For the first time in Vietnamese history, on September 20, 2004, then Prime Minister Phan Van Khai signed a decision in which to observe October 13 as Vietnam Entrepreneurs’ Day.
In 1945, immediately after the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was established, the business circle actively supported the "Golden Week". This was backed by not only rich merchants, but almost every family of small businesses, whether small or large, also supported the establishment of the "Independence Fund".
That spirit has become more evident over the past two years when the COVID-19 pandemic hit like a terrible and unprecedented hurricane that swept around the globe. For local businesses and entrepreneurs, the damaging impact of the pandemic has caused many firms to face plenty of difficulties, challenges, and exhaustion.
In this difficult context, many enterprises based in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, and Binh Duong provinces, although facing many difficulties due to the impact of the pandemic, still strive to fulfil their social community responsibilities. This is done in the spirit of reinforcing mutual solidarity and uniting to share with local administrations to contain the pandemic.
As a result, thousands of billions of VND have been donated by businesses to the COVID-19 Vaccine Fund, along with the construction of field hospitals and medical isolation facilities. Furthermore when the pandemic is at its most stressful time, there remains many resilient businesses and entrepreneurs which have managed to stand firm and creatively adapt themselves to the pandemic situation.
The management board of Truong Sinh Group, a multi-sectoral development corporation, has meticulously outlined various scenarios, plans, and solutions aimed at coping with the impact of the pandemic, while strictly implementing safety measures in a range of production activities, promoting the digital transformation process, and applying online sales to consume more goods.
Le Thanh Thien, general director of Truong Sinh Group, revealed that the firm has shared its difficulties with its partners in order to ensure that their supply chain is not disrupted amid the ongoing disruption caused by the pandemic, with the enterprise still fully able to perform its social responsibilities.
“The group has made drastic changes in technology, digital transformation to adapt to the reality, while finding proper solutions to both domestic business and foreign export partners, and suspending production of non-essential items.
During the strong outbreaks in Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbour Binh Duong, the Group's medical research products were given to F0 patients for home treatment, with those with mild symptoms easing the disease. After this pandemic wave, the Group will promote research on Vietnamese medicine and pharmaceuticals in order to launch a range of new products for COVID-19 treatment within the community," Thien said.
According to Chu Tien Dung, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Business Association, difficulties are also a test to create resilience for the domestic business community. Being in the centre of the epidemic in the southern city, enterprises have always "co-communicated with suffering" to overcome the pandemic.
Hundreds of online discussions have also been held between associations, members, and businesses, regardless of day or night, in order to come up with the most optimal solutions, reasonable production models, as well as effective pandemic prevention measures to continue maintaining production activities.
Amid the current context of the nation moving into the new normal, although there will still be many difficulties and challenges ahead in the process of recovering post-pandemic production, many firms have concluded that only innovation and restructuring in management can enable them to continue to exist. This is particularly true due to the many uncertain factors caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Economic experts have stated their belief that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a long-term impact on the way the national economy operates, on national governance, social governance, and corporate governance.
The economic recovery process has been prolonged, while many countries have issued new legal regulations and long-term special policies which aim to help businesses resume operations.
Domestically, the restoration of production will represent a thorny problem with the risk of many firms closing, jobs not being restored, and social security being seriously impacted.
According to Pham Tan Cong, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), there should have been a new policy system put in place with the "new normal" for businesses in order to secure a better positions in the global value chain.
Therefore, it remains necessary to view COVID-19 as a driving force which can make a breakthrough in building and fine-tuning institutions, the legal system, along with regulations and policies to suit the conditions of the "new normal". This should be done in order to create preferable opportunities for enterprises to quickly restore production activities and economic growth as a means of boosting the nation to a higher position in the global value chain.
"With the pride of Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day, with the spirit of solidarity, determination, creativity, along with the leadership and wise direction of leaders of competent agencies, the Vietnamese business community believe that they would be able to overcome all difficulties and challenges, maintain stability and develop production and business, thereby making a worthy contribution to the country's victory in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the successful implementation of socio-economic development goals set out by Resolution adopted at the 13th Party Congress,” the VCCI leader said.
There is no denying that many local businesses, including the likes of BIDV, Viettel, VinGroup, Truong Hai, FPT, and Vinamilk have made great strides to gradually keep abreast with their peers, both regionally and globally.
The nation also had six entrepreneurs listed among the world’s billionaires in 2021 as selected by Forbes magazine. With an export turnover of US$281 billion in 2020 and a total import and export turnover of US$544 billion, the country has risen to 22nd and 26th place in the world in terms of export scale and international trade.
This clearly demonstrates the role of the business community in the cause of national construction and economic development.