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Joint action can fight corruption

Update: April, 14/2017 - 10:04
Businesses should enhance collective actions to promote integrity and build a transparent business environment. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam needs radical collective solutions to promote the fight against corruption and foster a healthy and transparent business environment, Deputy Secretary General of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said at a conference on Wednesday in Hà Nội.

Vinh said transparency must be placed at the heart of business integrity and every company should exercise integrity by using the toolkit for resisting corruption – an initiative to bolster an incorruptible business environment.

The time is ripe for Việt Nam to strengthen collective bsiness actions as a way to tackle corruption and improve profitability, according to the Centre for Social Governance Research (CENSOGOR).

Collective actions stem from the principle that corruption can not be tackled unilaterally but require a wide stakeholder engagement from businesses, Government agencies and society.

CENSOGOR executive director, Nguyễn Thị Kiều Viễn, said collective actions provide opportunities for businesses to use the power of the group to tackle systemic corruption issues, such as demands for bribes.

With increased attention to collective actions by enterprises amid the country’s deepening international economic integration, a lot more can be done to foster business integrity in Việt Nam, Viễn said.

She said enterprises were both the victims and the cause of corruption, citing the Provincial Competitive Index 2016 showing that 66 per cent of firms paid unofficial charges to Government officials and 59 per cent of foreign direct investment companies paid unofficial charges when clearing goods through customs.

Collective actions are proven effective anti-corruption solution because of significant benefits, Viễn said.

For companies, collective actions help protect reputations and brand names. For the economy and society, the benefits would be increasing capital efficiency, improving the business environment and competitiveness as well as strengthening social trust and reducing the costs of corruption.

Viễn said that enterprises would need to synchronise measures at three levels - internal, company-to-company and company-to-authority to proactively engage in the fight against corruption.

In addition, Government should improve the legal system and adopt policies to encourage initiatives in corporate anti-corruption, she said.

According to Đinh Thị Bích Xuân from VCCI, a project on supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in fighting corruption in Việt Nam was being implemented to promote collaboration and ensure integrity in business.

Under the 2014-19 project, an online toolkit is being developed as an useful channel for businesses to study and exchange experience and connect in fighting against corruption. The toolkit is expected to be ready this month.

At the conference, experts also shared insights into business integrity in Malaysia and the Philippines. — VNS

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