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July 19, 2007

Green Credit Trust Fund Established in Vietnam



According to a report on Vietnam News, the Swiss government has signed an agreement with the Vietnam Cleaner Production Centre wherein it will donate $5 million as seed money to establish the Green Credit Trust Fund in Vietnam.

The fund will be used to provide low interest loans to companies looking to buy environmentally friendly technologies to increase production while at the same time improving the environment in Vietnam. The report does not say which specific green technologies will qualify under the loan program.

According to the report, small or medium-sized businesses which lack sufficient collateral can still get up to 50 percent of the credit. Companies which reduce their impact on the environment by “certain amounts” will receive a 25 percent reimbursement for their investment in new equipment or technology -- however it is unclear from the report how the impact on the environment will be measured.

The Vietnam International Bank, Techcombank and ACB have reportedly signed on as official guarantors for the Green Credit Trust Fund. In the report, Nguyen Duc Vinh, Techcombank’s general director, said green technology was the way of the future in Vietnam.

“Clean production is drawing the attention of the government,” he said. “And the fund is a timely help for the centre and for all enterprises.”

In addition to managing the fund, the banks will also help the participating companies promote clean production.

The Green Credit Trust Fund (GCT) is a global initiative of the Economic Cooperation and Development Division of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of Switzerland, together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The program’s purpose is to get small to medium sized businesses to adopt green technologies. It facilitates investments in cleaner production technology (with a positive impact on the environment) by reimbursing between 15% and 25% of the of the investment costs to the SMB, if the latter achieves specific environmental improvements.

The Vietnam Cleaner Production Centre is located at the Hanoi University of Technology, under its host organization, the Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (INEST). Funding for the centre is provided by the Swiss Government through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

The Vietnam Cleaner Production Centre is a member of the UNIDO/UNEP network of national cleaner production centers and is linked to the Institute of Environmental Technology at FHBB in Switzerland as a long-term counterpart. This gives the center access to the most up-date sources of information on cleaner production, and furthermore brings it into close contact with international experts on cleaner production. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is the executing agency of the center.

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Patrick Barnard is Associate Editor for Customer Interaction Solutions magazine and Assignment Editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.

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