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VCCI News

Last updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2018

 

VCCI: 55 Years Dedicated to Business Development

Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2018


On April 29, 1960, the Standing Committee of the Council of Government endorsed the establishment of the Chamber of Commerce of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and, after nearly three years of preparation, on March 14, 1963, the First Congress of the Chamber of Commerce was held in Hanoi, attended by 93 initial members, mainly importers and exporters. The Congress adopted the Charter, and elected the Board of Administration to run its operations. The outcome and the Charter of the Congress were ratified by the Council of Government in Decision 58-CP dated April 27, 1963, signed by Prime Minister Pham Van Dong. And April 27, 1963, entered into the history of the economy and the business community of Vietnam as the founding date of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

For half a century, in spite of numerous changes and difficulties, and in all circumstances, VCCI has made significant contributions to the development of the Vietnamese economy, business community and entrepreneur force.

The first period from 1963 to 1975 witnessed VCCI’s organisational construction and operation in the time of war. At that time, VCCI primarily performed two important tasks: Promoting trade and investment, and promoting the relations of Vietnamese enterprises and economy with other countries; and taking part in the legal and political struggle against economic encirclement and embargo.

In the second period from 1975 to 1982, after southern Vietnam's liberation, VCCI took over the Saigon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, set up the Ho Chi Minh City Branch and expanded operations across the country, but VCCI was still operated under the subsidy mechanism.

In the third period from 1983 to 1992, VCCI gained financial and operating autonomy as the country adopted the market economy.

In the fourth period from 1993 to now, VCCI has become a national agency with the representative role of protecting the legitimate rights and interests of and supporting the Vietnamese business community operating in market mechanism-perfecting conditions and deepening international economic integration. During this period, VCCI has made robust changes in organisation and operation to meet growing requirements of the economy and the business community. VCCI has expanded the network of branches and representative offices in many localities and established close relationships with domestic and international business associations and related organisations to expand its operations and influences. VCCI has admitted over 150,000 members of various economic sectors. VCCI has also established close cooperative relations with nearly 200 international partnership organisations to support enterprises in reaching out to the global market. VCCI is an active member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) and ASEAN Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASEAN-CCI), and international and regional employer federations.

VCCI took the lead in studying and popularising President Ho Chi Minh ideology among enterprises and entrepreneurs (2003); coordinated with business associations to propose that the Prime Minister take October 13 as Vietnam Entrepreneurs’ Day, gave the message “Entrepreneurs - peacetime soldiers” to inspire entrepreneurial spirit in the society, and presented the Thanh Giong Cup, Golden Rose Cup, Corporate Social Responsibility Award and other prestigious awards to honour outstanding Vietnamese entrepreneurs. VCCI made important contributions to building viewpoints, policies and legal foundations concerning the Vietnamese business environment, based on the generation of favourable conditions for the development of enterprises and entrepreneurs, by taking part in the construction and organisation of the Law on Enterprises (1999, 2005), the Law on Investment (2005), the Resolution of the Congress of the Party Central Committee (Tenure XI, XII) on Private Economy and Resolution 07-NQ/TW of the Politburo on International Economic Integration guided by the socialist-oriented market economy. VCCI also made proposals, recommendations, guidelines and schemes for WTO, FTA and TPP negotiations, international treaties and other important policies of the Party and the State. Most notably, VCCI proposed initiatives and directly compiled a scheme to submit to the Politburo for issuing the Resolution on “Building and promoting the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the period of industrialisation, modernisation and international integration” - the first ever document of the Party and the State which confirms the roles of entrepreneurs, and the viewpoints, policies and solutions on entrepreneur force development, together with the working class, peasants and intelligentsia, in the new context.

In addition to building and implementing Scheme 30 on administrative reform initiated by the Government, VCCI studied, announced, supported and advised provinces and cities to improve provincial competitiveness index ratings, create emulative movements, and enhance the quality of economic governance and administrative reform of local authorities to better serve business activities of citizens and enterprises.

