Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien:

Efforts exerted to position Vietnam as one of the main vaccine production centres in the region

Wednesday, 2021-09-15 11:12:05
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Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien (Photo: DOAN TUAN/VNA)
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NDO - Participating in the high-ranking delegation of Vietnam led by National Assembly Chairman to three European countries, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien directed trade office staffs to actively work with partners in seeking vaccine, therapeutic drugs, and medical materials supply.

Talking to Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper's reporter, Minister Nguyen Hong Dien said that the ministry coordinated with Vietnamese embassies in the three countries to carry out many practical and highly effective activities.

Opportunity for cooperate in vaccine production

During the working trip, the Minister of Industry and Trade shared with partners the vision and solutions to build a long-term autonomous health system, in which, "it is necessary to attach importance to autonomy in developing the vaccine industry in Vietnam and position Vietnam as one of the main vaccine production centers in the region and in the world”.

At the meeting with Belgium’s biotechnology company Univercells, the Minister highly appreciated the Univercells' desire to cooperate with Vietnam in biotechnology; and proposals on development orientations in line with the country’s infrastructure in the field, as well as connections with various partners to find suitable financial sources for cooperation projects.

The two sides said that, not only for Covid vaccines but also other vaccines, as well as drugs and medical products, forming an industry that creates many added values for Vietnam and businesses is vital.

On the sidelines of the official meetings, the Minister received Secretary General of the Federation of European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) Jerome Pero. They discussed the possibility of assisting Vietnam in COVID-19 fight such as supplying test kits and lobbying the European Commission on vaccine issues. Minister Dien hoped the FESI will raise its voice to the EU and US administration to make it easier for Vietnam to access vaccines at the earliest point via the COVAX mechanism or commercial channels.

During a working session with Austria's State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Magnus Brunner, in the face of the complicated situation of the fourth wave of Covid-19 epidemic in Vietnam, the Minister proposed the Austrian official, as a member of the cabinet, help lobby the Austrian government to consider supplying COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies for Vietnam to help the country effectively respond to the pandemic.

Vietnam - An investment destination

At three major forums, conferences and many meetings in the three countries, the Minister affirmed the strong commitment of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in working closely between Vietnam's ministries, sectors and relevant agencies of the EU side to deal with problems in the implementation of the EVFTA Agreement.

The Minister provided information to businesses of other countries about Vietnam's electricity development policies in the coming time, especially commitments and efforts on developing the renewable energy sector, providing information on the National Power Development Plan VIII, considered one of the most important national sector plans.

Other contents were discussed, including promoting economic and trade cooperation; coordination mechanisms among the concerned agencies to encourage and promote two-way trade and investment flows, on the basis of mutual benefit; enhancing exchanges; seeking investment opportunities and business connections.

Not only promoting trade cooperation, but “when the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) is ratified and comes into force, the opportunities for both sides are huge. Austria, Belgium and Finland can become a bridge to help Vietnam access the EU market," emphasised the Minister of Industry and Trade.

At the same time, according to the Minister, Vietnam will become a bridge to help European investors access not only the 100 million people of the nation, but also the large regional market area through the 17 FTAs Vietnam has signed.

The working trip was an opportunity to find capable partners to support the development of Vietnam's industry. The leader of the Ministry of Industry and Trade worked with the Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Li Yong, discussing cooperation projects and the orientation and implementation of technical projects within the framework of cooperation between two sides.

The Minister affirmed that, as a specialised organisation on industrial development of the United Nations, UNIDO plays a very important role in supporting the next development phase of Vietnam’s industrial sector. In the context of the complicated Covid-19 pandemic, UNIDO has been facing unprecedented challenges in terms of supporting its members overcome the Covid-19 crisis.

Emphasising cooperation and avoiding disruption of supply chains and promoting sustainable industrial development to aid economic recovery in the post-Covid-19 period, the Ministry of Industry and Trade asked UNIDO to support Vietnam in drafting industrial policy in line with the country’s ongoing efforts for global integration and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The Minister also proposed UNIDO support the building of a sustainable development model based on a green industrial sector that promotes energy efficiency and application of clean technologies.

On the other hand, the minister also suggested UNIDO assist Vietnam in developing basic industries and human resource development in the context of industry 4.0; supporting the development of an environmentally friendly automobile industry, including electric vehicles; building smart factories to help Vietnam’s SMEs enhance productivity and lower production costs; and promote the circular economy and its application in industrial sectors.

VAN NGHIEP CHUC
Translated by NDO