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Joining hands to promote a fair business environment in Vietnam

Below, please kindly find the entire opening speech by Mr. Nguyen Tien Huy, Director General, Office for Business Sustainable Development – ​​VCCI at the workshop titled “Joining hands to promote a fair business environment in Vietnam”, which devlivered on 22 December 2022 in Hanoi.   Ms. Ruth Turner, Political and Development Counselor, British Embassy in Vietnam, Mr. Tomas Kvedaras, Project Specialist, Judicial Integrity Network in ASEAN, FairBiz project, UNDP’s Regional Hub in Bangkok, Thailand, Do Thuy Van, Program Manager, UNDP Vietnam, Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished delegates, businesses, press agencies…,   We are now at the last days of 2022. For businesses, this probably is the busiest time to “speed up and reach the finish line” towards achieving business production plans. Therefore, the large participation of business representatives at the workshop today demonstrates the great interest of the business community in integrity and fair business environment which is always considered as a burning topic. On behalf of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), I would like to express my sincere thanks today in particular to the representative of the British Embassy, ​​the representative of UNDP’s regional FairBiz project and many businesses and media agencies for attending our workshop titled “Joining hands to promote a fair business environment in Vietnam” and also for actively joining efforts, providing support and coordinating with VCCI on the journey into forming a business integrity community during over time.   Ladies and Gentlemen, “Corruption remains one of the biggest obstacles to global socio-economic development. Corruption affects the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; causes negative impacts on markets and generates unequal consequences for the most vulnerable among us. Collective action plays an important role to help implement business integrity and build a more transparent global economy.” As Mrs. Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network underlined in her statement. Sharing the same perception that corruption arises as an issue with global impacts so that a global approach to anti-corruption is required along with a vision for promoting sustainable development of the business community in Vietnam, VCCI understands that only through creating a transparent, fair, integrity business environment, we will be able to mobilize and optimize use of resources of the private sector, avoid losses and waste. From there, businesses can increase their trust and concentrate resources on business production, long-term investment which contribute to the goal of sustainable socio-economic development of the locality and the nation, also improve competitiveness and strengthen international integration. Regarding the National Anti-corruption Strategy until 2020 and the United Nations Convention against Corruption Implementation Plan, as a national organization representing and bringing together the business community and entrepreneurs in Vietnam, VCCI has taken drastic measures to promote the role of businesses, business associations and trade associations in anti-corruption through developing and building a healthy, uncorrupted business culture; creating a transparent and fair competitive business environment; raising awareness on legal compliance of businesses; eradicating step by step bribery in the relationship between businesses and state agencies; coordinating with competent agencies to prevent and promptly detect acts of harassment and bribery of officials and public servants… VCCI has built a cooperative and cohesive relationship with agencies, international organizations by implementing activities to promote anti-corruption practices in business. VCCI has been actively participating in initiatives to learn from experiences, recognize and highlight domestic efforts for the promotion of business integrity. VCCI is a member of the Executive Board of the ASEAN CSR Network, a member of the Integrity Working Group in ASEAN; is an effective partner with international organizations such as OECD, UNDP, and member of the Global Compact Network – UNGC, World Business Council for Sustainable Development – WBCSD…   Ladies and Gentlemen, Since 2017, VCCI has been working closely with UNDP under the support from United Kingdom for implementing the FairBiz Project and the Government Business Integrity Initiative (GBII). Mentioning some notable results that we have achieved over the past time such as: nearly 1500 businesses have received training in internal control mechanism and code of conduct; engaging 15 business associations with nearly 13,000 members to sign a business integrity pledge; providing technical support for 05 businesses included Traphaco, Vietnam Maritime Corporation (VIMC), Fine Scandinavia, and 02 female-owned enterprises; initiating the Vietnam Business Integrity Network (VBIN) in 2021. The establishment of VBIN demonstrates great efforts of VCCI, UNDP, and British Embassy in Vietnam in raising awareness of the business community in Vietnam about business integrity, encouraging business leaders to act on business principles and practices, as well as enhancing multi-stakeholder engagement, policy dialogue which facilitates responsible business conduct, and creates a more transparent and equal business environment in Vietnam. VBIN has achieved a number of very important and encouraging initial results such as: the launching of Vietnam Business Integrity Index, assessing the current state of business integrity implementation among 30 listed companies in HCM and HN, building an online tool platform to evaluate the level of business integrity implementation. All these contents will also be shared in detail with delegates at the workshop’s program today.   Ladies and Gentlemen, The outcomes of the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) survey conducted by VCCI have shown that anti-corruption practices in recent years have known positive deliverables. Specifically, the rate of businesses having to pay informal fees in general in the PCI 2021 survey decreased to 41.4% compared to 44.9% in 2020. This is also the lowest level in the past 16 years (in 2006 it was 70%). The size of informal expenses also has decreased significantly over time when the proportion of enterprises spending more than 10% of revenue to pay for this type of expense is only about 4.1%, decreased twice as in 2016  (9.1%). However, there’s still a lot of space for improvement. For example, the percentage of businesses having said “The incident of troubling for handling business procedures is common” was 57.4% in 2021, higher than 54.1% in 2019-2020. That being said, in order to create a more transparent and fair business environment, in addition to the leadership of the Government and all bodies of government, the business community must proactively take collective initiatives which have a decisive meaning. Collective action saves time and resources generate significant inspirational influence, and helps accelerate systemic changes towards business integrity and transparency. To go fast, we go alone. But to go far, we must go together. That is also the spirit of SDG Goal 17: Partnership – Strengthening Cooperation. Together, we go further. Together, we go stronger. Let’s join hands and act together towards a fair business environment for all businesses in Vietnam, for the future and sustainable development of businesses themselves. And with that conviction, I would like to respectfully announce that today’s workshop is now open. Wish you all a successful meeting! Finally, I wish you and your family a Christmas season and a New Year 2023 filled with kindness, love and joy! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  

