The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference: Building A Resilient Future For Vietnam Requires Strategic, Innovative, And Inclusive Partnerships  | Vietcetera
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The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference: Building A Resilient Future For Vietnam Requires Strategic, Innovative, And Inclusive Partnerships 

This year’s Vietnam ESG Investor Conference brought together leaders and investors to build partnerships for a sustainable and resilient future.
The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference: Building A Resilient Future For Vietnam Requires Strategic, Innovative, And Inclusive Partnerships 

The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference: Building A Resilient Future For Vietnam Requires Strategic, Innovative, And Inclusive Partnerships 

The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference marked a pivotal moment in Vietnam’s pursuit of sustainable development. Co-presented by Raise Partners and Vietnam Innovators by Vietcetera Media, the event saw industry leaders, and investors converge on May 16 and 17 at New World Saigon to address the pressing challenges posed by climate change and chart a course towards a more equitable future.

Held for the second year, the conference aims to bring together investors, local and international business leaders, and partners like nonprofits and research institutions to come together to advance impactful environmental, social, and governance projects that lead to a more prosperous, inclusive, and resilient future for Vietnam.

Notable events were added to the program, including Networking and Business Matching, where potential investors and entrepreneurs initiate promising partnership opportunities, and an invite-only Field Trip to give select guests a first-hand experience of Vietnam’s sustainability practices and ESG initiatives.

“With the central theme ‘Building a Resilient Future for Vietnam,’ the conference this year was aimed at answering critical, pressing questions about Vietnam’s future amidst the climate crisis: How do we create resilient ecosystems that integrate communities, government structures, financial systems, and social fabric? How can we instill responsibility in the business sector, economic players, and the public in fostering collective action for humanity and the planet?

And the meaningful dialogues we had during those two days will serve, in one or another, as a blueprint in balancing economic growth with environmental preservation and social equity,” said Hao Tran, CEO at Vietcetera.

Van Ly, Partner at Raise Partners | Source: Vietcetera

“ESG is no longer just an offshoot of CSR or a marketing strategy for corporate image. It is now an integral part of business operations, legal partnerships, accreditations, and investment prerequisites. Vietnamese enterprises are especially called to strengthen their ESG policies to align with international due diligence laws and unlock opportunities for growth and expansion.

The Vietnam ESG Investor Conference was founded upon the principles of impactful business practices as key to a resilient future,” emphasized Van Ly, Partner at Raise Partners.

Some of the most notable organizations present that the event included the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development, Dynam Capital, HSBC Vietnam, UNICEF Vietnam, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, EuroCham Vietnam, NordCham Vietnam, Bosch Vietnam, British University Vietnam, S&P Global, DEEP C Industrial Zone, BIDV, Biti’s and British International Investment.

Stephanie Copus Campbell AM, Ambassador for Gender Equality at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

Resilient ecosystems: Different sectors, interconnected roles in the climate transition

Vietnam has committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, ending deforestation by 2030, and reducing greenhouse gas. Additional investments of as much as $368 billion and partnerships between the public and private sectors are going to be necessary to deliver on those commitments.

The Asian Development Bank, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and foreign government bodies have opened financial tools to bolster Vietnam’s renewable energy initiatives and accelerate the implementation of climate-smart projects. However, the flow of green capital remains insufficient, hindered by the absence of policies and strategic guidance for both investors and enterprises.

Madame Ha Thu Thanh, Chair of the Vietnam Institute of Directors | Source: Vietcetera

Madame Ha Thu Thanh, Chair of the Vietnam Institute of Directors, emphasized the critical importance of establishing a robust investment infrastructure to stimulate substantial flows of capital into low-carbon activities.

Several key projects, including developing ecosystems for renewable energy in industrial and service sectors and advancing smart power grids and energy storage systems, urgently need financial backing to contribute to Vietnam’s growth trajectory.

Nguyen Ba Son, Deputy Director of Treasure for BIDV | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

Madame Ha’s take was reiterated by Nguyen Ba Son, Deputy Director of Treasure for BIDV, in a separate panel discussion. As the first local bank to issue a sustainable loan framework, BIDV’s green financing initiative reached more than 1,300 customers and projects in 2023 alone, with a year-end outstanding loan totaling $2.68 billion, a clear indication of banks’ crucial role in bridging the gap in sustainable financing in Vietnam.

Tim Evans, HSBC Vietnam CEO | Source: Vietcetera

For HSBC Vietnam CEO Tim Evans, the energy transition roadmap and investment model should include private and public sectors, as reaching net zero can only be accomplished through collaborative efforts that leverage the strengths and resources of both sectors. Evans highlighted HSBC’s commitment to work alongside the Vietnamese government and corporations to support Vietnam to achieve the country’s commitment to net zero by 2050.

But the achievement of corporate and national sustainability goals all boils down to leadership and strategically translating values into operational practices, said Quyen Vuu, CEO of Biti’s, “Crafting a strong ESG strategy goes beyond setting goals; to achieve lasting success, it needs to be deeply rooted in the organization’s leadership values and implemented across all levels of the business.”

