New circular economy solutions for Vietnamese and Thai markets developed at the SDG Booster

7 October 2020

In August-September 2020, Finnpartnership, Business Finland, UNTIL and Fingo arranged an SDG Booster on circular economy solutions, specifically waste-to-energy and plastic waste. Comprised of an orientation session followed by two digital workshops, the geographical focus of the SDG Booster were the markets of Vietnam and Thailand. 20+ Finnish circular economy companies, along with thematic experts from Finland, Vietnam, Thailand, and international organizations joined the SDG Booster with the joint goal of increasing awareness of relevant challenges and creating new solutions and projects to tackle them.

Vietnam and Thailand offer Finnish organizations excellent opportunities for sustainable long-term business in waste-to-energy and plastic waste. Finnish environmental technology is seen as desirable and some Finnish companies are already operational in the region. By utilizing co-operation between companies and NGOs in Finland and internationally, as well as the public funding and internationalization services provided by the organizers, it is possible to launch profitable business that creates development impact. This is the aim of the SDG Boosters.  

In the first workshop (Sep 2nd), the participants were divided into smaller groups and given the opportunity to map circular economy challenges in Vietnam and Thailand and begin the ideation of potential solutions. Due to current circumstances, digital platforms were used to facilitate the group work sessions, and the smooth transition from the initially planned physical events to a digital setting led to a lot of positive feedback from the participants.

The work continued at the second workshop (Sep 22nd), where the participants were placed in thematic groups of their choice. The thematic groups ranged from biowaste chains to rivers and water bodies, enabling the participants to discuss the issues of their expertise and interest together with other similarly orientated participants. The second workshop built on the previous one but was more focused on building concrete project proposals and joint project ideas for the participants to present to stakeholders from Vietnam and Thailand, as well as to potential business partners and financiers.

Both workshops were also honoured by the presence of local circular economy experts, who provided commentary on the topics and ideas being discussed. These local experts included the Finnish embassies in Bangkok and Hanoi, Business Finland office in Vietnam and UNDP Vietnam.

The circular economy SDG Booster will culminate in two digital country events, one focusing on Thailand and the other on Vietnam. The events, which will be organized in November-December, will allow the participants of the SDG Booster workshops to virtually meet potential partners, financiers and other stakeholders from Vietnam and Thailand, as well as to present their project ideas and services which were developed in the workshops. The projects and partnerships that will be created in the country events may also utilize the financing and internationalization services of the organizers.

If you are a circular economy organization based in Vietnam or Thailand and are looking for potential partners from Finland, please get in touch with us to hear how you can join the digital country events in November-December.

Patrik Bredbacka, Senior Programme Officer, Finnpartnership

Kaisa Arkkila, Collaboration Coordinator, Finnpartnership

The organizers would like to thank all participants for their active participation in the SDG Booster and for the positive feedback on the digital tools and methods used!