HANOI, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's businesses have gradually shifted to applying green practices as consumers are increasingly putting the environment and ethical issues at the heart of their spending decisions, local media reported on Thursday.
Global consumers are switching their purchase behavior towards being more sustainable, said Vo Tan Thanh, vice president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at a seminar on the green economy.
Vietnam has signed 15 free trade agreements, including several new-generation pacts with strict environmental and sustainable development clauses, he added, highlighting the fact that a green economy and sustainable development are irreversible trends in the world.
Surveys show that many Vietnamese consumers have become more environmentally conscious and are willing to pay a premium for items like energy-efficient electrical appliances. They might also spend more on eco-friendly fashion brands or products made with biodegradable plastic.
Socially and environmentally conscious consumers shun products that are not up to their standards, which pressures companies to make changes, said economist Pham Chi Lan.
Hence, Vietnamese businesses are forced to constantly innovate their products to meet the increasing requirements in the domestic market and mounting pressure from foreign markets, said Vu Kim Hanh, chairwoman of the High-quality Vietnamese Goods program.
"Going green helps Vietnamese goods and the economy reach new levels," she added, seeing sustainability at the forefront.