5th Annual Corporate Governance Forum held by VIOD and VIR

December 09, 2022 | 18:34
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The 5th Annual Corporate Governance Forum took place on December 9 in the Reverie Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, with the theme "Stronger leadership for a multi-threat world". The annual event is co-organised by the Vietnam Institute of Directors (VIOD), a member of Global Network of Director Institutes and Vietnam Investment Review.
5th Annual Corporate Governance Forum held by VIOD and VIR
Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi in his virtual speech at the 5th Annual Corporate Governance Forum

More than 100 executive directors from Vietnam’s largest listed companies and investment funds, state-owned enterprises, and prominent private conglomerates, also attended the forum and exchanged their international expertise.

The increasing importance of environmental – social – governance (ESG) criteria plays a crucial role in many corporations' and countries’ strategic development. In particular, corporate governance becomes extremely essential as the market observes businesses with solid governance practices recovering and sustaining growth momentum two years after the epidemic.

In the current market volatiles, leaders' flexibility and willingness to adjust their strategy and behaviour are important components for transparent, efficient and sustainable corporate governance, exceeding regulatory requirements.

With an integrated system that includes Climate Change Management, Risk Management, and Effective Management, corporate governance is seen as the value and measure of each company's competitiveness and sustainable growth.

5th Annual Corporate Governance Forum held by VIOD and VIR

The 5th Annual Corporate Governance Forum, organised with the technical support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the sponsor of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the companion of the State Securities Commission (SSC), is a place for business leaders, investors, and regulators to share mission, responsibilities, strategies, and principles of effective governance.

This year’s forum sees the participation of top executives of publicly listed businesses, other high-profile executives from state-owned enterprises, multinational corporations, and significant private organisations.

5th Annual Corporate Governance Forum held by VIOD and VIR
Madam Ha Thu Thanh, president of VIOD, chairperson of Deloitte Vietnam

According to Ha Thu Thanh, president of VIOD and chairperson of Deloitte Vietnam., corporate governance is not limited to compliance with the rules of the law. Beyond compliance, corporate governance is seen as one of the three essential components of an enterprise's sustainable growth, a measure of its competitiveness.

“Corporate governance associated with Effective Management of Climate Change impacts, carbon emission reduction coupled with social responsibility implementation - ESG integration must be incorporated into corporate development strategies, and the Board of Directors must begin to move from awareness to action,” she said.

The chairwoman also noted that the combination of climate change risk management and excellent business governance would impact social concerns.

ESG is an unavoidable worldwide trend and a crucial concern for Vietnamese companies. This, in fact, presents many opportunities for businesses to increase their footprint more robustly in the future, she added.

The forum also saw the attendance of Susanna Hasenoehrl, director of sustainable development for SAP Asia Pacific and Japan; Pham Nguyen Vinh, director of corporate development of Dragon Capital Group; Phan Duc Hieu, standing member of the Economics Committee of the National Assembly XV; Member of the National Assembly XV, Vu Quang Thinh; member of VIOD's Board of Directors; Director of Operations for Dynam Capital; and Le Tri Thong, general director and vice chairman of the Board of Directors of PNJ.

At the forum, the speakers identified challenges in innovation towards smart businesses & sustainable development, analysed ESG-related challenges and clarified the responsibilities of the Board of Directors in implementing the mission of sustainable development within each enterprise and the economy.

5th Annual Corporate Governance Forum held by VIOD and VIR
Phan Le Thanh Long, general director of VIOD

An important part of the forum was the ceremony to announce and honour Vietnamese-listed companies that won awards from the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard assessment. The corporate governance scores of Vietnamese enterprises have gradually improved over the years - the median score was 23.7 per cent in 2012, compared to 45.4 per cent in 2021, with 50 per cent of enterprises scoring in the area between 35.4 to 50.9 per cent. There is a large difference in CG scores among the top 25 per cent of companies, with a score gap from 50.9 per cent to 83.5 per cent.

Vietnam also had one enterprise on ASEAN Asset Class, Vinamilk. This is also the second consecutive year Vinamilk has achieved this title.

The top 3 Vietnamese listed companies with the best CG score were Hau Giang Pharmaceutical JSC, FPT JSC and Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk).

Post-forum, awareness-enhancing activities, in-depth knowledge training for members of the Board of Directors, dialogues to share experiences and value-added cooperation for certified VIOD members will continue to be organised in 2023 to help businesses improve investor confidence and collectively upgrade the Vietnam market.

The Vietnam Institute of Directors (VIOD) is a professional organisation aiming to raise awareness and promote the application of good corporate governance standards and practices among Vietnamese enterprises. VIOD aims to professionalise the Board of Directors (BOD), promote high standards of business ethics and transparency, establish a network of independent BOD members and connect business leaders with stakeholders, helping companies maintain and improve investor confidence.

In March 2018, VIOD was officially established within the framework of the Vietnam Corporate Governance Initiative, with technical support from the International Finance Corporation, and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs). VIOD operates closely with the State Securities Commission, Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, and Hanoi Stock Exchange.

VIOD's Board of Directors includes representatives of the private sector, senior leaders of investment funds, law firms and leading international auditing firms, and board members of reputable companies in the market.

The ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard project was officially launched in 2011 as an important part of the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum’s master plan towards ASEAN integration as a thriving and prosperous common economic community.

The scorecard aims to raise the standard of corporate governance in ASEAN enterprises and help investors gain a better view of businesses with good corporate governance systems, thereby improving their ability to attract investment while enhancing ASEAN's brand and image in the international capital market.

ACGS is assessed annually from 2012 to 2015 and then every two years with the participation of six ASEAN countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. The ACGS assessment report is a transparent disclosure of information in English. ACGS award categories include the TOP 20 ASEAN Listed Enterprises, the ASEAN Asset Class and TOP 3 Listed Enterprises by country.

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On November 29, the “ESG - The Key to Sustainable Development” conference, organised by Vietnam Investment Review (VIR), saw the attendance of about 100 guests from state agencies, speakers, press and media agencies, and nearly 40 enterprises in Vietnam.

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By Le Luu

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