Top 10 Outstanding Milestones and Events in Vietnam Business Landscape

9:17:50 AM | 1/30/2024

Business Forum Magazine announces list of the Top 10 remarkable milestones and events pertaining to entrepreneurs and enterprises in Vietnam for the year 2023.

Vietnam has successfully established diplomatic relations with 192 countries worldwide, prioritizing key partners and neighboring nations, thereby significantly facilitating the global expansion of Vietnamese enterprisesIn the photo: Vietnamese General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Chinese General Secretary and President Xi Jinping peruse the formal agreements exchanged during Mr. Xi Jinping’s state visit to Vietnam, December 2023

1. The Politburo issues Resolution 41-NQ/TW on fostering the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the new era

On October 10, 2023, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, on behalf of the Politburo, issued Resolution 41-NQ/TW, aimed at fostering and enhancing the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the new era. This resolution supersedes Resolution 09-NQ/TW, which was enacted 12 years prior.

Resolution 41-NQ/TW introduces pivotal perspectives and solutions for entrepreneurial development, affirming the role of entrepreneurs as a core force in accelerating national industrialization, modernization, and international integration. It emphasizes the development of an independent, self-reliant economy, ensuring national defense and security. The resolution calls for the creation of a favorable, safe, and equitable investment and business environment for companies. It also introduces appropriate economic sanctions to address violations, without criminalizing economic relations, and promulgates a national entrepreneur development strategy and a national program on entrepreneur training and fostering.

The resolution was unveiled on the occasion of the Vietnam Entrepreneurs’ Day 2023, and was warmly received by the business community. It serves as an encouragement and support for Vietnamese entrepreneurs to achieve sustainable development, build a robust Vietnamese business force, and make significant contributions to the realization of the country’s development goals set by the 13th Party Congress: Transforming Vietnam into a developed country by 2045.

2. Advancing diplomatic relations on a global scale, elevating the nation’s position on the international stage to create opportunities for the expansion of business activities

In September 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden, accepting an invitation from General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, paid a state visit to Vietnam. This visit culminated in the elevation of bilateral relations to the comprehensive strategic partnership.

December 2023 saw another diplomatic highlight when General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping, made a state visit to Vietnam. The visit resulted in the signing of 36 cooperation documents across various fields, laying the groundwork for long-term relations and enriching the scope of cooperation between the two nations.

In November 2023, President Vo Van Thuong, accompanied by his spouse and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation, embarked on an official visit to Japan. The visit concluded with a joint declaration to upgrade the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, aimed at fostering peace and prosperity in Asia and the world.

During the first half of the tenure of the 13th National Party Congress, Vietnam demonstrated its active participation in international diplomacy by hosting over 170 high-level foreign events. These included more than 30 visits by senior leaders to various countries, receiving over 30 high-level visits by foreign leaders to Vietnam, and conducting more than 80 phone calls and online talks.

As of now, Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with 192 countries, with a special focus on important partners and neighboring countries. These relationships are being continuously expanded and deepened, contributing substantively and effectively to Vietnam’s global integration.

APEC 2023 offered many opportunities for Vietnamese and U.S. enterprises In the photo: Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong (third from left) at a working session with representatives from the U.S.-APEC Business Coalition in San Francisco as part of his trip to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and bilateral activities in the U.S.

3. Five directive guidelines by State President to enterprises and entrepreneurs at the 60th VCCI anniversary ceremony

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) (April 27, 1963 - April 27, 2023), President Vo Van Thuong graced the event with his presence and articulated five clear and directive guidelines for Vietnamese enterprises and entrepreneurs.

Firstly, every societal force holds its unique position and role. However, for a nation to truly prosper and gain power, it must rely on its entrepreneurs and enterprises. These entities serve as the vanguard in the pursuit of national industrialization and modernization, enhancing economic quality, efficiency, and competitiveness, and ensuring economic independence and  self-reliance.

