Experts discuss measures to sustainably develop blue economy hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo:
Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Institute of Economics (VIE) on November 16 held a webinar named “Blue economy: Opportunities, challenges and solutions for sustainable development”, aiming to seek ways to develop the sea-based economy, build the blue economy, and ensure harmony between socio-economic development and environmental protection.

In his opening remarks, Assoc. Prof., Dr. Bui Quang Tuan, VIE Director, said that Vietnam has a favourable geographical position for the sea-based economy with more than 3,260 km of coastline spanning 28 provinces and cities. Coastal provinces and cities contribute about 47-48 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), of which the marine economic sectors contribute about 20-22 percent of GDP.

However, the country’s sea-based economy still faces major challenges related to marine environment and resources, climate change, sea level rise and livelihoods of local people, stated Tuan.

Assessing the current sustainable development status of Vietnam's coastal economic zones, Dr. Le Van Hung from the Institute for Regional Sustainable Development said that many coastal economic zones have not been able to create remarkable spillover effects as the quality of investment projects is still low, and investment capital has so far focused on industries that use much resources and energy such as petrochemical, steel, cement, and thermal power.

Talking about the marine environmental security in Vietnam, Dr. Ha Huy Ngoc from the Vietnam Institute of Economics said that the nation’s marine environment is under great pressure from domestic socio-economic development, international trade and cross-border impacts. The main sources of waste causing environmental pollution and directly affecting people's health are 878 urban areas and 369 industrial zones, about two thirds of which are located in coastal areas.

In order to develop based on the sea and benefit from the sea, Vietnam needs to balance the exploitation and preservation of the values that the sea brings, and promptly address and prevent problems related to marine environment security, Ngoc said.

According to the researcher, priority should be given to expanding the system of marine and island conservation zones to create long-term reserves, as well as promoting international and regional cooperation to peacefully solve the risks of conflicts of interest from the sea.

At the webinar, experts proposed Vietnam develop and issue a governance framework to respond to environmental disasters, and promulgate specific regulations to strengthen control over maritime and island environmental pollution./.