VCCI and Vietnamese Enterprises, Entrepreneurs Collective Efforts for Economic Development

8:49:43 PM | 10/10/2023

Vietnamese Entrepreneurs’ Day, celebrated on October 13, recognizes the crucial role of businesspeople in advancing national development through their dedication and contributions. By investing in production and business, creating jobs, and utilizing resources, Vietnamese entrepreneurs have been a key force in restructuring the national economy and accelerating national industrialization and modernization.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in his meeting with VCCI and business leaders in 2011 said that Vietnamese entrepreneurs are expected to uphold the principles of sustainable development, aligning their business objectives with the social welfare of the nation 

Important driving force of the economy

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has emphasized that the Party and the State have always acknowledged and valued the role of the Vietnamese entrepreneur force and the business community. They are considered the main material production force of the Vietnamese economy, playing a vital role in the cause of national construction and development throughout the historical periods of the Vietnamese Revolution.

The Document of the 13th National Party Congress reaffirmed that rapid and harmonious development of all economic sectors and business forms is essential. Private economic development is truly an important driving force of the economy.

The 2013 Constitution reaffirmed that the State encourages and facilitates entrepreneurs, businesses, and other individuals and organizations to invest, produce, and do business. It also aims to sustainably develop economic sectors to better support national development. Lawful assets of individuals and organizations that invest, produce, and do business are protected by law and are not nationalized.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has stated that thanks to correct Party and State guidelines and policies, Vietnam’s economy has now become the fourth largest in ASEAN and the 40th largest in the world. International trade has reached the world’s Top 20 with nearly US$740 billion. Vietnam is considered one of the most dynamic and open economies in the world.

Vietnam’s entrepreneur force is constantly growing in scale and quality, making significant contributions to national construction and defense in many aspects. It acts as a key pioneering force that creates many jobs and livelihoods for workers, thus supporting hunger eradication, poverty reduction, and socioeconomic development of the country.

Currently, Vietnam has nearly 900,000 active enterprises, of which 870,000 are non-state, accounting for nearly 97% of total enterprises. The private entrepreneur force is growing stronger in both scale and quality. Private enterprises and entrepreneurs are present in most production and business fields and industries. Many have proven their names and brand values not only in the country but also in the region and the world. Vietnam already has dollar billionaire businesspeople. At the same time, the country has seen an emerging young, dynamic entrepreneur force that dares to think, do, and cope with difficulties while successfully starting new and creative business models.

Entrepreneurs always show their social responsibility in addition to production and business activities. Many have actively joined hunger eradication and poverty reduction programs, gratitude programs, and community development programs to support people to overcome natural disasters. This has helped strengthen national solidarity.

At the 60th anniversary ceremony of VCCI, President Vo Van Thuong, emphasized the business community’s vital role in the nation’s prosperity, stating that the entrepreneurial and corporate spirit is the main catalyst for promoting the country’s industrialization and modernization

VCCI: 60 years dedicated to Vietnamese enterprises and entrepreneurs

According to VCCI President Pham Tan Cong, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has strived to fulfill all tasks assigned by the Party and the State to foster the growth of the Vietnamese business community and entrepreneur force to make significant contributions to the country’s economic development in the past 60 years.

On that journey, VCCI has initiated and implemented many important activities for business development such as researching Ho Chi Minh’s ideology on enterprises and entrepreneurs. It proactively and jointly proposed the Politburo to issue Resolution 09 on “Building and promoting the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the era of industrialization, modernization, and international integration” - the first document of our Party and the State on entrepreneurs. VCCI has also researched, assessed, and annually released the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) since 2005 to motivate provinces and cities to improve the quality of economic management and administrative reform. It launched and led the startup promotion movement with the National Startup Program since 2002.

VCCI has been a leading force in promoting and supporting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women-owned enterprises since 1994. It has encouraged the construction of progressive labor relations in enterprises, led and fostered sustainable business development, and established the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) in 2010. VCCI assesses and ranks sustainable businesses every year. In particular, VCCI announced six ethical codes for Vietnamese businesspeople in 2022 and applied these ethical codes in the Vietnamese business community to promote Vietnamese business ethics and culture.

VCCI is an effective bridge between the business community and State agencies. On a monthly and quarterly basis, VCCI synthesizes recommendations, difficulties, and problems of enterprises to report to the Government and Prime Minister. At the same time, it puts forth suggestions and recommendations for settlement and resolution.

The VCCI system organizes thousands of trade and investment promotion, business training consulting, and international exchange activities each year to support companies in enhancing their capacity and developing their products. VCCI also serves as a support and connection for business associations throughout the country. From 93 initial members, VCCI’s membership has increased to over 200,000 companies and over 200 business associations.

