Building and maintaining relationships is key to success and growth in business, a financial expert told participants at a forum held on April 10 in HCM City.

J Brian Potts, president of US' Fiduciary Trust Company, said that success requires both technical skills and good personal relationships.

Different industries require distinct technical skills but good personal relationships are essential for success in every endeavour.

"Developing good personal relationships is often overlooked or neglected as many CEOs concentrate on the complex tasks of running their business," he said, adding that strategic relationships can ease burdens and grow businesses more efficiently than anything done solely by yourself.

In January, the Percent Report found that more than 70 percent of private enterprises in the rankings planned to increase their investment and production activities in 2012.

However, he said that "although businesses are committed to invest in their business operations, they should set a feasible target that aims to avoid being overly optimistic and underestimates risks."

Businesses should focus on re-organising their operations to improve effectiveness rather than expand the production, particularly during an economic downturn.

Matthew McGarvey, manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers Beijing , China , said success during changing times requires disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action, and accountability.

For instance, businesses must try to learn how they can achieve the best results over the long term, and they should build relationships and promote their trademarks.
At the ceremony, the Percent Report Joint Stock Company in collaboration with PercentNet announced the second FAST500 list, comprising 500 of the fastest-growing companies in Vietnam . The private sector accounted for 71. 6 percent and state-owned businesses 22.2 percent.

The top 500 companies had an average growth rate of 57 percent during 2007-10 and 54 percent in 2011.

The top 50 companies hit a growth rate of 127 percent, and the top 100 with 94 percent.-VNA