ASEAN Women CEO Summit and Vietnamese “female generals” hinh anh 1Delegates attend the ASEAN Women CEO Summit (Collaborator/VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – At the ASEAN Women CEO Summit held in Hanoi on November 9, female leaders of leading businesses both at home and abroad such as Facebook, Coca Cola, Central Group, Vietjet, BRG and TH shared their stories about drastic, strong measures to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and maintain the operation of their enterprises.

The summit was held by the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), with the theme “Making changes for a stronger and more responsive women entrepreneur community”. 

Addressing the event, State Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused heavy losses to the global economy and ASEAN member nations in particular.

Thinh said, while holding the 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship amid the coronavirus outbreak, Vietnam has exerted every effort to organise a range of activities in conformity with the theme of “Cohesive & Responsive”.

The Vice President emphasized the role of women entrepreneurs in the process of economic recovery. As Vietnam is holding the Chairmanship of ASEAN 2020, businesses has been facing a wide range of difficulties and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring them to stay united and join hands to seize opportunities in order to overcome these hardships and further promote cooperation in the region, she said.

ASEAN Women CEO Summit and Vietnamese “female generals” hinh anh 2Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh speaks at the summit (Collaborator/VietnamPlus)

The Vice President also called for adaptiveness of all enterprises as well as changes for a stronger and more responsive community of women entrepreneurs.

Regional women in general and female entrepreneurs in particular have been greatly inspired by the bloc’s commitment to efforts promoting gender equality and empowering women, made in the Chairman’s Press Statement of the ASEAN Leaders’ Special Session at the 36th ASEAN Summit on Women’s Empowerment in the Digital Age, held last June, the Vice President said.

Thinh expressed her belief that the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network will become a leading forum for regional businesswomen to lead the entrepreneur community towards economic integration and to remain united to proactively and effectively respond to the impact of the pandemic and climate change.

She also hoped that businesswomen would seize opportunities from the fourth Industrial Revolution and capitalise on ASEAN countries’ support in order to develop strongly and sustainably for a stronger and more responsive community of regional women entrepreneurs.

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs’ Council (VWEC) who is also founder and the first Chairwoman of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN), also emphasized the need to uphold the collective strength and brainpower, build up effective partnerships and reinforce the solidarity and unity in diversification in order to multiply the power and dynamism of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network.

The aviation industry with women leaders accounting for only 3 percent has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), it takes the world’s aviation industry three years to recover from adverse impacts of the pandemic.

However, Vietnam has been successfully containing the COVID-19 pandemic and boasting a range of advantages such as 22 airports across the country, a population of more than 95 million, of whom over 50 percent are young people, and many well-known tourist destinations.

Vietjet is one of a few airlines whose President of the Board of Directors and General Director are both women. Its General Director Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has been honoured with awards for women entrepreneurs not only in ASEAN but also in the world.

The summit featured four sessions on the response to COVID-19, the promotion of digital transformation and the comprehensive recovery of women-owned businesses, gender-smart investment, and the promotion of effective cooperation via networks.

A number of recommendations were approved on improving businesswomen’s access to support resources, especially from governments, credit institutions, and social organisations; developing human resources, capacity, access to new technologies, and technological literacy; boosting digital transformation in women-owned enterprises; and building a gender-responsive ecosystem for nurturing enterprises.

The ASEAN Women CEO Summit was held ahead of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, which are scheduled to take place via videoconference from November 12 to 15./.