Project news, Relevant news

Hanoi, August 27th 2019. The consultation workshop was held by VCCI and UNDP Vietnam to complete “The Manual on Internal Control and Code of Conduct in Business”. Nearly 100 participants came from SOEs, private sector and social organizations. This is a workshop organized by VCCI under the the Government-Business Integrity Initiative – GBII within the project “Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN” implemented by UNDP and financed by UK Prosperity Fund.  Internal control (IC) and Code of Conduct (CoC) are the best tools for SMEs to improve governance and management toward transparency and efficiency, ensuring the benefit of investors and shareholders and enhancing company’s reputation and image. Speaking at this workshop, Dr. Vu Thi Phuong Lien, the consultant from TDI Consulting Co. Ltd. said: These are two parts helped businesses realize the strategic vision and core values, as well as show their commitments in document. The substance of this manual has been simplified for SMEs to easily apply in practice.      The draft manual has been warmly welcomed. Mrs. Nguyễn Thị Minh Tâm, the Director of MCT Việt Nam said: “Currently, SMEs mostly have no code of conduct or control standard, so we are just spontaneous and we control each other. This manual is applicable to my company and we will try to do it”. Mr. Dinh Van Duc, Head of Planning Department of Vietnam Mineral and Metallurgical Company said: “the information shared at this workshop is appropriate and essential to my business”. The draft manual is download here tại đây A lot of comments have been made to the workshop from businesses. It is recommended that the project promoted training activities for businesses as well as businesses need more time to study and apply successfully IC and CoC. “Time is required to formulate new approach because many businesses are on the old way” – Mrs. Minh Tâm constributed. To that requirement, Ms. Dinh Thi Bich Xuan, Deputy Director of the SDforB, VCCI said that in the period of 2019 – 2020, the project will design many activities to support businesses in application of IC and CoC which include completion of the training manual to disseminate in business community, training of trainers, capacity building for businesses, demonstration models of IC and CoC for 2 companies in Hanoi, signing agreement on business integrity. Read more and resgister here tại đây.