Quyen Vuu, CEO of Biti’s | Source: Vietcetera

This holds for multinational corporations and small- and medium-sized enterprises, which currently comprise 98% of Vietnamese enterprises. Ensuring access to tools and resources for financing and futureproofing is paramount for their sustainable growth.

Beyond business considerations, however, lies another crucial component of advancing ESG principles: Investing in people and promoting gender equality in the midst of the energy transition. Private stakeholders and government institutions should continue to promote equal opportunities for all Vietnamese, cultivating a more inclusive society that empowers individuals to thrive and contribute to sustainable development.

Pro-Vice Chancellor (Operations)/COO of British University Vietnam, Thuy Nguyen | Source: Vietcetera

Educational institutions like the British University Vietnam (BUV) hold a big responsibility in fostering a sustainability mindset in the country’s future leaders and movers. BUV embeds green principles into its educational foundation, architecture, expansion plans, activities, and curriculum.

According to its Pro-Vice Chancellor (Operations)/COO Thuy Nguyen, every campus operation prioritizes environmental considerations, aiming to make BUV Vietnam’s first carbon-neutral university. More importantly, it aims to build socially and environmentally conscious generations that will propel Vietnam’s economic and sustainability goals.

Resilient Supply Chains: Paving the way for Vietnam to move up the global value chain

(L-R) Van Ly and Mimi Vu of Raise Partners, and Hao Tran of Vietcetera, on Day 2 of the 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

Vietnam is a critical link in the global value chain. Considered a major manufacturing and agricultural hub, the country influences international trade. This also means Vietnam’s climate strategies and challenges impact external economic and geopolitical events.

Threats against Vietnam’s supply chains grow more pronounced as extreme weather events, such as flooding and storms, increasingly disrupt transportation routes, damage infrastructure, and hamper operations.

Key players in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors must prioritize resilience-building measures and sustainable practices to lessen the impact of environmental shocks and ensure the continued functionality of supply chains, explained Bruno Jaspaert, CEO, DEEP C Industrial Zones.

This includes investing in infrastructure upgrades, diversifying sourcing strategies, implementing adaptive measures to safeguard against climate-related disruptions, and empowering the workforce with the necessary skills and resources to navigate these challenges effectively.

Chairman of Dynam Capital, Craig Martin (1L) | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

This investment in human capital not only strengthens Vietnam’s position in the global supply chain but also enhances its competitiveness in the international market, ensuring sustainable growth and resilience in the face of evolving challenges, as emphasized by Craig Martin, Chairman at Dynam Capital and Pham Hoang Hai, Head of Division at Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development in a panel discussion.

“Vietnam is already an attractive destination for investments by global companies looking to diversify their supply chains. But there is a long road ahead to elevate our position as a real manufacturing powerhouse and drive broader participation in higher value global supply chains.

We need to invest in modernizing and greening industrial zones, smart ESG facilities management, and increasing quality of research and development and workforce capacity,” said Martin.

(Left) Huan Le, General Counsel at Rainscales, speaking during the “Investing in Education to Build a Digital, Inclusive & Green Workforce by 2050” session. | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

Huan Le, General Counsel at Rainscales concurred that the proficiency and efficiency of the workforce are indispensable to both local and global supply chains.

In a panel discussion on building a digital and green workforce moderated by Professor Rick Bennett of the British University Vietnam, he emphasized the crucial role of investing in education to cultivate an inclusive, digitally adept, and environmentally conscious workforce poised to meet the demands of the evolving industrial landscape.

(On the left) Professor Rick Bennett of the British University Vietnam | Source: Vietcetera

Furthermore, recognizing the integral role of women in the supply chain, particularly in the apparel and footwear sectors, efforts should be directed towards promoting gender equality in employment, leadership, and decision-making positions.

Anjanette Saguisag, Chief of Social Policy and Governance at UNICEF Vietnam, suggested initiatives to support women and their children’s well-being, including healthcare, education, and social welfare programs.

Chief of Social Policy and Governance of UNICEF Vietnam, Anjanette Saguisag (2R) | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

When integrated properly into business models and work cultures, these initiatives contribute significantly to harnessing women’s full potential, not just in the workplace, but also in society at large, aligning with Vietnam’s sustainability ambitions and ensuring a more equitable and resilient future for all.

Some moments at the event:








The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference by Raise Partners and Vietnam Innovators by Vietcetera is a two-day event, gathering investors and funds, business leaders, Vietnamese and international governments, start-ups, experts, academia, and the media to spark meaningful collaboration and accelerate green and inclusive growth in Vietnam.

When: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, 16-17th May 2024
Where: New World Saigon Hotel76 Le Lai Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Event details: find out more HERE

The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference was made possible with the support of Dynam Capital and Vietnam Holding (Title Sponsor), Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Leading Government Partner), British University Vietnam, HSBC Vietnam (Major Sponsor), New World Saigon Hotel (Venue Sponsor), S&P Global, DEEP C Industrial Zones (Expert Content Partner), Vero Asean (Official Communications Partner), Aden Services (Booth Sponsor), Eurocham, Nordcham, and AmCham (Promotional Partner), Marou, Cricket One and Every Half Coffee (In-Kind Partners).