The forum "Investment orientation for sustainable development of the Vietnamese paper industry"
The forum "Investment orientation for sustainable development of the Vietnamese paper industry" was organized by the Vietnam Pulp and Paper Association (VPPA) in collaboration with the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) on 21 March 2019. The forum focused on discussing the development potential and orientation of the paper industry in the coming time.
The paper manufacturing industry demonstrates many potentials for sustainable developments
According to experts at the seminar, the pulp and paper industry is one of important industries in the world and it has a great influence on the global economy and society. Sustainable development is an inevitable trend and is becoming popular on the global scale as well as in Vietnam, including Vietnam's paper industry. Responsible paper production activities will bring many benefits to the environment, people, the local economy and the country.
The key role of the paper industry is reflected in the significant contribution to Vietnam's economic development. In life, paper is an essential product. In society, this industry creates jobs for thousands of workers, resonate to develop other economic sectors such as afforestation and timber exploitation, processing industry... At the same time, the paper industry provides products for a variety of purposes: social culture, education, production, research...
The paper industry in Vietnam is growing strongly through enterprises adopting advanced technologies, strictly complying with the requirements of environmentally friendly products. In addition, Vietnam is an exporter, high growth in export activity has also led to a sharp increase in demand for packaging paper. This is an auxiliary product for other industries, especially for industries with high export proportion. Specifically, the average growth rate of paper industry is about 10 - 12% / year, particularly packaging paper is about 15 - 17% / year. Many large capacity investment projects are operating, with a capacity of about 400.000 – 500.000 tons / year; Some businesses are planning to invest in projects with a capacity of over 1.000.000 tons of packaging paper per year. Production of the paper industry contributes about 1.5% of GDP value, export turnover is over USD 1 billion.
However, there are still some challenges that the paper industry needs to face with, such as a domestic management policy still has many points to discourage industry development, fierce competition in the domestic market and export, raw material prices. In the increase, the strong development of digital media has led to a decline in the demand for newsprint, but strongly increased packaging paper and paper boxes (due to online sales and online delivery).
Investment orientation for developing Vietnam's paper industry
During the seminar, some investment orientations for paper industry development were emphasized:
- Aiming to meet the domestic market demand in both quantity and type and export
- Prioritizing investment in large-scale projects, advanced and modern technologies, saving materials, fuel and energy, and protecting the environment
- Bringing Vietnam's paper industry to a strong industry, competitive enough in the domestic and international markets
- Meeting domestic demand for ordinary paper, pulp export, packaging paper and tissue paper
- Rational use of natural resources, protection of ecological environment, historical and cultural relics, landscapes and security and defense requirements
- Prioritize the development of investment projects to expand capacity and new projects of large scale, well protect the environment
The seminar also emphasized paper scrap as a key material in paper production. Recycled paper is the key input material of the paper industry, helping to protect the environment and save natural resources. Paper production from recycled paper reduces energy consumption, solid waste, waste water and emissions compared to the production of paper from primary flour, helping businesses reduce costs due to low scrap prices and minimize environmental treatment costs.
Currently, the supply of domestic waste paper cannot meet the production needs of enterprises, leading to the demand for large quantities of imports to serve domestic production. According to preliminary estimates, the paper collection rate in Vietnam is below the world average, about 40% before being classified and processed.
Most countries in the world and the region (except China) such as Korea, Thailand, Indonesia... all consider waste paper as a common commodity, not a waste but a product that is allowed to import and no declaration / permission is required. The governments of these countries only perform on-site production controls on activities to ensure environmental safety, waste treatment, emissions, solid waste, etc.
Currently, the paper industry planning has expired, there is no industry development strategy, the relevant documents with clear specification, the lack of the basis for investors led investment projects in the Vietnamese paper industry to lack the bases and legal basis. However, investment projects still occur in the large scale, in fact, state management agencies at both central and local levels cannot manage them, leading to deviations and loss of balance in product structure and capacity scale for the whole industry.
At the seminar, experts and representatives of the leading enterprises discuss about the legal norm towards the goal of creating favorable conditions for the paper industry and effective management. In addition, we need to refer to the policy of managing the import of waste paper from other countries, calculating the balance of economic development in the current time of Vietnam in order to provide appropriate policy orientation.
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