Compliance and integrity- the foundation for a succesful start-up

Thu, 07 Apr 2022 16:34:00  |  Print  |  Email   Share:

Business integrity and law compliance should be at the core of every company’s value system.

Mr. Darko Pavlovic, FairBiz Regional Project Manager Bangkok Regional Hub, United Nations Development Programme

Mr. Darko Pavlovic, FairBiz Regional Project Manager Bangkok Regional Hub, United Nations Development Programme, said today’s Forum is held under the UNDP Regional Project “Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN” which is funded by the UK Government through the ASEAN Economic Reform Programme. Under this project, UNDP is coordinating both with Government agencies and businesses to strengthen and implement anti-corruption policies and laws and to promote business integrity practices and corporate responsibility in 6 ASEAN countries, including Viet Nam.  

“Corruption distorts markets, curb economic development and discourage foreign investment. UN Global Compact states that ‘business should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.”, Mr. Darko Pavlovic stressed. 

In Viet Nam, according to the statistics of the General Statistics Office, in the past two years, despite the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic, there is still a large number of newly established businesses. In 2020, this number was almost 135,000 while there were around 117,000  newly established businesses in 2021. On the other hand, in 2020, there were nearly 102,000 businesses withdrawing from the market, while in  2021 this number was about 120,000 enterprises.

Mr. Darko Pavlovic’s vierw, start-ups and young entrepreneurs in Viet Nam can be very challenging with the very complicated system of laws and regulations governing business activities and administrative procedures. Without capacity, experience and networks, some businesses can resort to unofficial means, including bribery, to solve the problems.  

According to the 2019 Vietnam Youth Integrity Survey by Towards Transparency, almost all respondents states that corruption and lack of integrity is harmful to their generation, the economy and the development of Vietnam. However, more than three-quarters of respondents reported having no or very little knowledge on the integrity and anti-corruption rules and regulation. 

“This is why we are organising today’s forum to learn about the legal framework for businesses to follow, to share best practices as well as challenges for adhering to business integrity in start-ups and young entrepreneurs. Through this Forum, start-ups can help the Government of Viet Nam and UNDP to better understand how we can help to promote integrity as the foundation for a successful start-up business”, Mr. Darko Pavlovic said. 

Mr. Darko Pavlovic  made three propositions to advance our discussion in the Forum. 

First, the support from the Government is crucial in creating  the best environment for start-ups to grow and this is key for Vietnam social and economic development. Viet Nam has gone through a long way for building foundation for start-ups. The Start-up Programme was initiated in 2002 by the Business Forum Newspaper (now is Business Forum Magazine) under the direction of VCCI. It has been scaled up to a national programme since 2016, when start-up was first mentioned in the Party’ document. Supporting start-ups became an important policy of the Government of Viet Nam since 2016 when the Prime Minister issued a Decision 844 on approving Project on assisting national innovative start-up ecosystem to year 2025. The 2017 Law on provision of assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises includes support measures to start-ups.  Legal framework is in place, implementation of the law should to be further strengthened. Your reflections today on the challenges in handling with administrative procedures for company establishment, implementing tax and other legal responsibilities are very important to the Government to consider for changing its policy and procedures.  

“We still remember, at the opening ceremony of the National start-up festival of students in 2020 the Vice Minister Vu Duc Dam said that Viet Nam must continue to develop faster but sustainably to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Along with improving the business environment, enhancing competitiveness to develop businesses in general, we will create conditions for the start-up community to grow fast”, Mr. Darko Pavlovic stated. 

Second, UNDP and other international organizations are ready to support Vietnamese business community, including start-ups to promote and implement business integrity. 

Under the FairBiz Project, in the last four years, UNDP and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) conducted a series of activities to encourage and support businesses in promoting a fair business environment in Viet Nam. We developed training materials for businesses on internal controls and code of conduct. Trainings were organized for more than 950 companies to enhance their knowledge and skills on code of conduct, internal controls, business integrity, ESG and responsible business practices. Targeted technical support was provided to three selected companies to develop and implement internal control mechanisms and code of conduct. All the developed materials and tools you can find in the website which was established by the Office for Business Sustainable Development, VCCI.  

FairBiz has implemented specific activities focusing on supporting young entrepreneurs who are leading new businesses, including start-ups. In two years nearly 100 start-up advisors and university lecturers received ToT on business integrity and nearly 200 start-ups and new businesses received trainings on business integrity. We launched 2 business integrity checklists for investors and for new businesses in July 2020, we developed a Chatbot with 110 questions and answers on business integrity and setting up a new business in both Vietnamese and English. 

At the regional level, we at UNDP have set up the FairBiz Integrity Hub which provides support, expertise and knowledge products to governments, companies, and civil society organisations in the region. Amongst the useful materials we have produced Business Integrity Toolkit for Young Entrepreneurs which was launched in 2020 and has been widely distributed to different partners. You’ll learn more about it later at the 2nd Panel Discussion. 

There is still a long way to go, but we believe that today event is another important step in a series of activities to promote and strengthen business integrity and transparency in Viet Nam. We hope this forum can provide us with many ideas to support you in further promoting compliance and integrity. 

Third, business integrity and law compliance should be at the core of every company’s value system. Businesses can flourish by operating with integrity and building a culture of business integrity in Viet Nam needs more collective action. Business integrity should be integrated into the company’s decision-making and existing operational policies and procedures. That is key for the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs by 2030 and UNDP and FairBiz project stands ready to support Viet Nam in this process. 

By: Business Forum Magazine



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