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Empowering Vietnamese Entrepreneurs to Realize Cleantech’s Growth PotentialEmpowering Vietnamese Entrepreneurs to Realize Cleantech’s Growth Potential

Empowering Vietnamese Entrepreneurs to Realize Cleantech's Growth Potential

Designing a Climate Innovation Center for Vietnam

At the recently concluded infoDev Climate Innovation Center Workshop in Hanoi, stakeholders explored the ways by which Vietnam could build a locally responsive, globally competitive climate technology industry. This event was made possible through the support of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The CIC Design Workshop was part of a broader series of infoDev events on the “'Next Generation Business Incubation in Vietnam” (November 10-17). This included providing targeted technical assistance and training, engaging in high-level policy dialogue with ministry officials, and launching a new program on virtual business incubation.

On November 15, infoDev hosted over 120 participants in a workshop at the Sheraton Hanoi Hotel to explore the role of technology innovation in addressing the climate challenges facing Vietnam. Attendees represented the government, private sector, civil society, and selected international experts. This workshop was a key component of the planning process for the establishment of a Climate Innovation Center (CIC) in Vietnam.

In the panel discussions, stakeholders agreed that the CIC would enable Vietnam to realize opportunities for increased climate resiliency and accelerated economic development. Ari Huhtala of the World Bank discussed the global landscape of climate challenges and how the World Bank Group is responding through various capacity building and financing initiatives. Other policy experts presented the government of Vietnam’s ongoing activities, which include its green growth strategy, climate change response initiatives and tax policy. A private sector panel representing Vietnamese climate technology companies and investors discussed a range of challenges to growing climate technology enterprises in Vietnam, including the need for more favorable investment terms and regulatory coordination between government ministries.

hanoiCIC1

The workshop included an address by Vice Minister Mr. Tran Hong Ha from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), stated the necessity and importance of the Vietnam CIC. He also described the government's strong support for the CIC, including the need to develop the necessary policy framework to facilitate its effective operation. The Finnish Ambassador and Regional Minister-Counsellor for AusAID also addressed the audience during this session, while the Australian Ambassador was in attendance.

Following these remarks, participants broke into four working groups to discuss a range of themes underpinning climate innovation in Vietnam: (i) technology development, (ii) access to finance, (iii), company growth and entrepreneurship and (iv) markets and policy. At the end of the day, findings were presented by each working group’s facilitators in a plenary session. The key needs that emerged included: 

  • knowledge, data and analysis on the Vietnamese climate technology sector
  • connectivity between relevant stakeholders, including regional and global relationships
  • clarity on regulation, including coordination between ministries
  • access to appropriate technical assistance, business advisory, feasibility planning and training
  • lower costs of capital
  • market awareness of relevant products.
    hanoiCIC2

The outcomes of the workshop will be used as direct inputs into the CIC business plan. Over the coming months, follow-up surveys, interviews and focus groups will be held with stakeholders to provide further experiences and expertise into the crafting of the CIC’s model. The model which will describe the Center’s services, programs and financing will be outlined in detail in a full business plan for the Vietnam CIC, which infoDev expects to launch in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The full workshop agenda is available for download here.


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