The power of the press to promote

Over the past century, the press in Vietnam has played an integral role in shaping a healthier business and investment climate and supporting the state in formulating sound policies.

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Last week, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked a number of ministries to find solutions to deal with a rise in waterway accidents, after he read about the situation in the first five months of the year in local media.

In the government’s Resolution No.84/NQ-CP released two weeks ago on tasks and solutions to remove enterprises’ difficulties, boost public investment, and ensure social order, the prime minister highlighted the role of the press in socio-economic development.

Accordingly, he asked the Ministry of Information and Communications to combine with the Party Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission and other ministries to direct press agencies to distribute more information on the national fight against COVID-19 and the protection of people’s health.

The press has also been required to publish information about the government and the prime minister’s solutions on supporting enterprises and people, ensuring social order, and beefing up public investment disbursement. Moreover, press agencies will also be supported by the state budget in 2020 to do this task, according to Resolution 84.

Over the past 95 years, the press has contributed to socio-economic development, with a particularly strong development of the business community. For example, Do Van Ve, deputy general director of Huong Sen Group in the northern province of Thai Binh, pointed out that Vietnam’s doi moi had been made possible partly by journalists.

In 1981, after Ve and his friends established a private company in Thai Binh, the company’s success was mentioned in some newspapers. “Such articles made our company well-known nationwide, because at that time the private sector had not yet been developed. Then, my company was visited by thousands of people who wanted to learn from our experience so that they could establish their own companies,” he said. “After that, many private enterprises were established in Thai Binh and in other localities.”

“Without journalists, Huong Sen should not have been able to develop into the group it is now,” he stressed.

The year 1990 saw the promulgation of the Law on Companies and the Law on Private-owned Enterprises, which were the first legal documents permitting establishment of private economic organisations, including limited liability and joint-stock companies, as well as privately-owned companies.

“Ve’s story is typical example for the strong connection between the media and enterprises in Vietnam. The media has been playing a great role in transporting information from enterprises to the government and policy makers, and vice versa,” said Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Vu Tien Loc.

In recent years, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) has annually issued its Whitebook, with hundreds of pages covering the chamber’s policy proposals to the Vietnamese government, ministries, and agencies in a bid to help improve the country’s business and investment climate and protect the benefits of investors and enterprises.

In order to be able to make such proposals, EuroCham has sourced different information not only from its hundreds of member companies, but also from other sources, such as reports from ministries, localities, and – most importantly – from the media.

Therefore, the media is acknowledged by the Vietnamese government as a critical tool showcasing the views of businesses on various issues, including the implementation of policies and guidelines, thus helping to improve state management quality.

The media has also played an important part in helping the government in contributing to the government’s adjustment of policies for state-owned enterprises and the acceleration of their equitisation and restructuring. In the National Assembly, many deputies have also used articles as part of their policy proposals to the legislature and the government.

Moreover, the media has featured its pro-business voices, contributing to creating a more business-friendly climate in line with the Vietnamese government’s great efforts to support the business community, in a bid to further enhance the economy’s growth and the nation’s international prestige.


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