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Nov 03, 2021 / 09:52

Vietnamese PM meets world leaders at COP26

International leaders believe that Vietnam’s commitments to global climate issues help boost investors’ confidence in supporting the country’s green growth targets.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Oct 2 met with many leaders of partner countries on the sidelines of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the UK, to discuss measures for further cooperation, mainly increased trade and investment for economic recovery.

The discussions have shown Vietnam’s commitments to the global pressing issues and its policies for the enhanced bilateral ties when Chinh met United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the Global Environment Facility’s CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australian PM Scott Morrison, Croatia PM Andrej Plenkovic, South Korean President Moon Jae In, Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, among others.  

The world’s leaders believed that Vietnam’s commitments help boost investors’ confidence in assisting Vietnam’s shifting to a green and inclusive economy, saying that the country has the potential to draw investment, climate finance, and tech transfer.

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) and UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Photos: VNA

In the meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Chinh stressed that Vietnam appreciates the UN’s central role and expected to enhance the comprehensive relations with the organization.

The PM expressed concerns over climate impact on Vietnam, especially the Mekong Delta, the Northern mountainous areas, and the Central region, reaffirming Vietnam’s strong commitments to climate response.

António Guterres highly appreciated Vietnam’s participation in international issues, including climate change, peacekeeping, and non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021, as well its commitments to net-zero emissions at COP26.

The secretary-general said the UN is willing to support Vietnam in shifting to a green and inclusive economy and renewable energy development, at the same time supporting Vietnam and countries in the Mekong Sub-region to cope with landslide, saltwater intrusion, and sustainable water use to ensure food security.

Vietnam's PM Pham Minh Chinh meets US President Joe Biden. Source: VGP

In talks with US President Joe Biden, Chinh appreciated Biden’s efforts in tightening relations with Vietnam and Asian countries, affirming that Vietnam attaches importance to the US and expects the relations to be strengthened.

The two leaders agreed to enhance the comprehensive partnership with a focus on climate fintech, referred to as the digital financial technology catalyzing decarbonization, to address climate issues, especially mechanisms under the Paris Agreement.

Chinh noted that Vietnam encourages the engagement of US firms in green growth in Vietnam.

Biden highly appreciated Vietnam’s proactive response and commitments to the global climate issues at COP26, notably Hanoi’s net-zero target by 2050 and its determination towards a green and inclusive economy.

 Vietnam's PM Pham Minh Chinh and Australian PM Scott Morrison.

In a conversation with Australian PM Scott Morrison, the two PMs share a dynamic strategic partnership, based on strong economic, security and people-to-people ties.

They consider the path ahead is a new chapter, with a Joint Statement on our Commitment to Practical Climate Action and the launch of our Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy.

The governments’ leaders discussed the importance of practical efforts to achieve climate targets towards a low emissions future.

According to Scott Morrison, Australia and Vietnam are committed to the rapid take-up of renewables, an active focus on adaptation and resilience, and meeting ambitions for net zero. “We reaffirmed our common energy and climate challenges, which included the need to achieve climate targets while supporting energy security.”

During the talks, they finalized the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy that is a commitment under the strategic partnership and sets out a detailed roadmap to deliver our joint ambition to become top 10 trading partners and double two-way investment. The strategy will be released in the coming weeks. 

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and South Korean President Moon Jae In.

Talking with South Korean President Moon Jae In, Chinh expressed his hope to reinforce the strategic partnership in all fields. He stated Vietnam’s support and contributions to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Chinh thanked South Korea’s Covid-19 vaccine and medical equipment donations to Vietnam and invited Moon Jae In to visit Vietnam at his convenience. In turn, head of the Blue House thanked Vietnam’s efforts by the successful hosting of the Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi in 2019. 

 Vietnam's PM Pham Minh Chinh and Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

During the conversation with Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, Chinh requested the signing and implementation of agreements to reach the two-way trade of US$25 billion annually towards the trade balance.

Prayut Chan-o-cha affirmed that Thailand is willing to boost the multisectoral cooperation with Vietnam, including innovation, sustainable development, digital transformation, manpower, as well as increasing its investment into Vietnam.

The two PMs stressed the importance of cooperation in developing vaccines and establishing Covid-19 travel corridors. Chinh thanked Thailand’s decisions to list Vietnam among low-risk countries which are exempted from quarantine when coming to the “Golden Pagoda Land”.

The two countries are expected to recognize each other’s vaccine passports.

When working with GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Chinh announced that Vietnam will conduct measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by its own resources and international support in both finance and technology transfer.

Regarding the investment round for 2022-2026 (GEF-8), Chinh suggested the facility’s further support to Vietnam in addressing four issues namely food security in the Mekong Delta; ocean plastic waste treatment; preserving biodiversity, conserving nature and restoring ecosystems; putting into effect the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez said that Vietnam’s commitments at COP26 are very strong and timely, demonstrating its responsibility to respond to climate change and protect the environment. GEF will continue to support Vietnam, especially in the four aforementioned areas.

Set up in 1991, the GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature. It supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organizations, and private sector partners.

Over the past three decades, GEF has financed Vietnam US$916 million in 119 projects, largely helping solve environmental issues in Vietnam and the globe in general.

At COP26 in Glasgow, collective funding worth $665 million toward a platform managed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was announced, aiming to mobilize an additional $7 billion for low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia and accelerate the region’s recovery from the Covid-19.

The funding includes $151 million from the Government of the United Kingdom, $155 million from Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), $58 million from the European Union, and $300 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The partnerships will be part of a new Green Recovery Platform to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF), which was established by the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund and is managed by ADB.

“ASEAN countries have a unique opportunity to build a green and inclusive future after the Covid-19 pandemic,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa, who attended the launch event with ministers and senior officials from ASEAN and partner countries. “The ASEAN Green Recovery Platform will help accelerate the flow of investments to support climate-resilient, environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia and boost sustainable, equitable development.”