The Party and the State prioritize the development of a robust entrepreneurial force in terms of quantity, quality, knowledge, expertise, civic sense, social responsibility, strong nationalism, courage, and rapid integration. This is a key aspect of performing essential economic development tasks.

The promotion of entrepreneurs and enterprises is invariably linked with the completion of development institutions, with the socialist-oriented market economy institution at its core. It is important to ensure lawful ownership and business freedom for entrepreneurs, and to encourage them to generate legitimate wealth for themselves and the country.

All barriers and prejudices must be eliminated, and favorable conditions must be created for the development of the private economy in both quantity and quality. There is a need to encourage the formation and development of large private business groups with strong regional and international competitiveness. By 2030, Vietnam aims to have at least 2 million enterprises, with the private sector’s share in the GDP reaching between 60% and 65%.

Secondly, the collective aspiration for a prosperous nation inherently supports individual ambitions for wealth. It is incumbent upon Vietnamese entrepreneurs and enterprises to cultivate solidarity and cooperation in their production and business endeavors. They must develop cooperative models anchored in value chains and supply chains, thereby bolstering the strength of Vietnamese brands in the global market and facilitating successful international integration.

Expanding associations and collaborations with international partners should be pursued in the spirit of mutual success and the win-win principle. Each entrepreneur must be cognizant of their role within the great national unity bloc, fortifying solidarity and cooperation with workers, farmers, and intellectuals under the Party’s leadership. This is all in pursuit of a wealthy populace and a powerful, democratic, just, and civilized nation.

Emphasis must be placed on fostering progressive and harmonious labor relationships within the workplace. This includes ensuring decent employment opportunities, income, and avenues for career and talent development for all employees.

Thirdly, adherence to the law and the alignment of individual and enterprise interests with those of the nation and the community are prerequisites for robust and sustainable development. Every entrepreneur must possess a deep understanding of the law, discerning right from wrong. The development of businesses should aim to invigorate, stimulate, and inspire entrepreneurship, fostering a genuine desire for wealth creation within society. The objective of business development extends beyond the mere creation of billionaires. It is more importantly aimed at establishing large business conglomerates with formidable capacity, regional and international competitiveness, cutting-edge and core technologies, capable of operating at a multinational level. Moreover, development must be economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable, catering to present needs without jeopardizing future prospects.

Fourthly, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), in conjunction with business associations, plays an important role in fostering the development of enterprises and entrepreneurs in Vietnam. As a national socio-political-professional agency, the VCCI is entrusted by the Party and the State to represent the business community, business associations, entrepreneurs, and employers in Vietnam.

VCCI must serve as a unifying and supportive center, and a reliable partner for entrepreneurs, enterprises, and business associations on their journey toward successful integration. Acting as a conduit between the Party, the State, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, VCCI must effectively communicate the legitimate opinions and aspirations of the business community, as well as production and business practices, to the Party and the State’s policymaking and lawmaking bodies.

VCCI, business associations, and enterprises must pioneer the establishment and promotion of a business value system, business ethics standards, and a business culture that aligns with Vietnamese values, ethics, and culture, as well as international business norms. They must uphold the national spirit, social responsibility, and aspirations for a prosperous and contented nation.

Fifthly, in the era of Doi Moi (renovation), foreign-invested enterprises have emerged as an integral component of Vietnam’s business community and economy. As Vietnam accelerates its national industrialization, modernization, and international integration, it presents a golden opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs and enterprises to expand their manufacturing, business, and investment ventures in the country. Vietnam is committed to fostering a conducive business environment and safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors. This commitment is upheld in accordance with domestic laws and international treaties and agreements to which Vietnam is a signatory.

