Since the beginning of 2020, the World has faced one of the biggest global crises in recent decades, which was the rapid spread of Covid-19 pandemic. Isolation measures, social distancing and different restrictions were strictly implemented setting out great challenges for businesses and showing a less prosperous picture of global economy. Businesses in the Southeast Asia have been suffering from many difficulties during over period. In fact, number of businesses could absolutely understand how Covid-19 pandemic affecting their business operations in the near future still remains a weakness. At the virtual business integrity roundtable series – beyond the Covid 19 crisis hosted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on past March 31st, the event brought together representatives from many different sectors. On the Vietnamese side, Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, VCCI Secretary General attended the conference to share his insights into several identified risks that businesses encountered during the pandemic outbreak period. On the business side, the pressure of ensuring business continuity, labor management as well as disrubtion to global supply chain, etc. were reasons causing significant impacts on business integrity. In order to overcome obstacles towards sustainable development in the long term, Mr Vinh highlighted that despite the size of businesses whether they were large or small, business integrity should be put at the heart of their operation because it would create a core foundation helping businesses to boost its resilience, attract loyal and new customers as well as the interest of genuine investors, recruit and retain talents in times of crisis. Through this workshop, great efforts of promoting business integrity made by VCCI over the past 10 years were also shared, especially initiatives of Helping SMEs to resist corruption and “Government-Business Integrity Initiative-GBII. These projects were funded by the UK Prosperity Fund through UNDP regional project “Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN”. On this occasion, OECD and UNDP would like to thank VCCI for recent goodwill cooperation, particularly the 10th Asia Pacific Anti-corruption Initiative Regional Conference’s Business Integrity Meeting as a good example and they also expressed their interest in closely working with VCCI in days coming for similar activities.
One of the top criteria for investors to consider is business integrity. Only when doing business with integrity can businesses create transparency for partners, shareholders, investors and customers. That is a commitment to sustainable development, building trust with partners and investors. In Vietnam, SMEs and startups are thriving, but investors have no tools to evaluate transparency and sustainability to make investment decisions. Realizing this problem, UNDP, with the funding of the British Prosperity Fund, supported VCCI to implement the Integrity Business Toolkit for Investors. This is a part of the National Startup Program 2020 and the project “Promoting a Fair Business Environment in Viet Nam”. The Toolkit is intended for all investors who are currently investing in Vietnam or are interested in start-ups and SMEs in Vietnam. This toolkit helps investors at early stage investment and angel investors. The toolkit provides investors with information on the business environment in Vietnam and enable them to approach businesses and projects that are still primitive but still ensure necessary information for investment decisions. Besides, as the development of startups in Vietnam is happening strongly, incubators, start-up accelerators, and training institutions who deliver training and prepare startups for fund-raising should also refer to and use this Toolkit. The Business Integrity Toolkit is based on the four main elements: 1) The company and its shareholders; 2) Reputation with business partners; 3) Legal compliance; 4) Internal control system. Although business integrity has a much broader scope, this toolkit mainly focuses on topics commonly considered as “anti-corruption”. For startups, business integrity should be based on the three drives: 1) Personal moral compass; 2) Quality of the management system; 3) Understanding and compliance to Vietnam’s law. Those are the foundation for the project to develop this Toolkit. (Compiled)
The virtual Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) took place on 23-25 March with the main theme: Leading through the Crisis: Integrity and Anti-Corruption for a Resilient Recovery. Around this main topic, the Forum has conducted 50 in-depth discussions on integrity and anti-corruption in specific industries, policy issues and public-private partnerships in the context of the Covid-19 crisis. The Forum was attended by government representatives, representatives of anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies, academics, representatives of the business sector and social organizations of many countries and experts from international organizations. The Vietnamese high-ranking delegation led by Mr. Le Minh Khai, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Inspector General of the Government Inspectorate has attended the Forum. The delegates participated in the following sessions: Integrity in practice: Launch of the OECD Public Integrity Toolkit; Integrity and corruption risks during and beyond COVID-19: Challenges, perspectives and experiences from the ground; OECD Business Integrity Roundtable (Part One): Business integrity trends and standards; The OECD Public Integrity Indicators – new measurements for policy makers and actionable change; OECD Business Integrity Roundtable (Part Two): Catalyzing Compliance in the post COVID-19 world; The relevance of statistical information for anti-corruption policies; Collective actions through fast-tracking the UNCAC. The Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) started in 2013 as part of Integrity Week, an annual event held at OECD headquarters to support governments and organizations to strengthen integrity, build trust, and fight corruption. Source: thanhtra.gov.vn
During the first two weeks of March, the campaign engaging business women in Thai Nguyen city in a free online training programme attracted 101 visits, of which 95% of visitors completed the program and got certification. Two businesses that achieved highest number of certified participants were Thai Hung Trading Joint Stock Company and Dung Tan Company Limited. Overall results of businesses participating in the course are found here. The training program aims to provide support to businesses for proactively improving their capacity and efficiency in term of corporate governance, risk management and internal control, especially helping companies to comply with legal regulations such as Decree 05 on internal audit, Decree 71 on corporate governance, the Law on anti-corruption (2018),…Ms. Dinh Thi Bich Xuan, Deputy Director General of the Office for Business Sustainable Development, VCCI said. Therefore, two companies that met the set criteria of the programme are selected to receive a package of technical assistance from the “Government–Business Integrity Initiative–GBII” implemented by VCCI and funded by the UK Prosperity Fund as part of the regional project “Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN” under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In days coming, VCCI will send an official letter to these eligible businesses to notify and ask for due diligence before officially signing MOU. At the same time, it’s really helpful to seek for specific understanding of business expectation, however, that demand requires to harmonize with scale of project which can support. Technical support is going to be provided starting March 2021.