Facilitating Vietnamese Businesses in Int’l Economic Integration

5:58:00 PM | 5/3/2023

As a national representative of the business community, entrepreneurs, employers and business associations, VCCI gathers and connects companies and business associations and social and political organizations, and consults the Government on improving the business environment, enhancing national competitiveness and building a strong entrepreneur force in the context of sustained international integration.

VCCI President Pham Tan Cong (second from left) and other leaders of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) at the third ABAC meeting 2022, Quang Ninh province

Bridging Vietnamese companies with regional and global business communities

One of VCCI’s key activities is to actively take part in economic-trade negotiations and multilateral regional mechanisms for business cooperation such as WTO, APEC BAC, ASEAN BAC, CACCI, ICC, GMS BC, ACMECS BC and PECC to support Vietnamese companies in international economic integration. Its active participation in these organizations helps promote and expand Vietnam's international cooperation with the region and the world and has practical significance in capturing policy information, cooperation programs as well as difficulties and obstacles faced by companies in bilateral and multilateral cooperation. VCCI also recommends measures to boost business cooperation.

VCCI is currently a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (APEC BAC) and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC), appointed by the government. These councils are the official focal points for Vietnamese companies to contact regional partners (APEC and ASEAN) and establish a mechanism for dialogue and policy recommendations of the business community with the government of Vietnam and other APEC/ASEAN countries. Vietnam held the rotary chairmanship of APEC BAC in 2006 and 2017, and ASEAN BAC in 2010 and 2020.

When Vietnam took over APEC Chairmanship, VCCI was assigned by the Prime Minister to chair APEC BAC and work with APEC members to organize annual activities, including events particularly important to the regional business community such as the APEC CEO Summit on the sidelines of the APEC Summit Week. The APEC CEO Summit is the largest business event in the region that brings together world-leading businesses. Speakers are senior leaders (Presidents, Prime Ministers and Leaders) of APEC economies, leaders of international organizations, policymakers, CEOs of major corporations and academics who represent and share experiences and good practices for trade and investment development in the region. The summit is the most effective cooperation mechanism to promote business roles and make the Asia Pacific a place of dynamic development and an incubator of ideas for the region.

Besides, VCCI held dialogues between APEC leaders and APEC BAC during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week; built and submitted reports on APEC business recommendations to Ministers of trade, finance, labor and health; and especially, compiled and submitted annual reports to senior APEC leaders.

When Vietnam took over the ASEAN Chairmanship, VCCI coordinated with relevant agencies to implement business-related activities assigned by the Government such as the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN BIS) on the sidelines of the ASEAN Leaders Summit. This event attracted the attention and participation of senior leaders of ASEAN and partner countries, as well as big businesses of ASEAN and the world. The summit is a place to discuss important global issues and find key strategic directions and solutions to overcome challenges faced by businesses in the region.

In addition, VCCI co-hosted the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) to honor businesses with the most outstanding achievements that contributed to economic development and common prosperity in the region.

VCCI compiled recommendations from ASEAN BAC and partner business councils to Economic Ministers, Finance Ministers, Governors of the State Bank of ASEAN, and to ASEAN senior leaders at the ASEAN Economic Dialogue between ASEAN Leaders and ASEAN BAC.

Currently, VCCI is a member of the National Steering Committee on ASEAN Single Window (ASW) and National Single Window (NSW). It works with the customs sector to conduct further reforms to facilitate customs clearance for imported and exported goods, helping boost trade facilitation and save money and time for importers and exporters.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and delegates from ministries, business associations and international organizations at the 2023 Annual Vietnam Business Forum

Supporting businesses to capture information, improving integration capacity

To encourage and support Vietnamese companies to further integrate into the international economy, VCCI has been an official channel for the business community to capture information and contribute to integration policy development. VCCI has established the Center for WTO and International Trade (http://wtocenter.vn/) to provide legal support to Vietnamese companies in international economic integration by delivering information, advice and support for Vietnamese associations and companies to enhance awareness and capacity and actively give their opinions in a bid to utilize benefits from WTO and international trade agreements, prevent and protect themselves against possible negative impacts from these agreements. VCCI also organizes policy advocacies (research, investigation, business consultation and other activities) to consult with the Government in negotiating and implementing international trade commitments to protect the interests of enterprises.

