Developing a strong, ethical, and business-cultured entrepreneur team
Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW of the Central Committee on October 10, which aims to promote the role of the entrepreneur team in the new period, has provided additional motivation and confidence in business for the Vietnamese business community and entrepreneurs. Although it is fundamentally based on Resolution No. 09-NQ/TW dated December 9, 2011, issued by the Central Committee 12 years ago, some of the Party's views and perceptions regarding entrepreneurs and businesses have positively evolved. The Party now recognizes the important position and role of the entrepreneur team as one of the core forces contributing to the advancement of industrialization and modernization in the country. They not only play a role in building and developing an independent and self-reliant economy but also have the added responsibility of ensuring national defense and security.
Chairman of VCCI, Pham Tan Cong. (Photo: HUY THE)
On the occasion of Vietnamese Entrepreneurs' Day, October 13, a reporter from Nhan Dan newspaper had a conversation with Comrade Pham Tan Cong, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), about the construction and promotion of the role of the entrepreneur team in the new era and the new points in the views and goals set forth in Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW.
A rare historical opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to make a "leap"
Reporter: For many years, we have always hoped that the Vietnamese economy would have large companies with regional and global reach. In reality, we have had some companies that have met these expectations, with some entrepreneurs ranking among the top billionaires in USD. However, there aren't many, and few have the capability to lead supply chains... How do you assess the potential, strengths, and "health" of Vietnamese businesses in the current global economy?
Chairman of VCCI Pham Tan Cong: It is clear that, after three years of being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnamese businesses have managed to overcome the challenges strongly. This is evidenced by the statistics for the first nine months of 2023, where over 165,000 businesses entered or re-entered the market, an increase of 1.2% compared to the same period, and GDP increased by 4.24% compared to the previous year.
Furthermore, Vietnamese entrepreneurs and businesses have also adapted quickly, recovering when supply chains had not yet been fully restored, expanding export markets, and stabilizing production. As a result, in the first nine months of 2023, the country's total import and export turnover showed impressive growth, reaching $497.66 billion, with an estimated trade surplus of $21.68 billion in goods.
Vietnam's economic potential and management experience have changed significantly over the past decade. As General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong put it, "Our country has never had such international potential, status, and reputation as it does today." This provides the foundation for us to have confidence in implementing measures and policies for the recovery and development of the nation's economy.
Production and Assembly of Automobiles at Hyundai Thanh Cong Plant (Ninh Binh). (Photo: TRAN HAI)
There is a nearly universal truth in the world's development, which is that large and developed economies must have a team of capable businesses. This team includes leading enterprises, large companies at the forefront of the value chain, and those that master core technologies. At the same time, this team must also include medium-sized and small businesses, as well as a vast number of supporting businesses.
Currently, many Vietnamese businesses have achieved regional and global prominence, and some entrepreneurs have made it to the global "USD billionaires" list. With the right environment, appropriate policies, and timely implementation of suitable policies, we can have strong corporations and enterprises as the resulting outcome.
To this day, after 37 years of reform, the team of Vietnamese entrepreneurs and businesses has experienced continuous growth in terms of quantity and quality. There are nearly 10 million entrepreneurs, nearly 900,000 businesses, over 5 million household businesses, and more than 14,000 cooperatives. This sector contributes more than 60% of the GDP, 70% of state budget revenues, and plays a significant role in providing employment for around 15 million workers.
However, Vietnamese businesses are also facing substantial losses and difficulties due to major global fluctuations. According to a survey by VCCI, the top challenges that businesses are currently facing include access to credit, a contracting market, difficulty in finding customers, and the lingering negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reporter: Given the unprecedented global developments, how do you assess the development and recovery of Vietnamese businesses? What are the opportunities and challenges for businesses in the coming time?
Chairman of VCCI Pham Tan Cong: Currently, the economic and political situation in the world is experiencing unpredictable and highly unusual fluctuations. Vietnam is an open country, so any market disruptions abroad will have an impact on Vietnam. Therefore, when the world faces difficulties, Vietnam will also face challenges.