Project news, Relevant news

Only 50%-60% of businesses clearly understand the importance of internal control and code of conduct for sustainable development. On March 5, 2019, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in coordination with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) announced the survey results at the consultation workshop with stakeholders to finalize the Draft Report of the research on “Application of internal control mechanism and code of conduct in Vietnamese enterprises: key findings and recommendation”. This report was prepared by the Office of Sustainable Development for Business (VCCI) and TDI Consulting Co. Ltd together with the reputable experts from National Economics University, the Academy of Finance and members of the International Leaders Forum – IBLF Global (UK). This workshop is one of the core activities in the Business-Government Integrity Initiative – GBII under Project 12 funded by UK Prosperity Fund through the regional project “Promoting a fair business environment in ASEAN” implemented by UNDP. This is the time when the Anti-Corruption Law (revised) is going to take effect in July 2019 that expands the scope of anti-corruption to the non-state sector. 153 participants attended the workshop including delegates from the government agencies, embassies, businesses, business associations, international organizations and press agencies in Hanoi and neighbor areas. As a finding of the report, only 50%-60% businesses clearly understand the importance of internal control and code of conduct for business sustainable development. Dr. Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of VCCI while attending and speaking at the workshop said if internal control and compliance are not fully applied in business, bad behaviors are more likely to arise in the company and beyond via global trade and investment supply chains. Agreed with that point of view, Mrs. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Acting Resident Representative for Viet Nam, affirmed the importance of a code of conduct and internal control mechanisms in promoting business integrity. She said the UNDP will support the business community in developing a manual guiding application of code of conduct and internal control mechanisms. Moreover, VCCI will provide training courses to raise awareness and build capacity for businesses. Represented for donor, Mr. Gareth Warth, British Ambassador in Vietnam addressed that promoting business integrity in business is always a priority of the UK Government.    Accordingly, Associate PhD. Nguyen Van Thang, NEU research team leader said that personal relationships and informal fees are “disguised” in various forms, accounting for 25-30% in business transactions. In addition, irregularities in human resource management, lack of professional manpower or personal relationship-based recruitment created the challenges to comply with laws. The report reflected the shortcoming and even inefficiencies in management generally. Most misconduct cases are the consequences of poor compliance of internal controls and the code of conduct. Businesses are recommended to respect the core values such as integrity, transparency in order to develop a long term strategy and an appropriate, consistent governance system. Hence the enterprises are given with more opportunities to participate in global supply chain. At the same time, SOE leaders must strengthen accountability and law enforcement. MNCs should share the best practices and spread out the values of the integrity project to local businesses. Being able to implement an effective business integrity program, the cooperation and support of stakeholders including from government agencies, government officials to the business community of social organizations are very necessary. Project news.

Project news, Relevant news

What should businesses do to combat with money taps and harassment? If possible, please denounce the misconduct! In this article, we would suggest a number of useful channels for businesses to denounce corruption to protect their companies. Inform the company’s leaders If you found that the government officials, partners, colleagues … have acts of asking for and giving bribes, sales staff should immediately report the case to internal inspectors and business leaders. These are the first people who can protect your company and fight corruption with you. Denounce in public agencies There are two ways that business can provide information related to embezzlement or bribery to law enforcement body: Denunciation at the Supreme People’s Procuracy (VKSNDTC). Addresses of VKSNDTC, its permanent representatives and the professional division are as follows: Hanoi No. 9 Pham Van Bach, Yen Hoa, Cau Giay district, Hanoi Tel: 0243.8255058, Mobile: 0971751122 Yen Bai No. 566 Ngo Minh Loan, Hop Minh, Yên Bái city, Yen Bai              Tel: 0216 385 6616, Mobile: 0971831122 Da Nang 23 Tran Binh Trong, Hai Chau, Đa Nang  Tel: 0236 389 8738, Mobile: 0971541122 Đak Lak             21B Mai Hac De, Tan Thanh ward, Buon Ma Thuot City, Đak Lak              Tel: 0262 367 3366, Mobile: 0971951122 Ho Chí Minh            199 Hoàng Van Thu, Phu Nhuan district, HCMC  Tel: : 08 08 6882, Mobile: 0971501122 Can Tho:                D21-8&9 khu dan cu Long Thịnh, Phu Thu ward, Cai Rang district, Can Tho City.             Tel: 0292 625 8166, Mobile: 0971081122 You can drop messages on the website or send email to Denounce to the Government Inspectorate at Lo D29, Tran Thai Tong New Urban Area, Yen Hoa, Cau Giay, Hanoi. You can leave the messages at the website or send email to, call 08044430 or email to Other addresses: Local congressmen News agencies Business is not sure how to denounce or whether denounce? You can contact us for help and free advice. Please send email to us at or contact us here; you also leave comments at the end of each article. You will be advised and supported to deal with difficulties thus to promote business integrity. 