VCCI actively takes part in bilateral and multilateral mechanisms on economic cooperation and international economic organizations engaged in business integration support, and organizes many workshops, training courses, integration, trade and investment promotion activities within the framework of international and regional organizations such as APEC, ASEAN, GMS and ACMECS.

In particular, VCCI is currently operating a series of business forums/business councils to connect Vietnamese businesses with key market regions such as the European Union, North America, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and India.

Every year, VCCI also organizes many training courses, workshops, and conferences, and leads business delegations to foreign markets. It also publishes many documents, and studies and guides international integration to boost capacity, provide information, disseminate knowledge to enterprises, and facilitate them to connect with international partners.

These activities are aimed at building a positive mindset for businesses in integration, awareness raising and knowledge of integration; recognizing economic integration programs as a commitment - both for cooperation and competition; and providing information on support policies when Vietnam takes part in trade agreements and international organizations so that businesses can actively map out appropriate business strategies. VCCI provides training to increase and boost core values to enhance competitiveness, uses information technology as a tool to improve productivity and narrow the development gap; and builds business culture and trends towards common service value chains and industrial clusters to form the strength of the community.

Mr. Adam Sitkoff

Chief Executive of AmCham Hanoi
It is a credit to the Vietnamese and American people that our two countries have been able to move beyond the tragedies of our shared past to build such a vibrant and strong friendship. Back in early 1994, around the same time that Amazon was founded and Justin Bieber was taking his first breaths, a small group of Americans held AmCham’s first meeting at the Dragon Hotel near West Lake. AmCham then began holding small monthly meetings on the top floor of the Army Hotel in Hanoi. Since then, AmCham members have contributed significantly to the transformation and growth of Vietnam’s economy.
One of the main reasons for success is because of the effort of our friends at VCCI. AmCham and VCCI enjoy a close partnership and great working relationship. Both organizations share the goal of creating a competitive and sustainable business climate for companies and investors here. Right now, AmCham and VCCI are working together on restoring and developing supply chains and promoting a sound economic recovery in Vietnam. Later this year, our organizations will co-host the annual US-Vietnam Business Summit which will focus on ways the business communities in both countries can cooperate to increase trade, investment, and opportunities. AmCham very much values our partnership and friendship with VCCI.

Ms. Aler Grubbs

USAID/Vietnam Mission Director

USAID and VCCI have had a long-standing partnership in facilitating dialogues to elicit the private sector’s perspectives and voice, connecting public and private sectors, flagging important policy issues and advocating an improved enabling business environment in Vietnam. VCCI has played a pivotal role in supporting substantive, measurable changes to the business and investment climate that benefits both domestic firms and foreign investors, especially domestic private firms. Over the past 18 years, there have been approximately 156,000 domestic private firm responses and 20,000 foreign investment firm responses to the PCI survey. PCI has become a trusted source of information for provincial governments seeking to formulate and implement policies to improve the local business climate, as shown by over 1,600 documents enacted as resolutions, decisions, or instructions. Since 2014, with Resolution 19 and Resolution 02, the Government of Vietnam has required provincial governments to use PCI results to improve the business environment and national competitiveness. PCI has been used to support key long-term reform programs such as the action plan to cut costs for business operation (Resolution 139/2018/NQ-CP), the plan for sustainable development of the private sector (Decision 1362/2019/QĐ-TTg), and the national digitization program (Decision 749/2020/QD-TTg). VCCI has also initiated and successfully hosted many Prime Minister meetings with businesses, where firms’ concerns and expectations were heard.

VCCI has contributed to changing the provincial governments’ mindset. Many Provincial People’s Councils and cities note PCI as one of the items that raised monitoring and debating about business issues. USAID and VCCI have worked closely to deliver PCI workshops and training courses to over 65,000 provincial officials. VCCI has undertaken tremendous efforts to promote public-private dialogues and spread governance best practices. For example, PCI has catalyzed the use of a policy dialogue model widely known as “Coffee with Entrepreneurs”, or the implementation of the Department and District Competitiveness Index (DDCI), which are now applied in over 50 provinces.