Since late 2022, the fluctuations in the real estate market have had repercussions on many other sectors and the overall economy. In the first half of 2023, the situation continued to be challenging, and by the end of 2023, some "bright spots" began to emerge, but optimism should be cautious. Essentially, the global economy has not improved, world GDP has not seen significant growth, and inflation has not been fully addressed.
However, this context is creating a historic opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to participate and establish a new position in international value chains. The disruptions and rearrangement of international supply chains caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and political conflicts are providing a rare opportunity for Vietnam not only to join global supply chains but also to attract investors, capital, and technology from major players seeking new bases in Vietnam.
To seize this historic opportunity and create a new economic growth leap, Vietnam needs to revive the entrepreneurial spirit in the business community. This is the time for Vietnam to awaken a dynamic and bold spirit, encourage creative thinking and action, and empower both public officials and entrepreneurs to make decisive moves.
Chairman of VCCI Pham Tan Cong: It is essential to rekindle the spirit of daring to think, daring to act, and daring to take responsibility in the business community and among public officials.
Clearly, we are facing many difficulties now, but during the early days of our country's reforms, the challenges were far greater. At that time, entrepreneurs had limited resources, little knowledge, and no market experience, while government officials were inexperienced in a market economy. However, it was the enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit, the willingness to think and take action, that helped Vietnam achieve double-digit economic growth and escape poverty. The strength of spirit is an endless source of power, a traditional strength of the Vietnamese people, both in nation-building and safeguarding.
If we can unleash this spirit at this moment, fostering a business-friendly environment for entrepreneurs and government officials who dare to think and take action, we will seize the historic opportunities that the world is offering to Vietnam. This will undoubtedly help us achieve our economic growth goals and fulfill our aspirations to become a developed nation.
Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW provides a foundation and instills confidence in the business community.
Reporter: On October 10th, on behalf of the Politburo, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong signed Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW regarding the construction and promotion of the role of the Vietnamese business community in the new period. This reflects the consistent viewpoint of our Party and State to always care for and create the best conditions for the business community, allowing Vietnamese entrepreneurs to continuously grow and develop. In your opinion, what are the key new points that the government, along with various ministries and local authorities, should use as a basis to formulate new programs and policies to support businesses and entrepreneurs?
Chairman of VCCI Pham Tan Cong: As we know, the issuance of Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW by the Politburo has provided additional motivation and confidence and has been warmly welcomed by the business community and Vietnamese entrepreneurs. This can be seen as a special "gift" from the Politburo to the business community and entrepreneurs on the occasion of "Entrepreneur Day" on October 13th this year.
The new resolution harmonizes and specifies the orientation set forth at the 13th National Party Congress, where our Party identified entrepreneurs as a force with a crucial role in the country's industrialization and modernization; it places requirements on building a strong, capable, high-integrity, and highly reputable entrepreneurial force that contributes to enhancing the quality, efficiency, competitiveness, and ensuring the independence and autonomy of the economy.
Although Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW fundamentally inherits Resolution No. 09-NQ/TW issued by the Politburo 12 years ago, there have been innovations and adjustments based on an assessment of the current business environment, the changing domestic and global conditions, to ensure that the resolution is suitable for the new period.
Export of Vinfast electric cars at Hai Phong port. (Photo: AN KHANH)
According to the resolution, it affirms that "Entrepreneurs hold a significant position and play a crucial role, serving as one of the core forces contributing to the advancement of industrialization, modernization, and international integration; building and developing an independent, self-reliant economy while ensuring national defense and security." Therefore, the status of entrepreneurs is elevated, as they not only contribute to building and developing an independent, self-reliant economy but also take on the responsibility of contributing to national defense and security.
In addition, a noteworthy new point in Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW that has garnered strong support from businesses is the commitment to "ensure a stable, consistent, transparent, equitable, and especially in access to resources such as land, finance, and technology; protect legal property rights, support startups, and impose appropriate economic sanctions for violations, particularly without criminalizing economic relationships."
