A large number of Vietnamese businesses are still unconcerned about natural disaster risks despite such disasters causing both economic and social losses for them.

Nguyen Tri Thanh, Senior Programme Officer of the Asia Foundation’s Environment Programme, made the remark during a workshop to enhance disaster risk management for Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City on November 22.

Nguyen Dien from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s branch in the central city of Da Nang said research on 200 businesses in the central region shows that most of them are still passive in their response to disaster emergencies.

Up to 67 percent of them do not have emergency phone numbers in case of natural disasters, and 88 percent haven’t worked out traffic escape plans against disasters, he added.

Experts said businesses can reduce disaster risks by building disaster-resilient facilities and training employees about the risks.

The business circle should also make use of the risks to create jobs, apply new technologies, change their mode of production and improve community connectivity, participants suggested.

Dien said good disaster risk management will benefit businesses, for example protecting their workforce, property and production activities and enhancing their image in society.

At the workshop, businesses were provided with information on the Law on Natural Disaster Preparedness and Control, which will take effect from May 1 next year.

The function was co-organised by the Asia Foundation and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Support Centre 2.-VNA