Business integrity index to help firms grow sustainably

September 22, 2022 - 09:13

A new tool has been launched to assess the business integrity of enterprises in Việt Nam, helping them grow and develop in a sustainable fashion.

Delegates at the event introducing the Việt Nam Business Integrity Index in Hà Nội. VNS Photo Ly Ly Cao

HÀ NỘI — A new tool has been launched to assess the business integrity of enterprises in Việt Nam, helping them grow and develop in a sustainable fashion.

The Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VVCI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Wednesday afternoon, for the first time, introduced the Việt Nam Business Integrity Index (VBII), a tool to evaluate integrity in the business activities of enterprises.

The index was created based on seven elements - culture (commitment from the top, management, employees, training), code of conduct, control, communication (employee and gender/inclusion, community, social, environment and sustainable development), compliance, and certification.

It is recommended for any company that is interested in business integrity and sees business integrity as a bedrock principle for their growth.

Transparency, accountability, and integrity are key elements that define good governance and the existence of a Fair Business Environment in any country. In the context of the COVID recovery, good governance has gained greater attention from investors and consumers. 

Sustainable development is no longer a choice but a matter of survival for enterprises to exist and develop at present and in the future, Nguyễn Quang Vinh, vice chairman of VCCI, stated in his opening remarks. 

Thereby, “VBII developed and launched today by VCCI and UNDP is a new step to bringing Vietnamese businesses closer to international standards of transparency and integrity as well as helping businesses overcome difficulties in integrating integrity into their production and business activities,” he added. 

In fact, businesses are increasingly realising the value and benefits of business integrity. The experience of many businesses that have put business integrity first shows that they have benefited from the attention and appreciation of investors, suppliers, buyers, and customers. This is a clear, proven advantage for those companies wanting to access international markets and participate in global supply chains.

For Việt Nam to continue attracting quality investments, low levels of corruption and higher levels of transparency are very important. Businesses' conduct can be a good or bad contributor to the level of corruption in the country.

“VBII, a tool that if used by businesses in an honest and transparent manner, will contribute to improving the country’s standing and brand, building trust based on data and information, attracting investments, generating wealth and improving lives of citizens,” said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Patrick Haverman. 

“We cannot promote business integrity in isolation. It is an integral part of responsible business conduct. Business integrity, therefore, requires a holistic approach.  

“For integrity to work, the environment, workers, supply chains, government agencies, consumers, and the community as stakeholders have to be respected.  

“Businesses need to be profitable by enhancing the operating environment and by meeting minimum expectations of stakeholders. In deciding on investment sites, global companies will consider the state of respect in the countries for responsible business conduct with good governance and the rule of law as critical factors.”

VBII is a tool that needs to be maintained and improved based on experience. 

UNDP is committed to further working on business integrity and supporting VCCI in using and improving this tool. Promoting transparency and integrity continues to be a central point of the UNDP’s Country Programme Document for Viet Nam (2022-2026). VNS