This means that in the foreseeable future, businesses will no longer have to worry about the "criminalization of economic relationships." This is a common trend in many developed countries, where businesses facing violations are subject to economic sanctions, sometimes involving significant sums, without resorting to criminal prosecution. This approach avoids causing major shocks and potential damage to a brand, large businesses, and negative consequences for society.
Furthermore, the resolution clearly defines the responsibilities of the Party, State, and political system in creating a favorable, secure, and equitable investment and business environment for business development. Businesses are very pleased with this, as security and safety in production and business are crucial and top priorities.
Reporter: In Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW, seven groups of tasks and key solutions have been outlined to develop the Vietnamese business community with the scale, capacity, and qualifications to meet national development goals, adapting to the new context and situation. So, as VCCI, playing the role of a representative organization, supporting and promoting the development of the Vietnamese business community, what will you do to implement the tasks and solutions outlined in Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW?
Chairman of VCCI Pham Tan Cong: If we follow the spirit of Resolution 41-NQ/TW, the institutional framework, policies, and business environment will certainly see improvements, with significant changes expected in the future, involving a thorough review of the institutional system, policy framework, and institutionalization of the Party's resolution to create a favorable investment and business environment.
In the coming period, VCCI will actively cooperate with the Central Economic Commission, various ministries, local authorities, and the business community to implement Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW effectively. Together with businesses and entrepreneurs, we will ensure that they develop in the right direction. This involves identifying their roles, significance, and solutions to develop a healthy business and entrepreneurial community dedicated to the nation. We will provide support and motivation to the Vietnamese business community and entrepreneurs to make strong progress in the new era.
Chairman of VCCI Pham Tan Cong.
The business community needs to unify values and ethical principles, as well as fundamental business culture. These principles should be disseminated and put into practice within the business community and enterprises. Building business ethics and culture is a long-term process that never stops, aimed at making our nation both prosperous and culturally advanced.
Certainly, the business community must uphold a spirit of legal compliance and business culture. However, the issuance of Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW at this time is a critical factor in enhancing the trust of entrepreneurs and businesses in the country's development path, economic development, and, as a result, the individual development path of each entrepreneur.
In addition to business activities, the business community needs to unify values and ethical principles. These principles need to be promoted, disseminated, and practiced within the business community and enterprises, aligned with the goals and tasks set forth in Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW. Placing ethics and business culture at the core and emphasizing a reverence for the law can elevate the role of entrepreneurs in contributing to economic diplomacy, people-to-people diplomacy, and the promotion of the image of the Vietnamese nation, its people, and culture.
To achieve this, it requires the collective coordination of society as a whole, from government agencies and the education system to the media, and especially from the business community, enterprises, and business associations. Building business ethics and culture is a long-term process that never stops, aimed at making our nation both prosperous and culturally advanced. Since 2022, VCCI has incorporated six ethical principles for entrepreneurs into the criteria for assessing and conferring the title of "Outstanding Vietnamese Entrepreneur." Through this, they have become exemplary figures with inspiring stories to spread throughout the business community.
For these reasons, it can be affirmed that Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW is a foundation for the development of Vietnamese businesses in the new era, demonstrating the country's aspirations as Vietnam strives to become a developed nation. To accomplish this goal, there is still much work to be done, including legal amendments, policy adjustments, and improvements in the business environment.
VCCI will continue to strengthen its organization, renew its content and methods, and enhance the quality and effectiveness of its activities. It will carry out its role and mission as a political, social, and professional organization representing the legitimate interests of entrepreneurs and businesses. Importantly, VCCI will always cooperate effectively with ministries, departments, and localities, making every effort to contribute to the development of businesses, entrepreneurs, and the country.
Reporter: Thank you very much!
By: Minh Dung - Nhan Dan Newspaper/Translator: LeAnh-Bizic
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