At the Outstanding Vietnamese Entrepreneurs 2022 Award Ceremony, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh conveyed the Party and State’s appreciation and encouragement for the Vietnamese entrepreneurs and business community, affirming that they are the main productive force of the Vietnamese economy and play a vital role in the national development

Developing the entrepreneur force in both scale and quality

To achieve the goal of becoming a developing country with a modern industry and an upper middle-income level by 2030 and becoming a high-income developed country by 2045, Vietnam reaffirms that private economic development is truly an important driving force of the economy. The private entrepreneur team is one of the core forces that must constantly grow in both scale and quality and demonstrate their responsibility to society, employees, and the environment to lead the country towards sustainability.

In that spirit, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai stated that Vietnam needs to focus on addressing several issues. First, governments at all levels need to further administrative reform, improve the business investment environment, and build a streamlined and effective operating apparatus. They should continue to build and improve institutions, mechanisms, and policies consistent with the new context. They should eliminate inappropriate regulations, especially remove bottlenecks that hinder business operations and development. They should maintain macroeconomic stability, control inflation, ensure major economic balances, develop the domestic market, foster trade promotion, expand export markets, and diversify markets, products and supply chains.

At a meeting with the business community at the VCCI headquarters, Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue, Chairman of the National Assemblyacknowledged the vital role and position of the business people who are not only endorsed by the Party, State and society but also enshrined in the 2013 Constitution 

In addition, the government will increase dialogues and consultations with enterprises, resolutely resolve and handle their difficulties and suggestions, and prevent any act of harassing and troubling people and businesses carrying out administrative procedures.

The government will continue to strongly promote scientific and technological applications, build a startup and innovation ecosystem, strengthen labor supply-demand connections, train and develop human resources, especially high-quality personnel. It will speed up national digital transformation and build digital government, digital economy and digital society.

Furthermore, the government will enable enterprises and entrepreneurs of all economic sectors to access development resources, especially land resources. It will enable non-state economic sectors to participate in projects and build economic and social infrastructure in the form of public-private partnership. The government will mobilize internal resources, strongly encourage the development of domestic private enterprises, especially in manufacturing, high technology, and information technology fields. It will form domestic and global supply chains with guaranteed quality and traceability. The government will enhance cooperation between foreign-invested sectors, especially multinational corporations, with domestic enterprises in developing industrial supply chains.

Vietnam has made great strides in the 37 years since doi moi (reform), as Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong once said: “Never before has our country had the opportunity, potential, position, and international prestige it has today.” From a war-torn country ranked among the poorest and most backward in the world, Vietnam’s economy today ranks in the Top 40 globally by GDP and Top 20 by international trade. Among our country’s overall achievements, we are very proud of what VCCI and the Vietnamese business community have contributed.
However, this is just the beginning. Looking to the future, the mission of entrepreneurs is very challenging relative to the goals and aspirations of the nation. In January 2021, the 13th National Party Congress set a goal for Vietnam to become a developed, high-income country by 2045. In December 2021, the 7th VCCI Congress announced its vision: Strong business community - thriving nation. The prosperity of a country is always associated with the robust development of the business community. To achieve this, VCCI needs to further enhance policymaking and improve the institutional environment to nurture and develop the entrepreneur force and business community. The Party, State, National Assembly, and Government have facilitated business development in the past. But more still needs to be done in the coming time, particularly further comprehensively and synchronously improving the socialist-oriented market economy. Especially in this new period, it is necessary to create a favorable, transparent, fair, secure, and safe business environment for entrepreneurs and businesses of all economic sectors to develop.
VCCI will continue to support and endorse entrepreneurs and enterprises to strive for development and play their core role in the cause of national industrialization and modernization. In addition to fostering quantitative development, it is necessary to cultivate the formation of large enterprises and industry leaders that lead small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and play their roles in building an independent, autonomous economy and advancing successful integration.
Another major focus that VCCI and the business community will strive for in the coming time is to build entrepreneurial ethics and business culture to position their own identity and status in the international business community. Vietnamese entrepreneurial ethics and business culture need to be built by combining the essence of Vietnamese culture with the essence of world business culture. Culture must become a soft power, enlighten, and empower Vietnamese entrepreneurs and enterprises to develop sustainably and have a growing position and prestige, domestically, and internationally.
Excerpt from the speech by Mr. Pham Tan Cong, President of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), at VCCI's 60th Anniversary celebration held in Hanoi on April 26, 2023

By Quynh Anh, Vietnam Business Forum