|President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc
On the occasion of Vietnam Entrepreneurs' Day (October 13), Loc, who is also Chair of the Central Council for Vietnamese Businesses, spoke to the Vietnam News Agency about opportunities and challenges facing Vietnamese entrepreneurs in today's economy.
What is your view on Vietnamese entrepreneurs' contribution to the national building process and socio-economic development in recent years?
Vietnam has more than proven itself as an attractive destination for business investment and the development of start-ups. On the economic development front, Vietnamese entrepreneurs are playing perhaps the most important role today, especially in realising the objective to transform Vietnam into a modern industrial country by 2030 and a developed country by 2045.
Vietnamese entrepreneurs, as a major economic driver, must work together with the Party and the State to improve the country's business environment, policy-making capacity and national competitiveness. In order to make it happen, the Central Economic Committee has started an initiative to encourage Vietnamese entrepreneurs to participate in the policy-making process.
I strongly urge each and every business to join the initiative as policy reform and business improvements are two crucial objectives that often go hand in hand. More than 30 years after doi moi (reform) process, Vietnam fields over 700,000 licensed businesses and millions of individual business households. The next step is for Vietnamese businesses to aim for greater innovation, to achieve sustainable development and to meet social responsibilities.
What are Vietnamese businesses' shortcomings and limitations?
I think our economy has a sufficient number of businesses compared to other economies in the Southeast Asian region. Our problem is quality. Top Vietnamese entrepreneurs, who can effectively compete on a global level, are few.
A report on business management capacity among ASEAN listed companies ranked Vietnam in 6th place. Ours are also reported as average in similar rankings by the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. This points to limited productivity, even among ASEAN countries, and numerous issues yet to be resolved in order to provide our businesses with much-needed support for growth.
How can Vietnam approach the mentioned issues?
The most pressing issue at the moment is how to strengthen and improve Vietnamese businesses in a comprehensive manner. The focus of Vietnam’s national programme on business development must make a shift to increase quality, rather than just increase the number of businesses. Sustainable development and digitalisation are two important objectives for business development and must be integrated into each business’s growth strategy.
Vietnam’s draft Law on Enterprises, which is to be submitted to the National Assembly for review this month, prioritises business management improvement and increasing transparency, especially in micro-businesses and business households.