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UNDP announces study on corporate awareness, responsible business practice in Vietnam

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam announced key findings of the Study on Corporate Awareness and Implementation of Responsible Business Practice in Vietnam in 2020 at an event in Hanoi on April 22.

The study found that the level of awareness of business enterprises on responsible business practice (RBP) remains low, especially among domestic small private businesses, with less than half of the small domestic enterprises fully understanding of RBP whereas 81 percent of the State-owned enterprises (SOE) understanding the concept and its implications fully.

The study also shows that 84-90 percent of respondents comply fully with existing regulations dealing with labor issues (e.g. insurance; bonus and benefits schemes; safety and hygiene). The corresponding percentage for environmental protection was 50-73 percent. Less than 68 percent of respondents fully adhere to regulations on business governance such as transparent bidding and purchasing, and consumer protection.

The Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam, Ann Mawe, said UNDP in Vietnam, in partnership with the Government of Sweden, has been driving forward responsible business practices since 2019 as part of the regional programme “Promoting Responsible Business Practices through Regional Partnerships in Asia”.

The study focuses on labour, environmental, and governance issues, with the data being collected through focus group discussions, key informant interviews and a survey with 279 respondents.

In the years ahead, the study aims to assist Vietnam in building a national plan of actions on RBP by 2022, which will help the country achieve sustainable development goals and bring its legal framework on a par with international standards.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Sitara Syed said despite Vietnam’s rapid, yet relatively inclusive economic growth, and an influx of investment that have brought opportunities, many problems remain. She highly appreciated the Ministry of Justice for leading the design and adoption of Vietnam’s first National Action Plan on Responsible Business Practices by 2022.