Standing United for Greater VCCI Development

2:02:58 PM | 29/4/2020

“Vietnam's economy and business community will face unprecedented opportunities and challenges as the shift toward a modern, innovative, inclusive and sustainable structure becomes vital,” said Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Upholding the tradition of solidarity, dynamism and creativity, VCCI has truly transformed, restructured and renovated to reach standards of a modern chamber of commerce and industry - a powerful political, social and professional agency representative of the business community and the entrepreneur force - that has successfully completed all tasks assigned by the Party, the government and the business community.

To accomplish those missions, VCCI has worked together closely with the business community in the past difficult period.

To learn about difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, VCCI conducted a survey of businesses to collect and integrate their opinions to submit them to the Prime Minister on February 25, 2020. VCCI reported on their hardships, proposed long-term solutions and recommended 12 short-term urgent solutions to help them get through the tough time.

Then, given the increasingly complicated development of the pandemic and more difficulties against businesses, on April 3, 2020, the VCCI President held an online meeting with leaders of nearly 100 domestic and foreign trade associations to learn about the implementation of the Prime Minister's directives, new impacts of the Covid-19 epidemic on business operations and capture proposals and recommendations from the business community. Having collected opinions from trade associations and businesses, in addition to solutions launched by central and local authorities, the VCCI President sent another official document on some new business support solutions to the Prime Minister.

These proposed solutions are designed to facilitate production and circulation of products; and postpone and reschedule taxes, social insurance, fees and charges for businesses. Credit and wage policies need to be based on practical situations.

According to Dr. Loc, it is uncertain when the epidemic will be over, but it is certain that its impact on the economy will be lasting and cannot be addressed as soon as it ends. A lot of hardships against businesses are still on the way.

What concerns VCCI most is jobs, not only during but also after the epidemic outbreak. The International Labor Organization (ILO) projected that Covid-19 will cause 25 million people to lose their jobs. Many international agencies even forecast higher numbers. Economic restructuring and business transformation, after Covid-19, will deepen this trend. Digital transformation and robotic trends will surely be strengthened. Online trading and online economy will take the throne. The domestic market and the internal production network of economies will be taken more seriously. International trade and investment will be reversed - Capital flows of developed economies tend to return to home countries. International investment will be more decentralized to disperse risks. The synergized impact of technology, trade war and Covid-19 will paint a global economic picture with new colors and shapes. That will greatly affect production and business plans of enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, which are more vulnerable to external changes.

According to Dr. Loc, Vietnam will have the opportunity to receive new higher-quality capital flows in a decentralized investment strategy that aims to diversify supply sources to avoid excessive dependence on a market of transnational corporations. Vietnam has available advantages in terms of geography, geopolitics, market size and resources. But, in order to make good use of this opportunity, the country is facing requirements for improving institutional quality, human resources and infrastructure to get new investment flows. Challenges are also greater, as the automation trend increases and career opportunities in labor-intensive industries will shrink. Employment for millions of skilled workers is low. It is a challenge to create jobs in garment-textile, leather-footwear and electronics industries - key job generators in the economy, while millions of workers are being freed from low productivity agricultural areas every day. The employment mission places this weight on the shoulders of the entrepreneur force and the responsibility of VCCI now.

Celebrating its 57th founding anniversary (April 27, 1963 - April 27, 2020), more than half a century of twists and turns, VCCI has made great contributions to the economic, business and entrepreneur development of Vietnam under all circumstances. And, no matter what happens, the business community and domestic and international organizations always stand side by side with VCCI.

The government is gradually easing social distancing measures, reopening markets and reactivating the economy and we are returning to work as usual. Your workload may be 2 to 3 times higher to make up for what has been lost during the time off. And we will also be more creative to change our own systems and the way we work. The post-pandemic world will be no longer the world of yesterday. The economy and the business community will be moving towards new business models and more responsible global value chains. As a national agency representative of entrepreneurs, VCCI must rise to fulfill well heavy but glorious tasks: Contributing to institutional building, and protecting and promoting business community development.

The overwhelming quality and the virtue of VCCI have always been the culture of solidarity, sharing, boldness and creativity for nearly 60 years. Hopefully, that tradition will continue to shed light on the way we and the business community and entrepreneurs follow to make a successful restart.

An excerpt of the letter Dr. Vu Tien Loc, VCCI President, delivered to VCCI staff on the 57th founding anniversary of VCCI.

By Anh Mai, Vietnam Business Forum