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Through this article, businesses will be provided with information on important points that the current Anti-Corruption Law (2005) stipulates. In Vietnam, bribery is illegal. Government officials who collect and accept bribes will be strictly sanctioned by the law. Enterprises that give bribes will also be sanctioned, seriously affecting the performance, turnover and reputation. Below are some examples of companies that have been sanctioned and prosecuted for responsible business behavior. Businesses can find out more information on current laws at the National Legal Database. Below are some of the key points of anti-corruption laws that are directly relevant to businesses. According to Chapter VI, Article 87, the obligations of an enterprise include: Reporting of corrupt practices to competent authorities Cooperate with competent authorities in the investigation of corruption Provide feedback on anti-corruption laws to competent authorities to contribute to the fight against corruption Cooperate with competent authorities, VCCI and business associations to build a healthy corporate culture. Compete fairly in the market by establishing internal control system within the company Currently, the Draft Law on Anti-Corruption is under discussion for amendments and is expected to be approved in the near future. The Draft Law also clearly defines the responsibilities of businesses, on the need to build a more professional and transparent business culture. Refer here. What can your business do to reduce the risk of corruption? See Chapter 3 of the How to Prevent and Fight Corruption Toolkit. You will find lots of ideas on how to set up simple systems in your company to protect yourself. Your business can send people to business integrity training. Find training programs in the Training section of our website. What can businesses do to deal with the bribery of government officials? If possible, the company should report this misconduct. There are a number of ways you can report bribery and corruption. Refer to KDLC for some tips and some successful anti-corruption cases.

Project news, Relevant news

In the afternoon of August 13th, the People’s Committee of Ha Tinh province issued a decision to sanction Tien Dat Construction Joint Stock Company 435 million VND for the act of discharging wastewater causing environmental pollution. Specifically, Tien Dat company was fined 290 million VND for discharging wastewater directly into the sea causing environmental pollution and a fine increase of 50% for recidivism, disregard of the law. At the same time, Tien Dat Company was suspended for 3 months and forced to renovate and upgrade the wastewater treatment system to ensure technical standards in accordance with the law. Tien Dat Joint Stock Company has invested in shrimp farming since 2015 in Thinh Loc commune (Ha Tinh province) on an area of more than 10 hectares of water, located close to the sea. In operation, the shrimp pond of Tien Dat Company did not treat wastewater properly but discharged it directly to the environment. The local marine environment has been seriously polluted, causing frustration in society, suffering a loss of money and the company’s reputation In fact, protection of environment is important in practice for responsible businesses. The Government of Vietnam has issued Decree 155/2016 / ND-CP, which provides appropriate penalties for violations of the regulations on environmental protection. Enterprises can refer to the Environmental Technical Regulations for wastewater on the website of the Institute of Legal Science (Ministry of Justice) and Decree 155/2016 / ND-CP at the Government Portal. Let’s take a closer look at Article 13, which deals with a violation of wastewater treatment regulations. To avoid penalty and sustain your reputation in the market, it is advisable to take care of environmental impact and ethical standards in operation of your business. A code of conduct is important to identify the company’s ethic values and manage the employees’ behaviours more responsively. You can visit our website to learn more application of code of conduct. Otherwise you can refer an example of a code of conduct here  

Relevant news

Many businesses around us are actively fighting against corruption. Within this article SDforB introduced a company in Long An has succeeded in refusing to give bribes and forcing officers who commit corporate harassment to face strict laws. Company A provides trading and transport services in Ben Luc district, Long An province.  In 2015, Nguyen Trong Tinh, an officer of Ben Luc Tax Department led a delegation to inspect Company A on its compliance with the Law on Value Added Tax and the Law on Corporate Income Tax. Here, Tinh claimed that company A made a mistake and had to pay more than 1.4 billion dong. However, he did not clarify some items in this fine. Notably, Tinh requested the owner of Company A to give him 200 million dong so he could reduce the fine down to 600 million dong. To this act of blackmail, the owner recorded the «negotiation» and denounced Tinh’s misconduct to the local police. As the result, Tinh was caught while accepting bribes from the owner of Company A. The People’s Procuracy and the Ben Luc District Police decided to prosecute and arrested the defendant Nguyen Trong Tinh for 3 months to investigate bribery behavior. The example of company A shows that businesses can completely protect their companies from corruption by refusing to pay bribes, coordinating with local authorities and using technology equipment to collect evidence to punish corrupt individuals. In addition, businesses can use many other ways to denounce acts of embezzlement or bribery. Please refer to our advice and guides.