Why vigilance is necessary
|GE is supporting emerging economies across the global tackle climate change|
Our ability to overcome the climate change challenge and achieve the results we so urgently need will not happen only through events such as the Leaders Summit, nor during government policy meetings, or in corporate boardrooms. While these are essential to alignment and making commitments, the action to achieve these goals will happen in the local markets.
Where the rubber hits the road
Success actually occurs “where the rubber hits the road” – in the homes, factories, industrial facilities, power plants, and office buildings where sustainable, low- and zero-carbon technologies, systems, and practices are deployed. This needs to happen in a diverse array of geographies, climates, demographics, and economies.
Some countries are densely populated; others have vast uninhabited areas. Some regions get all their water from desalination and require constant air conditioning for brutal summers; others have rivers that run full year-round, and their major concern is heating during freezing winters.
These different conditions not only impact each country’s response to climate change, but also how they approach the broader “energy trilemma”. This trilemma reflects the challenge countries face to address sustainability, while at the same time balancing their needs in two other critical areas: energy equity (often related to affordability) and energy security and reliability.
Even as the world rallied this week around the need for concerted action, the path taken by each country and community will look different. What that means, quite simply, is that effective climate action – particularly in the context of the energy trilemma – will need extensive localisation. This local approach requires technology and an understanding of the local environment and market.
That is why at this moment of action, we, as GE, will build on our work with customers and governments across the globe, and support the execution of the commitments outlined to move further and faster toward a more sustainable future. We must look forward to the future with new paradigms and technologies, alongside customers, governments, and partners.
Reimagining tomorrow’s technologies
We bring proven technologies that will support customers in taking steps today, while our ongoing research and development (R&D) will deliver the new technologies they require in the years ahead. Danielle Merfeld, chief technology officer for GE Renewable Energy spoke during a session on innovation held on the second day of the summit. She noted that GE spends $1.5 billion annually on energy-related R&D.
Already, our gas turbines can run on fuels that blend natural gas with hydrogen, resulting in lower CO2 emissions. Ongoing innovation means that many of our turbines can transition to run on 100 per cent hydrogen. This is a major milestone, as gas turbines fueled by hydrogen will unlock an era of lower carbon dispatchable electricity, providing a necessary backstop to the intermittency of renewable power. In the renewables sector, GE has some of the largest, most efficient turbines in the world. And, our hardware and software for the electrical grid helps ensure electricity is delivered efficiently and reliably to consumers.
In aviation, we are continuing to improve engine performance for greater fuel efficiency. Longer term, we are trialling sustainable airline fuels, and we are exploring electrically driven propulsion systems that reimagine the aircraft engine.
Supporting the energy transition
Meanwhile, we are helping countries pursue their energy transitions today.
In Japan, which announced during the Summit a goal to cut emissions 46 per cent by 2030, more than 550 GE wind turbines are installed or under construction.
In China, which seeks to become carbon neutral by 2060, we provide support across a number of technologies, including more than 200 gas turbines, 4.2GW of onshore wind, 18MW of offshore wind, 48GW of hydro, and over 22,000 pieces of high-voltage equipment supporting efficiencies in the grid.
In India, which seeks to have 450GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, we have 10,000 energy engineers and technologists, and 11 manufacturing facilities to support the country’s work in wind, solar, hydro, gas, nuclear, and smart grid.
By 2050, the United Arab Emirates aims to have an energy mix that includes 44 per cent renewables and 38 per cent natural gas. GE is providing its record-breaking H-class gas turbine technology for a power plant that is expected to be the most efficient in the Middle East utility sector. We also have provided solar technologies for what will be the largest single-site solar energy project in the world. And a week ago, Etihad Airways operated its first Ecoflight of 2021 on the airline’s signature Greenliner aircraft, which is fully offset for all operations through 2021 as part of the airline’s mission toward carbon-neutral flying. Greenliner is a partnership between the airline, GE Aviation, Boeing, and others.
Brazil aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, and GE is contributing to this goal with technologies that provide about one-third of the 175GW of installed capacity, including 40 per cent of the country’s hydro capacity, 30 per cent of its wind projects, and efficient and flexible gas turbines, including the H-class.
