlight these dimensions in our trade with Vietnam and also celebrate the 50 years of bilateral relations between Belgium and Vietnam, while setting the blueprint for the next 50 years and beyond.”
Mr. Karl Van den Bossche also discussed the impacts of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on Belgium specifically, and European businesses in general. He stated that Vietnam benefits from the EVFTA more than four times as much as the European Union does. The liberalisation of tax policies is necessary to promote equitable development and growth for both Vietnam and the European Union in the future. In addition to the aforementioned concerns, Mr. Karl Van den Bossche emphasised certain important aspects related to Sustainable Development during the High-Level Conference. He asserted: “The EU is strongly committed to supporting Vietnam’s journey towards achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050, as outlined in the Global Gateway Strategy. The EU backs this commitment with financial support and plans substantial contributions to address climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
H.E. Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Vietnam – Mr. Julien Guerrier expressed pride in the commitment of European businesses to invest in their personnel and foster a culture of sustainability. He stated: “In an era of increased transparency and accountability, good corporate governance is no longer a choice; it is an imperative. We must uphold the highest ethical and legal standards in our business practices. This conference will provide you with insights into the evolving governance landscape and equip you with the tools to navigate potential challenges. By adopting robust governance practices, we can build trust, attract investment, and create sustainable business value.” At this High-Level Plenary Session, Mr. Julien Guerrier also announced the co-launch of Vietnam and the International Partners Group in the Resource Mobilisation Plan of the Joint Environmental and Trade Project (JETP) at COP 28 in Dubai.
Mr. Olivier Do Ngoc, H.E. The Honorary Consul of Luxembourg in Vietnam expressed a unified perspective on strengthening cooperation, enhancing exchanges, and pledging support to Vietnam, particularly in the field of green finance. He emphasised the consensus to promote cooperation between stock exchanges and enhance financial resources to support Vietnam in implementing its green growth strategy. Through the ESG Conference, Luxembourg demonstrated a spirit of close collaboration and a determination to accompany Vietnam in its transition and environmental preservation, with two projects worth 7 million euros in the field of environmental protection and climate change adaptation.
Ms. Pascale Delcomminette, CEO of Wallonia Export and Investment Agency (AWEX), expressed appreciation for this session. “Today’s forum is particularly special as it takes place against the backdrop of the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between Belgium and Vietnam, and the 20th anniversary of BeluxCham. These milestones underscore the enduring partnerships that have been cultivated over the years, emphasizing the shared commitment to sustainable and responsible business practices” – Ms. Pascale Delcomminette shared.