Journey for Business and the Nation

Thu, 27 Apr 2023 22:10:00  |  Print  |  Email   Share:

Historical mission in wartime




60 years ago, on March 14, 1963 in Hanoi, the founding congress of the Chamber of Commerce of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was held with the first 93 member organizations, mainly importers and exporters. On April 27, 1963, Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, on behalf of the Government Council, signed Decision 58-CP on ratification of the Charter of the Chamber of Commerce of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), marking the beginning of VCCI’s journey for the development of the country, the economy and the business community of Vietnam.

From its establishment to national unification in 1975, its operations were closely attached to the country’s wartime conditions. It focused on opening capitalist markets, utilized economic and trade exchanges to expand foreign relations with other countries to break economic embargoes and blockades, exercised international people-to-people diplomacy policy, and mobilized international support for the struggle for peace and national reunification.

Construction mission in peacetime

After April 30, 1975, the time of national reunification, VCCI expanded its operations nationwide after taking over the Saigon Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Technology to establish its Ho Chi Minh City Branch. Not only focusing on expanding Vietnam's foreign trade, it also supported developing domestic production and industries for post-war national reconstruction and economic development. Given the great significance of that, in 1982, with the consent of the Prime Minister, the Chamber of Commerce of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was renamed the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, abbreviated as Vietcochamber and later VCCI.

Trailblazer in Doi Moi

In 1986, Doi Moi (renovation) was initiated, which revived the country's economy and opened a new era for VCCI's operations. With its accumulated experience in promoting and developing trade with market economies, VCCI took the lead in carrying out the Doi Moi policy, played a very active role in spreading the Investment Law and Doi Moi policies of Vietnam in foreign countries, and boosted trade and investment cooperation with countries around the world. At the same time, VCCI actively communicated and disseminated the Company Law and the Private Enterprise Law 1990, and aroused entrepreneurship among people to form the private economic sector according to the Doi Moi policy of the Party and the State.

Recognizing the increasing importance and role of VCCI in the period of building a socialist-oriented multi-sector market economy, in 1993, the Government made VCCI - an organization administered by the Trade Minister (as authorized by the Prime Minister) - an independent organization and allowed it to conduct its 2nd National Congress. Former Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers Doan Duy Thanh was elected VCCI President. VCCI was assigned the additional task of representing the rapidly growing business community in our country. During this time, VCCI supported and promoted the development of the business community, advised on guidelines and policies on international economic integration, and advocated and assisted international negotiations on WTO accession and trade agreements with other countries. VCCI also actively invested in building and developing its branches and representative offices across the country, forming a synchronous modern infrastructure system as well as a qualified workforce dedicated to the economic and business development of Vietnam.

Leader in international integration

In April 2003, at the 4th VCCI National Congress, Mr. Vu Tien Loc was elected President. During his three consecutive terms of 18 years, under his leadership and the Executive Board, VCCI's operations continued to be expanded and made important contributions to economic and business development. While the first 15 years of Doi Moi was a formative stage of the private business community, its next three terms witnessed the stage of fruition and assertion of its role, position and contribution in the private sector. VCCI made profound contributions and impacts in both stages. At the proposal of VCCI and business associations, on September 20, 2004, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai signed a decision to make October 13 Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day. To further develop the entrepreneur force, entrusted by the Politburo, in 2011, the VCCI Party Committee directed developing and submitting Resolution 09 on "Building and developing the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the period of industrialization, modernization and international integration to the Politburo - the first document of our Party and State on entrepreneurs.

To help create a driving force for reform from the grassroots level, given that the Government adopted a strong decentralization policy, VCCI studied and published the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) and consulted and supported localities to improve it. In addition, VCCI hosted many important and prestigious economic and business policy dialogue forums in Vietnam such as the annual meeting of the Prime Minister with entrepreneurs, the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF), the APEC Business Summit, the Vietnam Business Summit, the EU-ASEAN Business Summit, ASEAN BIS and ASEAN BAC as well as business forums with other countries with the attendance of top CEOs, many heads of state and heads of governments around the world. In order to direct and honor entrepreneurs and enterprises, VCCI also launched many awarding activities like “Outstanding Vietnamese Entrepreneur”, “Golden Rose” for female entrepreneurs, “Sustainable Businesses” and other prestigious awards.

Following the national development policy detailed by the 13th National Party Congress, the 7th VCCI National Congress, held in December 2021, brought VCCI into a new stage of development with the vision and mission of building a “Strong Business Community - Thriving Nation”. This is the vision for the new phase of our country: Striving to realize the goals and aspirations of turning Vietnam into a developed, high-income country by 2045.

New aspiration for 2045

The Congress adopted a new Vietnamese name for VCCI (the name in English and its abbreviation VCCI were kept unchanged) and ratified six key tasks and three strategic breakthroughs of promoting the development of the business community and the entrepreneur community, and consolidating, developing and improving the capacity and role of VCCI. Its three breakthroughs are: (1) Promoting an enabling business environment; (2) Leading the development of Vietnamese business culture; and (3) Fostering digital transformation in business. While upholding existing traditional activities, VCCI also innovated and developed new working content and methods to obtain higher quality and performance. Its support for businesses to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, its dialogue conferences with regulatory agencies to solve problems in business, its involvement, feedback and supervision of policy enforcement, its release of a set of six business ethics codes of Vietnamese entrepreneurs, its orientation and support for startups, its leadership in sustainable business development, its support for small and medium-sized enterprises and women entrepreneurs, and other meaningful activities were recognized and appreciated by the business community. The new term also accepted VCCI's initiative and new active role in promoting economic connectivity and cooperation among localities by region and sub-region.

Throughout over 60 years of growth, in all development periods of the nation, VCCI has always successfully fulfilled all tasks assigned by the Party, the State and the business community to play an important role in national economic development, business growth and entrepreneur development of Vietnam. From 93 initial members, VCCI membership includes over 200 business associations and over 200,000 companies of all fields, all industries and all economic sectors. VCCI was honored with the Ho Chi Minh Order, the First-class Independence Order and many other high-level commendations by the Party and the State.

We reverentially treasure the diligence and dedication and express our gratitude to all generations of leaders, officers and employees of VCCI, as well as members, businesses, domestic and international partners for helping VCCI obtain great achievements to be proud of over the past 60 years. In the path ahead, our country has new development goals and aspirations and VCCI also has a new vision and mission, with many new challenges to emerge on the way. We will uphold our time-honored culture of solidarity, innovation, dynamism and creativity to build VCCI into a strong social, political and professional national organization that represents Vietnamese enterprises and entrepreneurs in the international integration period and strive together to realize the aspiration to turn Vietnam into a developed, high-income, civilized and happy country by 2045.

Secretary of VCCI Party Union, 
President and Chairman of VCCI

By: Vietnam Business Forum



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