As part of its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050, South Korea is looking to renewables and hydrogen. GE is providing its H-class gas turbines, which can burn hydrogen-blend fuels, for a number of major projects.
Partnerships – again – are the answer
GE also brings an additional essential capability important to the decarbonisation journey: the ability to form partnerships and bring all the right people together around the table.
This is something GE does already, when putting together a financing package or the right project execution team for complex projects in healthcare and power generation. Or to pursue innovative solutions, such as an open Innovation Challenge in support of a lower-carbon future in Taiwan that is being organised in partnership with the Taoyuan City government and Taiwan Power Company.
Ultimately, our success as a global community in pursuing a low-carbon future requires steps now, across the entire value chain and around the world. The commitments announced and reaffirmed last week by world leaders give us the direction and inspiration we need.
For those of us who operate in the plants, facilities and systems where decarbonisation happens, our task is to translate these global and national commitments into the local implementations that will lead us to a sustainable, low-carbon future.
Slowdown in reform
Since 2014, the government has introduced a resolution each year on the measures to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness. The implementation of such resolutions has been commended by the business community for helping the business environment in Vietnam to improve significantly, as seen in the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) released annually by the VCCI with the reform score increasing over the years.
One of the most applauded reform is the administrative procedures to start a business when the number of days required for processing has dropped from 12 to 6 in the past six years. The average time a business spends on receiving tax authorities also fell from 19.5 hours per year to 8 hours in 2020.
The field of export and import has also seen considerable improvements thanks to the application of information technology, risk management, interconnected procedures, and slimmed-down and transparent specialised inspections.
Bold reforms in recent years have helped to increase Vietnam’s position in global rankings. Compared to the 2011-2015 period, Vietnam has leapt 20 positions to rank number 70 among the 190 economies on the World Bank’s business environment rankings. Vietnam also jumped 10 notches to rank at 67 among 141 economies on the International Monetary Fund’s global competitiveness index.
However, a report by the VCCI shows that many hurdles remain in Vietnam’s business climate and the speed of reform is slowing down, especially in starting a business, access to electricity, access to credit and construction permits. It is worth mentioning that these are the areas regarded as having the most rapid and impressive reform for many years. Although a government resolution has called for strengthening discipline in processing administrative procedures in construction, many requirements have yet to be implemented and enterprises have not felt the positive impacts of such measures.
Increasing transparency, equality
A VCCI survey shows that the business community is not satisfied because many business conditions lack consistency while ministries and agencies are slow to propose revisions to the relevant laws. Some business requirements are overlapping, unnecessary, non-transparent and too intrusive in the operations of a business.
Specialised inspections see little improvement and the single-window mechanism is not very effective when enterprises still have to submit hard copies along with electronic versions, while there is a lack of connection between ministries and sectors. Furthermore, the information technology system is frequently overburdened and not very friendly to users.
VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc stated that one of the major issues is the lack of transparency when many enterprises say that connections with government officials are needed to secure access to the necessary documents. More and more are complaining that the information released is too general and is not meaningful for them to use. Transparency has been achieved in legal regulations, administrative procedures and business conditions but it is more difficult to publicise the state’s plans, programmes and reports for enterprises to access.
Vietnam has also managed to reduce inequality between private and state businesses, and between domestic private companies and foreign firms. But a worrying problem is that a significant number of enterprises are reporting inequality with “backyard” enterprises.
It seems that all the easy problems have been solved and the remaining tasks are all difficult. It should be pointed out frankly that the challenge of improving the business climate over the next five years will be much greater and requires the joint efforts of the business community, business associations and each and every member of the state apparatus.
According to business and experts, reform in the coming period needs to be upgraded to a new level, not just to remove the hurdles but to create a transparent and equal business environment that strengthens market discipline, promotes innovation, and brings about stability and predictability of policies. It is necessary to continue simplifying administrative procedures, cutting down on business requirements and specialised inspections.
At the same time, the government and localities need to introduce new measures to increase dialogue and deal with difficulties so that programmes aimed at supporting business can produce the intended effect. They need to set out more specific and substantive goals so as to radically resolve issues in reality. Such measures are expected to maintain the stability and friendliness of the business environment, helping enterprises increase their production and create more opportunities for them to penetrate more deeply into the global economy.
