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Great opportunities open up for businesses to implement sustainable development

10:30 | 09/12/2022

VCN - Currently, businesses are not only doing business but must aim at responsible business, towards sustainable and inclusive growth. According to Mr Pham Tan Cong, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), there is an excellent opportunity for businesses to implement sustainable development with an approach and require them to carry out decisively.

Mr Pham Tan Cong, Chairman of Vietnam  Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
Mr Pham Tan Cong, Chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

2022 is considered the year of economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. How do you assess the promotion of sustainable development in the business community?

We are in the last days of 2022, closing a year full of difficulties and challenges of the post-Covid-19 period, major fluctuations in the global market, risks of economic recession, and non-traditional security challenges. Moreover, the global context is undergoing unpredictable changes, which has negatively impacted and slowed countries' progress to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations under the 2030 Agenda.

But in Vietnam, under the leadership of the Party, with the drastic and effective management of the Government, the Prime Minister and the resilience efforts of the Vietnamese business community, many businesses have recovered. As a result, Vietnam's production, business and economy are reaching the finish line with high growth, forecasted to reach 7-8% in 2022.

In particular, businesses following the trend of sustainable development are leaving their mark with high and sustainable adaptability to negative changes from the outside and the ability to flexibly and effectively grasp the opportunities offered by the economy. Moreover, such enterprises do not face difficulties and challenges due to violations of environmental laws, nontransparent bonds and shares. These things show that the Public and private enterprises, as well as foreign investment (FDI) in Vietnam, have been increasing awareness of sustainable development.

In your opinion, what are the challenges when businesses move in the direction of sustainable development?

Sustainable development has become an inevitable trend, and corporate sustainable development strategies must be built on economic, governance, social and environmental (EESG) pillars. Innovation, creativity and digital transformation will help businesses accelerate the process of building sustainable pillars, but there are still a lot of difficulties and challenges for the Vietnamese business community.

The first is about perception. Sustainable development is a long-term process, so it is necessary to unify the perception from the top leader of the enterprise to each officer and employee. Only when we realize it can we see the need to be determined to implement the sustainable development model in the business.

The second difficulty is that when implementing sustainable development, it is necessary to start by building a business culture, while in many businesses, a new business culture is starting to be built. However, we still lack a common standard of business culture. Currently, VCCI is embarking on building ethical standards for a business culture of Vietnamese enterprises, in which the spirit of sustainable development is the key. In addition, for small and medium-sized enterprises, resources to implement sustainable development are also difficult.

How are businesses currently receiving support for their sustainable development orientation, sir?

Vietnamese enterprises have an advantage because the Party, State and Government have defined the strategy and model of Vietnam's economic development as sustainable. We have also established the National Council for Sustainable Development and Competitiveness Enhancement, which advises the Government and the Prime Minister on issues related to sustainable development and improving competitiveness.

Therefore, with this strategy, ministries and branches have built institutions to encourage sustainable development. Thanks to favourable institutions, businesses have better opportunities and conditions to implement sustainable development strategies. Moreover, the business community and international investors also take this as a basis to choose to invest in Vietnam, helping our country have more support resources as well as the transfer and support of experience and knowledge, business development model to financial sources to support investment and development to build a green economy, a circular economy.

Since 2015, VCCI has introduced the Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI) to the business community. This set of indicators is supplemented and completed year by year based on the evaluation angles of business activities from business, environment, labour, and society in a comprehensive manner. Criteria in the Index were built very elaborately with the participation of experts from ministries, branches and international experts based on Vietnamese law as well as international regulations, international practices and international treaties which Vietnam has signed. Under these bases, businesses will have the orientation to build strategies and business plans to ensure sustainable development.

In addition, VCCI also organised a program to evaluate and announce sustainable businesses. The program has recognised the participation of many enterprises from different fields, regardless of size and economic sectors.

Obviously, the above programs are creating favourable opportunities for businesses following the trend of sustainable development, so companies need to show their determination to implement and access the effective method.

Thank you sir!

By Huong Diu (write)/Phuong Linh