'Be resilient to be sustainable' as dual goals perceived by enterprises

16/10/2021| 8:32

General Secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Nguyen Quang Vinh shared his comments on the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs as well as VCCI's efforts in supporting the business community amidst the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Be resilient to be sustainable' as dual goals perceived by enterprisesNational Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue visited the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and met with representatives of the business circle on the occasion of Vietnamese Entrepreneurs' Day.

 Since late former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai signed the Decision to take October 13 as Vietnamese Entrepreneurs' Day, how has the business community grown and what are its outstanding achievements?

Seventeen years ago, in response to the proposal of VCCI, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai signed Decision No. 990/QD-TTg dated September 20, 2004 on Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Day. Accordingly, in order to promote the role and tradition of the Vietnamese business community, to encourage the various social classes in contributing to the construction and development of businesses, the business community has been growing stronger, to meet the needs of the industrialization and modernization of the country, then October 13 every year is celebrated as Vietnamese Entrepreneurs' Day.

The position of enterprises and entrepreneurs is not only recognized by the society but also recognized by the Party and State as confirmed in the 2013 Constitution and related documents of the Party's All-Country Congress, especially from the 11th National Congress to the present. Thanks to this recognition, along with many policies to support the development, encouragement and to honor the businesses and entrepreneurs, today, the role and status of enterprises and entrepreneurs are enhanced and Viet Nam has an ever-increasing number of businesses.

As of September 2021, the accumulated number of enterprises registered for establishment since the introduction of the Enterprise Law has reached more than 1.626 million enterprises. Not only do enterprises increase in number but also their competitiveness improves. Up to now, 6 Vietnamese entrepreneurs are ranked in the top of the global “dollar billionaires” in 2021.

Viet Nam has 124 remarkable enterprises, with 283 products bearing the national brands, and some famous brands affirm their value in regional and global markets, such as Viettel, Vinamilk, VinFast, Thaco, TH True Milk, etc.

The corporate responsibility towards society and employees is increasing; Vietnamese entrepreneurs are increasingly dynamic and creative, some of them are winning regional and international recognition with elegant awards.

In your opinion, what are the shortcomings curbing the Vietnamese enterprises in their way to progress?

In recent years, the number of newly established enterprises has increased. However, there is also a large number of enterprises that are unable to stand firm in the competition or they do operate but inefficiently. Vietnamese enterprises are still struggling to access social resources to serve the production and business, such as recruiting highly skilled workforce, accessing land and credits from banks, or capital from funds, or resources for science and technology applications.

The formation and development of private economic groups in Viet Nam are mainly through a short period accumulation, relying on their own capital and diminutive support from the State. Their development process with group model, collaborating private economic groups, encountered some management difficulties. The field of operation in the private sector mainly focuses on services and real estate, etc. Therefore, there is still a lack of “leading” enterprises” strong enough to be the locomotive for the “train” of Vietnamese enterprises to participate in domestic and international production and value chains.

Besides, Vietnamese enterprises are currently small in scale, so it is difficult to increase labor productivity through specialization or taking advantage of small and medium size. Given the small scale, the ability to accumulate and concentrate capital for investment, technology innovation, and production expansion is virtually nonexistent.

'Be resilient to be sustainable' as dual goals perceived by enterprisesGeneral Secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Nguyen Quang Vinh.

The COVID-19 pandemic could be considered as a “gold tested by fire, strength tested by hardship” for the Vietnamese business community. What do you think?

From the beginning of 2020 up to now, Viet Nam has been coping with a ravage of COVID-19 pandemic. Especially, the 4th outbreak of COVID-19 along with successive rounds of isolation has severely affected the production and business activities, especially in the southern region.

The survey results conducted by VCCI in September 2021 show that up to 93.9% of businesses said the impact of the pandemic was at “completely negative” and “mostly negative”, an increase compared to the figure of 87.2% in the 2020 survey. Enterprises face enormous difficulties in ensuring the mandatory requirements of safe production, leading to high input costs, difficult circulation of goods, difficult access to credit sources, hard affordability in retaining the workers, hard access to vaccines and even access to supportive policies of the state. The number of enterprises withdrawing from the market in the first 9 months of 2021 is more than 90,000, an increase of 15.3% over the same period in 2020.

Being heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during the past two years, the Vietnamese business community in general has been making every effort to ensure uninterrupted production and business activities, initiatively to adjust their production model and regulate their manpower to ensure safe production and business operation.

They have also demonstrated their spirit of community service and social responsibility. Responding to the call of the Party's General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on prioritizing all resources for epidemic prevention and control, the enterprises enthusiastically responded to and participated in the special emulation movement “The entire country unites, joins efforts together, and emulates with a common mindset for the prevention, control and victory over the COVID-19 pandemic” officially launched by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Could you reveal the VCCI's plan to support the business community in its effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Assuming the role of a national organization representing the business community and business associations in Viet Nam, over the past time, VCCI has actively implemented many supportive activities to disentangle the difficulties for pandemic affected businesses.

In the context of the increasingly complication of COVID-19 pandemic, VCCI soon identified and forecasted the situation that businesses would have to live along with the pandemic in the long run. On September 17, 2021, VCCI established the Business Cooperation Council to respond to COVID-19. This is a special mechanism to connect businesses and business associations with central, local authorities and international agencies and organizations to jointly respond to COVID-19, limit the losses, maintain the business operation and at the same time contribute to the combat against the COVID-19 pandemic of the whole country.

With the establishment of the Council and the launch of a 24/7 online interactive application platform, businesses now have a reliable address to promptly reflect and identify the difficulties, problems and issues related to the COVID-19 impacts and to propose recommendations for business operations, and receive guidance and support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides, VCCI continues to implement national programs, projects and tasks on improving the business environment and enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises; sustainable development projects; perform the function of representing the employers; take advantage of the opportunities of FTAs and the trend of shifting production and supply chains brought about by the FDI capital inflows; to support the domestic enterprises in their international integration.

On the occasion of Vietnamese Entrepreneurs' Day, would you like to convey any massages to Vietnamese entrepreneurs?

Businesses of sustainable development need to realize the dual goals: “Be resilient to be sustainable”!

In the context of the 4th ravaging wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is actually causing very devastating consequences to people's lives and socio-economic development nationwide. The health of the business has deteriorated apparently. However, the difficulties are viewed as temporary challenges, to be overcome. The enterprises with strong and persistent commitment, persistently pursuing sustainable development strategies over the years have created for themselves the “antibodies” immunized to the pandemic, maintaining operational stability and business growth, effectively supporting the Government, the control agencies and the community in realizing the dual goals.

In addition to the Government's support, in order to live together in times of COVID-19, adapt and overcome the pandemic, each business needs to promote its own internal resources, change its plans and strategies to ensure dual goals for businesses, while effectively preventing the epidemic, ensuring the health and safety of its employees and customers, and maintaining and restoring production and business. Enterprises need to prioritize solving the problems of the dilemma from both a business point of view and a sustainable development perspective.