A startup presents her business initiative to call for investment during 4th Techfest Hải Phòng that was taken place last month. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Thu
HÀ NỘI — Integrity in business and the role of digital transformation in increasing business integrity were highlighted at the first ASEAN Startup Forum where officials, experts, business circle, startups and young people in ASEAN countries shared experiences and future outlook.
The forum held yesterday by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) was part of the activities on ASEAN as Việt Nam is chairing ASEAN this year. It is also part of the project 'Promoting a fair business environment for new businesses in Việt Nam' of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Việt Nam with funding from the British Prosperity Fund.
Discussions were held about the co-operation for transparency and sustainable development in the digital era.
The forum also offered chances for stakeholders to share experiences in developing the start-up ecosystem. Currently, each ASEAN country is pursuing its own start-up support policies and if they are connected to create a common start-up ecosystem, it could make ASEAN an innovation entrepreneurship hub in Asia.
The ASEAN region, with an advantage of about 60 per cent of the population under the age of 35, has potential for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Vũ Tiến Lộc, chairman and president of the VCCI, said integrity must be the first requirement for any business.
“In order to have a prosperous business, businessmen must always keep integrity in their hearts and innovations in their head,” Lộc said, adding that the world after the COVID-19 crisis would not look like the world from before and sustainable and responsible businesses were vital. Start-up spirit must be in the minds of all enterprises, both new and existing ones.
“Digital transformation helps build up business’s integrity,” he said.
Not only big companies but small, super small and medium-sized enterprises implemented digital transformation, he said, noting that smaller firms would be the masters of the digital era, not big ones.
While big companies could access digital platforms, smaller ones need support for digital transformation, Lộc said.
“Governments, organisations and individuals are responsible for supporting small, super small or medium companies. That’s the way we together develop a sustainable economy,” Lộc said.
UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam Caitlin Wiesen said that given the high rate of start-ups in the ASEAN region and their drive for innovation, there was little doubt that those young entrepreneurs would play a key role in the COVID-19 recovery journey.
“By supporting youth start-ups and entrepreneurs in ensuring business integrity and driving sustainable business, we will contribute not only to rebuilding our economies but also to achieving a society and culture that puts a premium on caring and protecting a more sustainable future for all,” she said.
She said digital transformation helped increase transparency and institutions’ effectiveness, ensure fair business environment as well as undisrupted service supply even in social distancing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairwoman of Việt Nam Angle Investment Association, Project 844 Innovation Advisory under the Ministry of Science and Technology Nguyễn Phi Vân said a prerequisite in selecting businesses to invest in was their integrity.
“Only when doing business with integrity can companies create transparency for partners, shareholders, investors and customers, thus, their business can develop sustainably,” she said. — VNS