Vietnam urged to promote responsible business practice hinh anh 1At the consultation workshop (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Advancing Responsible Business Practice in Vietnam was the main theme of a consultation workshop held in Hanoi on October 21 by UNDP Vietnam, the Ministry of Justice and the Government of Sweden.

A Preliminary Assessment of the Regulatory Framework on Responsible Business Practice in Vietnam was launched at the event, with recommendations made by the report put up for discussion.
One of the recommendations said Vietnam should prioritise improvement of the regulatory framework to ensure protection of vulnerable groups, including workers in the informal sector, ethnic minorities, migrant workers, and victims of labour exploitation, in the global value chains.

In her opening remarks, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Anne Mawe said: “Responsible business practice is essential to ensuring economic growth. In our experiences, economic growth does not come at the cost of social or environmental development. Sweden has an excellent track record in this regard, making responsible business practice an important component of business development, balancing growth with social dialogue in the workplace and sustainability”.

In Vietnam, efforts at promoting responsible business practice have been driven through the lens of sustainable development. The country’s leaders have recently shifted their focus from a purely economic development strategy, to one of sustainable development. In late 2019, the Prime Minister issued Decision 1362/QD-TTg approving a plan for sustainable development of the private sector. A key viewpoint of the Decision is to develop private sector in an effective and sustainable manner, ensuring a close, reasonable and harmonious combination between economic efficiency, social responsibility, and natural resources and environment protection.

Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyen Khanh Ngoc said based on three pillars of “protect, respect and remedy”, responsible business practice first of all means adherence to laws and regulations.

“Promotion of responsible business practice in Vietnam aims at the balance between continued economic growth and sustainable development. It can be done thanks to the improvement of relevant laws and regulations and their enforcement”, he said.
Meanwhile, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen highlighted the opportunity for Vietnam to advance responsible business practice.

“COVID-19 has disclosed pre-existing inequalities and vulnerabilities in our systems, including in how we do business,” she said, adding “Vietnam has shown tremendous leadership in managing the pandemic. Recovering from and co-existing with COVID provides Vietnam with an opportunity to extend this leadership and build forward better, by rebuilding businesses that are responsible to the people and the environment. They can continue to drive economic growth without compromising sustainable development.”

The workshop heard presentations on Responsible Business Practice in ASEAN in the context of COVID-19, including experience in advancing responsible business in Thailand.

Participants discussed ways forward on developing a national action plan to advance Responsible Business Practice in Vietnam./.