Vietnam has proactively advanced international relations, thereby facilitating the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from international partners, significantly contributing to securing a substantial FDI inflow of US$36.6 billion in 2023In the photo: Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (third from left) and U.S. President Joe Biden (second from left) attend the Vietnam-U.S. high-level conference on innovation and investment in Hanoi, September 11

4. The Government issues many policies to support entrepreneurs and enterprises for sustainable development

In 2023, the Government enacted a series of policies aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and enterprises toward sustainable development. The most notable among these was Resolution 33/NQ-CP, which outlined solutions for promoting the safe, healthy, and sustainable growth of the real estate market.

The Government called for measures to enable businesses, home buyers, and investors to access credit capital swiftly. It also advocated for appropriate solutions for real estate businesses facing difficulties, such as rescheduling principal and interest payments and restructuring debt categories. The focus was placed on feasible projects and loan plans, and financially capable customers who could repay loans fully and on time. Priority was given to effective, liquid residential real estate projects that cater to those in real need, such as affordable social housing, upgraded old apartments, offices for rent, industrial property, and tourism property.

The Prime Minister urged the State Bank of Vietnam to promptly implement a credit program of VND120 trillion. This program directed commercial banks to provide soft loans for investors and buyers of social housing, worker housing, and upgraded and reconstructed old apartments, in accordance with Resolution 33/NQ-CP dated March 11, 2023.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister endorsed the investment project aimed at constructing at least 1 million social housing apartments for low-income individuals and industrial park workers during the 2021-2030 period.

In addition, the Government adopted a range of policies, including the extension, postponement, and reduction of taxes, fees, and charges, with the aim of supporting capital, land, property, tourism, and other markets. These unprecedented measures, most of which have remained unchanged since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in tax support solutions worth VND165,026 billion in 2023. This included VND106,946 billion for the extension of tax and land rent payment terms, and VND58,080 billion for tax and land rent exemptions or reductions.

5. The National Assembly passes important business-related laws

Over the course of 22 working days, from October 23 to November 29, 2023, the 6th session of the 15th National Assembly approved seven laws and nine resolutions. Several of these have significant implications for businesses, including the amended Law on Real Estate Business, the Law on Housing, the Law on Telecommunications, and the Law on Water Resources.

Simultaneously, the National Assembly provided feedback on the reception, revision, and timeline for the submission of the amended Land Law and the Law on Credit Institutions. These are slated for consideration and approval at the earliest possible meeting, ensuring quality and the prompt resolution of difficulties and obstacles arising from current practices.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of VCCI (April 27, 1963 - April 27, 2023), President Vo Van Thuong graced the event with his presence and delivered five clear and directive guidelines for Vietnamese enterprises and entrepreneurs, affirming that they serve as the vanguard in the pursuit of national industrialization and modernization, enhancing economic quality, efficiency, and competitiveness, and ensuring economic independence and self-reliance

6. Vietnam's economic growth surpasses the global average

Despite encountering numerous challenges, Vietnam demonstrated resilience by achieving a GDP growth rate of 5.05%, exhibiting numerous positive indicators. Notably, rice exports reached a record high since 2009, exceeding 8 million metric tons and valued at US$4.4 billion. The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) fund soared to its highest level since 2020, totaling US$36.61 billion, marking a year-on-year increase of 32.1%. The realized FDI value amounted to US$23.18 billion, up by 3.5%.

Remarkably, Vietnam maintained a trade surplus for the 8th consecutive year, amounting to US$28 billion, nearly 2.3 times higher than in 2022. The macroeconomic landscape remained stable, with controlled inflation, boosted growth, and ensured major balances. Business development made positive strides, with over 217,700 companies entering and re-entering the economy, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 4.5%.

7. APEC 2023 opens up many opportunities for Vietnamese and U.S. businesses

President Vo Van Thuong’s participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting Week 2023, coupled with a series of Vietnam-U.S. bilateral activities in the United States from November 14 to 17, had a significant impact. It has opened many opportunities for businesses from both nations, particularly in the fields of airport and seaport infrastructure construction.

