ESG- Business Model for a Strong and Sustainable Viet Nam

On the afternoon of March 23, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics in collaboration with the Nordic Embassies in Viet Nam (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) held a scientific seminar themed 'ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) - Business Model for a Strong and Sustainable Viet Nam'.
ESG- Business Model for a Strong and Sustainable Viet Nam
Nordic Embassies in Viet Nam held a scientific seminar 'ESG - Business Model for a Strong and Sustainable Viet Nam'. (Photo: PH)

The purpose of this event is to showcase how Nordic governments interact with private sector on ESG and offer good examples and experiences on how it has positively affected the Nordic societies.

Prof.Dr Le Van Loi, Vice President of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics noted that Nordic countries are not only highly appreciated for their socio-economic development models, but are also known to the world for many other achievements such as countries in the top of "The happiness index" in the world, being awarded " Europe's greenest capital", topped the SDG (sustainable development goals) index and also the top countries in the ESG (Environment, Society and Governance) index.

According to Prof.Dr Le Van Loi, the leadership, governance and development experience of the Nordic countries in this field is very useful for Viet Nam in the current context.

“I fully believe that the results of the seminar will contribute to raising awareness and strengthening national and local leadership and governance about ESG in particular, and the country's rapid and sustainable development in general, in accordance with the spirit of ESG, and in line with the Resolutions of the 13th Party Congress, Resolutions and Action Programmes of the National Assembly and the Government. The seminar is also an opportunity to strengthen the relationships between the Academy, its partners and the Nordic embassies, as well as between Viet Nam and the Nordic countries”, Prof.Dr Le Van Loi said.

In a joint statement, the Nordic Ambassadors to Viet Nam emphasized that Covid-19 confirms that the threat of overlooking the planet and people’s health is real. No industry can afford to perceive itself as separate from the context in which it functions - whether environmentally, socially or in terms of how businesses and societies are governed.

ESG is about taking into consideration the environmental, social, and governance factors in an investment decision-making process. It is often used interchangeably with sustainable investing, socially responsible investing, and corporate social responsibility. These principles also apply to the government sector as their contribution is vital to achieving a vibrant economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“One should also bear in mind that high-quality Foreign Direct Investment will look for developing economies that put sufficient emphasis on ESG-principles. Furthermore, in a modern globalized economy, consumer power is important, and consumers are increasingly asking for products made in countries that take ESG seriously”, the joint statement emphasized.

The seminar attracts delegates representing Vietnamese government ministries, agencies, businesses, and a variety of Nordic experts from public and private sectors, academia, civil society to share experiences in presentations and panel discussions on how to work more concretely with ESG. They cover key benefits of ESG and issues such as sustainable and responsible business, climate-sensitive analysis, social dialogue, anti-corruption, public-private partnership.

While ESG is first and foremost a concept developed by and for the private sector, it addresses many issues that are indeed most effectively handled in a public-private partnership. Ensuring sustainable use of energy and resources, building up social protection schemes as well as fighting corruption are tasks where both public and private actors play essential roles.

In essence, these are all global challenges that all countries face including Viet Nam. For the labour market, in the wake of the 4th wave of the Covid-19 outbreak in Viet Nam in 2021, key manufacturing/export industries such as textiles, footwear, furniture continue to face challenges in terms of shortage of labour and risks of disrupted supply chains, as well as exposed social and economic vulnerabilities for businesses and workers. The ESG-approach will offer answers to common challenges both for the public and private sectors.

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