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Cablegate: Pas/Econ Ho Chi Minh City Evaluation of April

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HO CHI MINH CITY 000413

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IIP/T/SV; IIP/G/EAP STEVE PRIETO AND MARY
SPEER; EAP/PD FOR KENNETH FOSTER; EAP/BCLTV FOR JUDITH
STROTZ AND CHARLES JESS; ES/S/STC; EB/TPP/BTA/ANA

HANOI FOR PAO/APAO; ECON-CPIERANGELO
BANGKOK FOR REGIONAL HUB ENVIRONMENT OFFICER TED OSIUS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OIIP ECON SEVN
SUBJECT: PAS/ECON HO CHI MINH CITY EVALUATION OF APRIL
23, 2002 EARTH DAY ROUNDTABLE


1. Summary: At our second annual Earth Day roundtable,
the ConGen's economic and public affairs sections
joined efforts to invite two U.S. company country
directors to discuss environmental protection,
corporate responsibility and national development. Two
Vietnamese economics publications ran articles based on
the discussion, in which 10 prominent environmental
scholars, writers and business leaders participated.
End summary.

2. At the roundtable, representatives from CDM and
SELCO (Solar Energy Light Company) discussed how their
companies are improving wastewater processing (CDM) and
rural electrification (SELCO). The CDM manager also
discussed international efforts to develop Vietnam's
infrastructure, and how pursuing environmentally sound
policies now will have significant benefits in the long
run. The CDM representative noted that a recent World
Bank grant has drawn the attention of policymakers and
the educated public to the problems of open sewage and
contamination of the waterways.

3. The director of SELCO, whose company was recognized
in 2001 by Secretary Powell with the State Department's
Award for Corporate Excellence, discussed his firm's
efforts to electrify rural areas through solar power.
He emphasized the importance of using renewable energy
sources and skyrocketing energy demands in Vietnam.

4. The director of Saigon Hi-tech Park talked about
the organization's recycling of natural resources and
its energy-efficient power generating facility. Other
scholars and business people focused on raising public
awareness, and on avoiding the problems of other
developing countries by implementing an eco-friendly
energy policy now, rather than later.

5. The Vietnam Economic Times (VET) and Agriculture
("Nong Nghiep") ran articles on the roundtable. Both
pieces covered the discussion themes, and VET had a
sidebar interview with the director of CDM. "Nong
Nghiep's" article focused on SELCO's projects and the
role of Vietnam's agricultural and rural development
bank in providing financing for families in isolated
areas who are installing SELCO's solar electric
systems.

YAMAUCHI.

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