Building on the positive momentum of the Vietnam-U.S. comprehensive strategic partnership, U.S. corporations expressed high regard for Vietnam’s economic development potential. They showed keen interest in exploring investment opportunities and expanding business investments in Vietnam, and proposed ideas and areas that Vietnam could enhance to attract more foreign investment.

President Thuong’s visit to APEC 2023, in conjunction with Vietnam-U.S. bilateral activities, underscored the 2023 foreign policy of Party and State leaders. It facilitated the realization of the joint declaration on the establishment of the Vietnam-U.S. Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and bolstered high-tech cooperation, green economy, and local connectivity between the two nations.

On October 10, 2023, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, on behalf of the Politburo, issued Resolution 41-NQ/TW, aimed at fostering and enhancing the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the new era In the photo: Party and State leaders present flower baskets to VCCI leaders and business leaders as a symbol of appreciation and acknowledgment for their substantial contributions to national development 

8. FDI milestones - Vietnam’s apex

In 2023, Vietnam attracted nearly US$36.61 billion in FDI capital. The Samsung Group made a significant investment of US$19 billion, which included the establishment of six factories and a research and development center in Vietnam. Other global leaders such as Apple, Google, Dell, and Amazon are also establishing production facilities in Vietnam. These developments are set to form the foundation for the growth of Vietnam’s domestic semiconductor industry.

Vietnam possesses numerous strengths that make it an attractive destination for FDI, a fact that is highly appreciated by foreign investors. A lot of business leaders and the largest-ever business delegations have visited Vietnam to explore business and investment opportunities, unanimously affirming Vietnam’s appeal as an investment destination. Key factors contributing to this appeal include the country’s security and political stability, which are crucial for investors looking to make long-term investments. Additionally, Vietnam’s strategic geographical location facilitates global trade and positions it as a regional hub. With a population of 100 million, Vietnam also boasts an abundant, high-quality labor force with competitive labor costs.

The Government and the Prime Minister’s commitment to boosting capital flows for public investment in Vietnam, particularly focused investment for infrastructure, is anticipated to serve as a significant catalyst for foreign capital flows in the coming time.

9. Remarkable achievements in agriculture and agribusiness

 Agricultural exports reached a record high of over US$53 billion, with a trade surplus also at an all-time high of US$12.07 billion, marking a 43.7% increase from the previous year. Certain products achieved unprecedented highs, with vegetables and fruits earning US$5.69 billion (up 69.2%), rice exports soaring 38.4% to US$4.78 billion, and cashew nuts jumping 17.6% to US$3.63 billion. Additionally, Vietnam produced and exported commercial vaccines against African swine fever.

Agricultural GDP growth was at its highest in recent years at 3.83%, significantly contributing to the overall economic growth of 5.05%. Agriculture reaffirmed its crucial role as an economic pillar, ensuring food security, major economic balances, and contributing to macroeconomic stability. Notably, for the first time, Vietnam sold 10.3 million forest carbon credits for VND1,200 billion.

10. Impactful public investment on socioeconomic development

On March 23, 2023, the Prime Minister issued Directive 08/CT-TTg, outlining key tasks and solutions to expedite the allocation and disbursement of public investment capital, three national target programs in 2023, and the socioeconomic recovery and development program.

The Government and the Prime Minister’s decisive directives on public investment proved effective. Public investment disbursement increased in both absolute and relative terms from the previous year, facilitating the initiation and completion of numerous critical infrastructure construction projects across the country, including nearly 700 km of highways.

By the end of November 2023, the estimated disbursement value reached 65.1% of the full-year plan assigned by the Prime Minister, a 6.77% increase (VND123 trillion) compared to the same period in 2022. Many ministries, central agencies, and localities reported high disbursement rates, with three ministries and central agencies and 15 localities reporting over 75%.

Public investment played an important role, serving as seed capital to attract private investment, creating new motivation to promote sustainable socioeconomic development.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum