VCCI President Pham Tan Cong
In the context of external uncertainties, Vietnam remained a bright spot in the global economic picture in 2022, he said. This comes from the hard work, resilience and effort of the Vietnamese business community to overcome difficulties and challenges..
2022 was the first year to execute the resolution of the 7th VCCI Congress (2021-2026 term). Could you tell us about the initial results of implementing key tasks and solutions as well as strategic breakthroughs set by VCCI?
The 7th VCCI Congress that took place on the last two days of 2021 set forth a new vision and strategy for the development of the Vietnamese business community. In 2022, VCCI aggressively executed the full-term working program (2021-2026), with a focus on six key tasks and three strategic breakthrough stages set out by the 7th VCCI Congress toward building “a strong business community, and a prosperous nation”. In 2022, VCCI innovatively changed contents, methods and performance, to give a helping hand to the country’s business and economic recovery and development. With respect to promoting the business environment, VCCI actively contributed many important ideas in policy making and enforcement, from draft laws to guidelines and policies on post-COVID-19 economic recovery and development, proposed ideas for handling a series of hot issues to the business community and society like credit interest rates, real estate market, petroleum supply, labor and employment. Specially, VCCI advised and submitted to the Politburo a summary project on the 10-year implementation of Resolution 09-NQ/TW dated December 9, 2011 of the 11th Politburo on “Building and promoting the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the period of accelerating industrialization, modernization and international integration”. 2022 also marked VCCI’s new remarkable and effective activities like announcing and implementing the Vietnamese code of business ethics nationwide, completing changing the voting and awarding of the title of outstanding Vietnamese entrepreneurs with the criteria on business ethics and culture added as a fundamental and mandatory element in this event for the first time; and implementing the “Eastern Highway Economic Connectivity'' Initiative with four localities: Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Hung Yen and Hai Duong.
In addition, VCCI promoted and implemented VCCI-branded business development activities like the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), Annual Mekong Delta Economic Report 2022, Vietnam Corporate Sustainability Forum (VCSF) 2022 and Top 100 sustainable businesses, and Golden Rose Award for outstanding Vietnamese businesswomen.
In external affairs, VCCI launched more than 300 international activities, with important ones like successfully hosting the third meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council in 2022 (ABAC III) in Ha Long City, advising and escorting the President and the Prime Minister in high-level meetings and dialogues with the regional business community within the framework of the APEC Summit Week in Thailand and the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia; launching integration, trade and investment promotion activities within the framework of international and regional organizations such as WTO, APEC, ASEAN, CACCI, GMS, ACMECS and PECC.
VCCI chairs and co-chairs many major international forums, including APEC Business Summit, Vietnam Business Summit, EU-ASEAN Business Summit, GMS Business Summit, ASEAN BIS and ASEAN BAC. In the photo: President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (4th from right), VCCI President Pham Tan Cong ( 5th from right) and other ABAC leaders at the third meeting of APEC Business Advisory Council, Ha Long city, July 2022
Growing integration and increasing economic openness will also pose unpredictable challenges to the Vietnamese business community. How should the business community flexibly respond to changes in the world economy?
Our country's economy is highly open and its trade-off is high sensitivity to international fluctuations. So, in order to survive and develop sustainably, Vietnamese enterprises must be able to build strategies in response to fluctuations in world markets.
When we talk about how to cope with market fluctuations, we often think of competencies pertaining to flexible administration, to input and output markets, to technology and business processes. But in my opinion, these are correct but not enough. Observing the tumultuous years of 2021 and 2022, we saw that businesses that managed to live through these all shared the common characteristic of being outstanding in ethics and business culture. Meanwhile, many entrepreneurs and big businesses that failed have the same element of problematic business ethics.
Therefore, I think that, to cope with market fluctuations, we must have ultimate goals and flexible actions. Since they start doing business, entrepreneurs and enterprises have to equip, preserve and cultivate standard business ethics and business culture and take them as "ultimate goals" to deal with the ever-changing and turbulent business environment.
Business ethics is among the criteria to be qualified for the “outstanding entrepreneur” or “sustainable business” titles. In the photo: Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Head of the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission Tran Tuan Anh and other leaders pose for a group photo with 60 outstanding Vietnamese entrepreneurs 2022
We are increasingly integrating into the world and cultured ethical standards in business are mandatory, especially to partners from developed countries. In general, more and more standards of social responsibility, green economy and circular economy are institutionalized in these countries and made into law to form new trade standards and erect market barriers to companies that do not practice these standards.
Besides, on a 20-year vision at which Vietnam will become a developed country, it is clear that building and practicing standard business ethics and culture imbued with both Vietnamese values and blended with global elites has become an urgent requirement and task for Vietnamese entrepreneurs and businesses.
And, VCCI made this a key and breakthrough task for the 2021 - 2026 term. On May 19, 2022, on the occasion of President Ho Chi Minh's birthday, VCCI announced the Code of Ethics for Vietnamese entrepreneurs that consists of the six most fundamental values. On October 11, 2022, on the occasion of Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day, VCCI cooperated with Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics to open a scientific conference on "Business ethics and Vietnamese business culture in the new context”. From now on, VCCI has also officially applied the Vietnamese Code of Business Ethics to review and commend entrepreneurs. In the coming time, VCCI will continue to have many activities to build and promote the practice of standard business ethics and culture toward building a strong cultural foundation for Vietnamese entrepreneurs and enterprises to develop sustainably and succeed in international integration.
“When good cultural and ethical values are absorbed into business activities, goals of enterprises will go beyond seeking benefits only for themselves but embrace a mission and responsibility to deliver prosperity to the country,” affirmed Mr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, Director of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council, at a VCCI’s workshop on business ethics and culture
The year 2023 marks the 60th year of VCCI’s development (April 27, 1963 - April 27, 2023). Recently, the Prime Minister signed a decision to ratify the VCCI Charter. What are VCCI's key activities in 2023?
Upholding the 60-year tradition, VCCI will always make active and effective contributions to support the Vietnamese business community, enterprises and Party and State agencies to realize the nation's development goals.
Developments in the fourth quarter of 2022 indicated that 2023 will be a tough and challenging year for Vietnam’s economy and the world, and businesses need to be ready to cope with it. For VCCI, the top priority will be firmly grasping actual developments and promptly supporting businesses to overcome difficulties to keep on continued recovery and development. In addition, in 2023, VCCI will actively develop and implement the VCCI Action Plan and the business community will follow the Politburo's resolutions on the development of socioeconomic regions as well as the Politburo's new policies and orientations on building and promoting the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs after completing the 10-year review on the implementation of the Politburo's Resolution 09.
VCCI also continues to propose, develop and implement national programs, projects, schemes and tasks on improving the business environment, enhancing corporate competitiveness and supporting enterprises, business households and business associations. VCCI will focus on proposing and implementing business support solutions; take advantage of FTA-generated opportunities as well as the redirection of FDI-driven production and supply chains.
Most sustainable businesses 2022 are honored with CSI awards
In 2023, VCCI will have some new and important activities, including surveying and releasing the Green Index on environmental protection linked to local economic development, thus promoting green economic development. VCCI will coordinate with the Vietnam Journalists Association and related agencies for an inspiring press environment, foster business development, and build close media-business companionship. International affairs in 2023 will be very vibrant. VCCI will especially open a new mode of coordinating with and supporting localities in expanding international trade and investment promotion by bolstering international relations and VCCI's position in the international business community. With its new name, VCCI membership will be significantly reformed and redesigned to match and better serve the different needs of its members that consist of large firms, small and medium-sized companies and business associations. In particular, VCCI will pilot establishing VietChams in other countries to connect the Vietnamese business community abroad.
There will be many new and important activities to build and spread business ethics and culture in 2023. In the long term to 2045 when Vietnam is projected to become a developed country, VCCI will foster the construction and practice of business ethics and business culture commensurate with those of a developed, cultured and modern country. This is an important foundation for both the nation and for businesses and, at the same time, both an urgent task and a long-term strategic task in building and promoting Vietnamese entrepreneurs and enterprises in the new context.
Thank you very much!