Not only attracting domestic customers, residential areas on natural islands also attract overseas Vietnamese and foreign investors thanks to convenient, classy and private ecological living spaces.
The fresh, modern and private life on natural island
Island residential estate has become a priority of investment of the rich. Among the world-famous ecological islands that are favored by the wealthy, business people, celebrities are Palm Jumeirah Island in Dubai and Deep Water Bay in Hong Kong. Each villa on Palm Jumeirah Island costs about $3.5 million. Well-known celebrities like former football star David Beckham, former supermodel Naomi Campbell, and actor Denzel Washington own estate on this island.
In Vietnam, residential projects on natural islands adjacent to the city center have also lured the wealthy’s interest. Experts said that the ‘absorption’ rate of this type of real estate is very high. For example, the rate is more than 90% for Phoenix island – Aqua City project in the east of Ho Chi Minh City. These limited products are particularly appealing to overseas Vietnamese and foreign customers.
|Phoenix island – Aqua City has a great attraction to overseas Vietnamese and foreign investors|
Ms. Lucy Nguyen – a customer – said: “I am really impressed by the ecological greenery, the river and the fresh living environment on Phoenix island. I did not think that there is such a large-scale residential area right next to Ho Chi Minh City, which is both well-planned and fully equipped with all necessary infrastructure facilities from schools, health care centers to high-class entertainment facilities and full of ‘natural breath’ like that”.
During their visit to Aqua City , movie director Victor Vu and his wife chose a house of the Aqua City project. He said that he and his wife felt comfortable once entering here. Its fresh environment, where everything is very tidy, immediately gave him and his wife a special feeling. Aqua City is the perfect choice for overseas Vietnamese when they return to Vietnam.
|Director Victor Vu highly appreciates the environment and living conditions in Aqua City|
Sharing about the attraction of the project, a representative of Novaland Group, the developer of Aqua City project, said: “With the rare position of a natural island in the heart of the Aqua city, Phoenix Island possesses beautiful natural beauty as it is surrounded by rivers and ecological environment. This isolated living space that is close to nature, is only about 20 minutes of travelling from the center of Ho Chi Minh City or from the Dong Nai Province-based Long Thanh international by road (when the infrastructure is complete). Especially, in addition to the road system, residents of Aqua City can travel by yacht, canoe or water taxi to Ho Chi Minh City by the beautiful Saigon – Dong Nai river route”.
|Aqua City Phoenix with a prime location|
Experts say that the eastern area of Ho Chi Minh City possesses the advantages of rivers and natural islands suitable for the development of high-end eco real estate projects. Currently, the strong investment in infrastructure in this area, especially a series of key projects such as Metro No. 1 Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien route, ring roads, Ho Chi Minh City – Long Thanh – Dau Giay highways, and deep-water ports, helps increase regional connectivity.
For the first time, Vietnam was named among the top 10 best countries for foreigners to live and work by HSBC Expat 2020. Since then, investors have increasingly paid attention to the Vietnamese market. Meanwhile, the ideal and classy living spaces like eco-island urban areas have also been “aimed” at by foreign investors and overseas Vietnamese.
Considered one of the dynamically developing regions of Vietnam in recent years, the east of Ho Chi Minh City is home to large industrial zones and a strongly invested transport infrastructure system. For example, in the first 10 days of 2021, Dong Nai province attracted more than $226 million of investment capital, mainly from South Korea and Japan.
At the same time, the construction of the Long Thanh International Airport started earlier this year, promising to attract a large number of foreign experts. This force, combined with the number of experts working in the industrial zones in the area, creates a great demand for housing, especially eco-urban spaces, fully-equipped island cities.
In addition, the attractiveness of the real estate market here also comes from the reason: the land fund in the center and the east of Ho Chi Minh City becomes increasingly scarce, so the rich and foreign investors all desire to own real estate products of this type early.
Ms. Kelly Lin – a Taiwanese customer – said: “I am especially impressed with Aqua City because this project is located in a prime location. All products in this area like townhouses, villas, shop-houses appeal to me because they meet all the things I expect for both residential and investment purposes”.
|Phoenix island – Aqua city is highly valued by investors for its potential profit.|
According to investors, the need to own this type of island ecological residential real estate in the east of Ho Chi Minh City is inevitable and will develop strongly in the future. The rich often want to live in private, classy, high-class areas, while connectivity, civilization, and convenience is still ensured. Investment returns and liquidity of this product line is often higher than other types of housing, thus, it attracts the interest of investors.
