[20 March 2022] — Transparency and business integrity have become globally recognized as strategic tools for building trust among investors, business partners, customers and employees. International studies have shown that higher levels of integrity are correlated with commercial success and better engagement with stakeholders.
Vietnam recently has stepped up its efforts to improve transparency, business integrity and investment climate. The government has showed strong commitments to this goal.
With Vietnam integrating deeper into global economy, improving business transparency, integrity and corporate governance is further required for enterprises, especially listed companies, public and non-public joint stock companies, and State-owned enterprises. However, corporate practices in transparency and integrity promotion remain a challenge among Vietnamese enterprises due to lack of awareness and collective actions.
In that context, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has proposed establishing Vietnam Business Integrity Network (VBIN). This is a voluntary network of multi-stakeholders from the private and public sector which is envisioned to be led by businesses and financially self-sustained. It aims to mobilize collective actions to foster firm compliance regarding governance disclosure and transparency requirements and to adopt good business integrity practices, thereby improve governance, performance, and sustainability.
VBIN is built upon the success of several recent projects and programs implemented by VCCI to promote business integrity in Vietnam. This is VCCI new initiative with funding provided by the Commonwealth Fund of United Kingdom through UNDP’s regional project “Promoting Fair Business Environment in ASEAN - Fair Biz”.
Economica Vietnam have been commissioned by VCCI and UNDP to conceptualize the VBIN, its mission, objectives, key services, mode of operation, organization and governance structure. To date, a complete proposal on VBIN has been completed and endorsed. The VBIN Advisory Group has been set up with active contribution and facilitation by Economica Vietnam.
In cooperation with experts from ASEAN CSR Network, Economica Vietnam has completed a set of Vietnam Business Integrity Indicators which can be used by companies for both internal and external assessment. The Vietnam Business Integrity Index (VBII) is also being conceptualized and developed by Economica Vietnam. The index will be constructed on a pilot basis, using real data and information collected from selected listed companies. The VBII is expected to be an important product under VBIN. The Index is expected to be completed in April 2022.