VCCI publishes the Annual Business Report and other regular reports about businesses. VCCI also chairs and co-chairs many important, prestigious policy dialogue forums on major economic and business affairs in Vietnam like the Annual Meeting between the Prime Minister and Business Executives (in collaboration with the Office of Government), Vietnam Economic Forum (in collaboration with National Assembly’s Economic Commission and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences), and Vietnam Business Forum - VBF (in coordination with government agencies, IFC, WB and VBF Consortium - a group of domestic and foreign business associations). Many important business executive forums were also successfully organised in Vietnam by VCCI such as APEC CEO Summit (2016, 2017), Vietnam Business Summit 2017, ASEAN - EU Business Summit, Global Summit of Women, ABAC Meeting, ASEAN BIS, ASEAN BAC Meeting and Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Business Summit, and others. And, VCCI also hosted many business forums attended by leading CEOs, the heads of state and heads of governments from many countries around the world.

In start-up promotion, training and business support, VCCI takes the lead in organising start-up festivals and building a network of small and medium enterprise support centres in the country and in foreign countries. The Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) Programme – a joint effort between VCCI and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) – is being deployed in most provinces and cities in the country, which has been seen as the earliest and largest training support programme of international standard for private businesses in Vietnam. Business Administration Training Programmes with INSEAD (European Institute of Business Administration – one of the world’s largest and most prestigious business schools) with EuroCham, and with the Keidanren (Japan) are top-rate advanced business training programmes in Vietnam held very early by VCCI with the hope of shaping governance thinking and skills for large enterprises in Vietnam.

VCCI has hosted many large trade and investment promotion activities to bring Vietnamese exports to the world and bring foreign investment projects into Vietnam. Business delegations accompanying Party and State leaders during State visits to foreign countries and attending business forums, Vietnam Days, dialogues, seminars and conferences in foreign countries, organised by VCCI in the framework of such visits, are practical national-level promotion activities to introduce the country, the people and the economy of Vietnam.

With respect to building corporate culture and corporate social responsibility, VCCI established the Council and Bureau for Employer Activities, Centre for Entrepreneurial Culture and Business Council and Office for Sustainable Development and a series of information, consulting, training and business support activities to build corporate culture, harmonious labour relations and promote corporate social responsibility.

Every year, VCCI directly takes part in compiling and contributing ideas to over 60 draft laws, organises over 500 conferences and workshops on legislation and policy, organises over 1,500 training courses for more than 80,000 businesses, receives above 350 foreign business delegations and 20,000 foreign entrepreneurs visiting Vietnam, organises nearly 150 delegations for over 7,000 enterprises to visit and survey foreign markets and seek business and investment opportunities, hosts nearly 600 workshops, seminars and business meetings for over 80,000 businesses, and grants nearly 600,000 certificates of origin (C/O) for exports and other commercial documents. This represents an enormous workload relative to the size and modest financial resources of VCCI.

Looking back on our 55-year development history, we can be proud of the enormous and significant contributions that generations of VCCI staff members have made to advance the cause of doi moi (renovation), to develop the economy and business community. VCCI has been bestowed the First-Grade Ho Chi Minh Order, First-Grade Independence Order, First-Grade Labour Order, and many other noble honours. VCCI is rated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) as one of the most dynamic chambers of commerce and industry in developing countries.

On the 55th anniversary of VCCI’s establishment, I, on the behalf of VCCI leadership, would like to thank State and Party leaders for continuous guidance and support for VCCI operations in the past time, and the business community and organisations for their constant companionship and cooperation with VCCI, and thank VCCI staff members, from generation to generation, for their wholehearted devotion and effort for VCCI development.

However, we also see that, on the unprecedented road where there are no available models for us to follow and in the context of economic transition with many local characteristics, VCCI cannot avoid all shortcomings and imperfections. The voice of the business community and the policy advisory of VCCI for many important economic issues of the country are not strong enough. The interaction with business associations is not enough. Some trade and investment promotion activities lack professionalism. The functions of representing employers and supporting the construction of harmonious labour relations, promoting sustainable and creative economic development, fall short of expectations in some aspects. And, generally speaking, to meet what the business community and the economy require, VCCI has to try harder to attain more achievements.

The economy and business community are entering a new stage of development where the requirement for a modern, creative, inclusive and sustainable economic structure in the digital era becomes vital. And, VCCI is no exception to that requirement. Upholding the tradition of solidarity, dynamism and creativity, VCCI will continue to work as a powerful modern chamber of commerce and industry, and a strong social, political and professional agency of the business community and businesspeople; to excellently accomplish tasks entrusted it by the Party and the State.

Dr Vu Tien Loc
Chairman and President, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry








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