USAID has a long history of cooperating with VCCI in many business-related areas, such as the rollouts of the customs-business satisfaction survey with the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC), the Vietnam Trade Facilitation Hub with the USAID Trade Facilitation Program (TFP) and the new Provincial Green Index (PGI) initiated by VCCI with USAID support. This will allow VCCI to promote stronger, more substantive and deeper regulatory reforms with a focus on environmental sustainability and green growth to facilitate business operation and growth of both domestic and foreign firms in Vietnam.

Mr. Alain Cany

Former Chairman of EuroCham

Over the past six decades, VCCI has played a pivotal role in attracting foreign investors and businesses to Vietnam, thereby driving economic growth and job creation. EuroCham’s partnership with VCCI has been a cornerstone of our mission, and together, we have driven Vietnam's business landscape forward through our common effort to promote corporate governance and sustainability.

Our collaboration with VCCI in the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) is an outstanding example of the power of partnership. Through the VBF, we have contributed to the development of policies and regulations that create a conducive business environment in Vietnam. These efforts have not only resulted in increased investment and business opportunities, but also in driving economic growth and job creation.

Our partnership with VCCI strengthens European-Vietnamese economic cooperation. Our joint efforts in implementing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), for example, have opened up new business opportunities on both sides. While there is still much to be done to fully realize the agreement's potential, we are committed to working with the VCCI to develop new strategies to ensure its successful implementation.

Congratulations again, VCCI, on your 60th anniversary. The business community in Vietnam is fortunate to have such an exceptional organization.

Ms. Ingrid Christensen

Director of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Vietnam

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has been working with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) as one of our key tripartite constituents, to ensure full, productive, and freely chosen employment and decent work is given the highest priority to promote sustainable enterprise development.

For 60 years, VCCI has represented a key asset in any society: its enterprises. Successful enterprises are at the heart of any strategy to create employment, generate sustainable growth and improve living standards. VCCI has helped to create the conditions for enterprise success by influencing the environment in which they do business and by providing services that improve their individual performance.

ILO highly values VCCI’s collaboration in promoting the decent work agenda for all women and men in Vietnam, including its support for sustainable enterprises, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. ILO believes that VCCI will continue to proactively engage in enhancing industrial relations and social dialogue, boosting active participation in collective bargaining, and ensuring a safe and healthy working environment for all and pursuing decent work.

Through close cooperation with VCCI for the four cycles of the Decent Work Country Program, ILO is proud and fully committed to the success of VCCI and stays actively engaged in a cooperative partnership to strengthen the institutional capacity of VCCI toward becoming a strong and representative organization in Vietnam.

Ms. Amal Abdelkader Salama

Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Egypt and Vietnam established their diplomatic relations in 1963, and since then both countries have enjoyed true friendship based on common values, mutual respect, and  shared aspiration for national construction and development. The same year witnessed the establishment of VCCI, which expanded over the years to become a very successful model for trade and industry networks in the modern state of Vietnam, that contributes to the growth of Vietnam's economy and the enhancement of cooperation with other countries, including Egypt.

 While Egypt and Vietnam are celebrating this year the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, I would like to seize this opportunity to congratulate VCCI for 60 years of hard work and great achievements. Since I started my mission as an ambassador for Egypt to Vietnam, I have been engaged in active, open, and fruitful discussions with VCCI on all topics of mutual interest, including trade promotion, exchanging experience, deepening communication between business communities of both countries, implementing the outcomes of industry and trade cooperation mechanisms, and the possibility of establishing a joint business council. Therefore, I am confident that with all sincere efforts from both sides, we will together unlock our potentials and achieve our targets, for the benefit of both countries and the brotherly peoples of Egypt and Vietnam.

Once again, while looking forward to continuing our  cooperation, I extend my warmest congratulations to VCCI and its leadership, and express my appreciation to all its departments and staff.

By Lan Anh, Vietnam Business Forum