Mr. Su Ngoc Khuong – Senior Director, Savills Vietnam’s Investment Division – emphasized: “Macao and Hong Kong are good lessons to develop island villas for the super-rich. These people are willing to spend $50-70 million to own such products and willing to take personal planes to work every day. According to a report by Savills, the price of riverside and island estate in major cities in the world such as London, Paris, Shanghai, Sydney, Hong Kong… is usually 10-50% higher than estate products in other places”.
Find more information, see https://aquacity.com.vn or call hotline 0943797979
Nguyen Phu Hoa, head of Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, said T&L Global Foods Supply Pty Ltd has sought to register the “Rice; Best Rice of the World” trademarks for the two varieties.
Both rice varieties ST24 and ST25 were developed in Vietnam by farmer-scientist Ho Quang Cua and his colleagues and have won international prizes.
The office has spoken with Cua about coordinating action and being actively engaged in discussions with leaders of T&L Global Foods Supply, which said it would check the matter with its brand unit.
The agency has also sent documents and photos to IP Australia to clarify that the ST24 and ST25 rice varieties were developed by Cua and a team of Vietnamese scientists, and have been granted patents in Vietnam.
It has asked IP Australia to consider the matter and to avoid possible disputes that could affect ST24 and ST25 rice exports from Vietnam to Australia.
Vietnam is also meeting with lawyers in Australia to prepare the necessary steps in line with IP Australia’s regulations, Hoa said.
He suggested Cua step up completing procedures to join in addressing the case and protecting the trademark.
Do Gia Thang, Director of Nguyen Do Lawyers in Australia, said it takes three to four months to carry out checks on a patent registration.
If an application meets all the requirements, the IP agency will issue a notice accepting the trademark and disclose the decision, he said, adding that the trademark, however, still has to wait for another year before the decision officially comes into force.
This is not the first time ST24 and ST25 rice have lost their trademark protection rights in foreign countries, as there were certain applications made to register ST25 in the US previously.
Vietnam exported rice worth 4.7 million USD to Australia in the first quarter of this year, a year-on-year increase of 66 percent.
HÀ NỘI — The COVID-19 quarantine period in Việt Nam has been officially extended to 21 days.
Mandatory centralised quarantine for entries into the country and direct contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases will be extended from the current 14 days to 21 days, and the new regulation takes effect from Wednesday, Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The decision was made after consultation with epidemiologists and virologists in light of new variants of the virus prompting revisions to our knowledge of disease incubation time, he said.
The new protocol aims to “protect the community from the spread of coronavirus” amid recent cases found positive following the completion of 14-day quarantine, Long said.
The health minister requested local health departments and centres for disease control to strictly comply with centralised quarantine protocols to avoid cross-infection within quarantine facilities and transfer people who have completed centralised quarantine to the authorities in their residence.
The follow-up medical observation period at home for those who have completed centralised quarantine will be cut from two weeks to seven days.
People who return from quarantine facilities should make daily health declarations with local medical workers. If they show signs of fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, tiredness or loss of taste, they must go to the closest health clinic for guidance, a dispatch from the health ministry from earlier this morning, which still put the quarantine period at 14-day but provided tightened regulations, said.
They are not allowed to leave their houses or places of residence. If they need to go out for work or other necessary purposes, they must report to local police and medical staff and strictly follow basic prevention measures.
Health minister Long also requested all localities to review cases of foreigners entering Việt Nam and screen high-risks groups of people like those in service sectors like at discotheques, bars, karaoke bars, and massage parlours for COVID-19.
He also called on the public for strict observance of basic prevention and control measures like 5K – Khẩu trang (face mask), Khử khuẩn (disinfection), Khoảng cách (distance), Không tụ tập (no large gatherings), and Khai báo y tế (health declaration).
Previously, in late April, a Vietnamese national returning from Japan has found to be infected with the virus after finishing 14-day centralised quarantine and caused a cluster of infections in the northern province of Hà Nam.
Yesterday, an Indian expert in Hà Nội was confirmed to be carrying the virus after 14 days of quarantine. — VNS