Green public procurement will bring many benefits to not only buyers and sellers but also the environment and the whole economy and society (Illustrative photo: baodauthau.vn)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Green public procurement will bring many benefits to not only buyers and sellers but also the environment and the whole economy and society, said Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) Hoang Van Thuc said.

He made the remark at a workshop on April 5 which discussed challenges and opportunities of green public procurement in Vietnam.

A 2015 report of the VEA under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shows that the State spends 20 – 30 percent of its budget on public procurement every year on average. This figure could reach 50 percent if it includes spending on the building work.

Amid economic restructuring towards sustainable development, sustainable procurement will considerably contribute to the attainment of the sustainable development goals, including improving production quality, effectively and sustainably using natural resources, and ensuring security and social equality.

Kim Yong Jin, Director of the Republic of Korea’s Environmental Industry and Technology Institute, said Vietnam is a developing Asian-Pacific economy with a growth rate of 5 – 7 percent in the last 10 years.

Realising the problems of traditional modes of economic growth, Vietnam announced a green growth strategy and is building a road map for implementing green public procurement until 2020.

He added as public procurement could be equivalent to 12 – 30 percent of the country’s GDP, the procurement of environmentally friendly products will help reduce pollution and promote green production and sustainable consumption.

However, Deputy Director General Thuc also pointed to hindrances to green public procurement, including the inconsistency of legal documents which has led to State agencies’ lax coordination, the limited awareness and capacity of procurement officials, and the shortage of guidance on integrating sustainability criteria into the bidding process.

Notably, awareness of the positive impacts of sustainable public procurement among State agencies and procurement officials remains modest, he noted.

He underscored the importance of training courses for these officials, adding that it is a priority in the VEA’s cooperation with the Korean institute. The countries’ sharing of information about and experience in this field will be helpful for carrying out green public procurement in Vietnam.-VNA