Professional corporate governance needed for sustainable development in COVID-19 time: expert hinh anh 1Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc addresses the symposium on "Corporate governance in a changing society” on September 25 (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Enterprises need to adopt professional governance towards promoting their sustainable development, especially in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc.

Speaking at a symposium on "Corporate governance in a changing society" on September 25, which was part of the Vietnam Corporate Sustainability Forum 2020 (VCSF 2020), Loc highlighted the important role played by enterprises in promoting sustainable development in society, stressing that enterprises also should strive for sustainable development in order to ensure their future. 

World witnessing dramatic changes

The world has never seen as many and quick changes as it does now, Loc said, noting that in such circumstances, governments, economies and enterprises must unceasingly work and renew in order to catch up with the changes. In this process, sustainable development is the only form of development acceptable on global scale, according to him.

In Vietnam, the Government remains steadfast in the goal of bringing Vietnam into the top three countries in terms of competitiveness and the top four in terms of business environment in ASEAN through accelerating institutional reform.

Transparency and simplification to minimize the time and costs for implementing administrative procedures is a sustainable solution to support businesses, Loc said.

On the part of enterprises, free trade agreements (FTAs) are bringing opportunities for them, and play a crucial role for the national economic security, Loc said, adding that FTAs help Vietnam diversify markets and reduce reliance on a certain market.

Opportunities always come with challenges, he went on, noting that the most obvious challenge now is how hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese businesses can enhance their competitiveness to deepen their participation in high-value supply chains of international corporations, thus effectively exploiting FTAs that Vietnam has signed with its partners.

Professional corporate governance needed for sustainable development in COVID-19 time: expert hinh anh 2Participants at the symposium (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Participants agreed that it is necessary to raise the business community’s awareness of corporate governance as the core solution to sustainable development, and help small-and medium-sized enterprises access and learn from good governance practices and models.

Responding to crisis

The VCSF themed “Sustainable development in the new decade: Turning challenges into opportunities" is one of the most important annual events held by the VCCI’s Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) to promote dialogue on sustainable development.

This year’s forum focused on lessons leant from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as core issues which need to be addressed for promoting inclusive and permanent social-economic growth in the 2021-2030 period. The key issues included sustainable corporate governance, promoting the circular economy and enhancing public-private partnership for sustainable growth. 

At the forum, VBCSD Vice Chairwoman Ha Thi Thu Thanh, who is also Chairwoman of the Board at Deloitte Vietnam, introduced a handbook for response, recovery, development during and after crisis for businesses, which was jointly developed by VCCI and Deloitte Vietnam.

She suggested businesses seriously perform their role in economic development, social interaction, and environmental protection towards sustainable development.

As part of efforts to help businesses build good governance systems, thus addressing difficulties caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Deloitte and VCCI have developed and published the handbook based on the real situation in Vietnam as well as studies on how global businesses have overcome great crises in the past, Thanh said.

The three-part handbook focuses on how to assess a business’s situation during a crisis, basic principles the business needs to comply with in a crisis and guidance on the application of specific principles in choosing appropriate strategies to be able to effectively respond to risks as well as fully tap opportunities, she said.

Binu Jacob, Managing Director of Nestlé Vietnam, who is co-chairman of VBCSD shared his firm’s experience in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

Enterprises with sustainable development need to employ suitable structures that can withstand market instability and turmoil, he said.

People should be placed at the centre, he noted, suggesting businesses continuously receive updates in order to respond to issues promptly./.