Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an international norm and an important factor for inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Vietnam, Patrick Gilabert, representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), said at the Forum for CSR on consumer confidence on September 19.

Sharing this point of view, Chairwoman of the Association of Vietnam Retailers (AVR) Dinh Thi My Loan stated that Vietnamese businesses face substantial challenges in terms of competitiveness with international retailers such as Lotte, E-Mart (RoK), AEON, Takashimaya (Japan), and Aucham (France), thus requiring them to innovate their business strategies, in which consumer confidence plays a key role.

According to Florian Beranek, Chief Technical Advisor of the UNIDO-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) CSR project, multilateral dialogues are effective tools that help businesses understand the demands, challenges and opportunities of CSR. Improving a business’ social activities would boost its competitiveness and provide opportunities for production units, as well as reduce the negative impacts on the environment and resources and establish a positive relationship with relevant stakeholders, he said.

Currently, UNIDO is working to help Vietnamese corporations improve their CSR on consumer confidence via standardisation. This includes the implementation of joint projects with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the social enterprise SECO on enhancing measurement capabilities, ensuring food safety and developing a system to trace food to its origins. The UN agency has also coordinated with the Ministry of Health and WHO to encourage pharmaceutical production in Vietnam.

During the forum, an official from the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) revealed that a draft national action plan for sustainable production and consumption 2020 is on the pipeline, in line with the UN’s next 10-year programme, along with plans to implement the green growth strategy and environmental protection strategy.-VNA