The Institute for Research on Development Communication (RED Communication) organised a conference on the Development and Implementation of Policies for the Promotion of Responsible Business Practices: Experience in the EU and Vietnamese Context in Hanoi on November 3.
The conference was a part of the Win-Win for Vietnam project, implemented by RED Communication Vietnam and ProNGO! e.V. (Germany)
ProNGO! e.V. aims to improve the overall performance of non-governmental organisations' activities by combining their initiatives with the expertise of business professionals. The key to its good project work is a multidisciplinary team consisting of experts from a diverse range of fields.
The project is approved by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations and the Vietnamese authorities.
According to the project's mission and framework, in this final year, the project organised two conferencesin Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to analyse policies and gather suggestions from related stakeholders, including businesses, civil society organisations, the Vietnam Consumer Protection Organisation, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to propose policy recommendations to the public sector.
They were organised following Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's Decision No.843/QD-TTg on July 14 to circulate the national action plan (NAP) and finalise policies and laws to promote responsible business practices (RBPs) in Vietnam over the 2023-2027 period.
To gain more experience on responsible business from an international perspective, the organising board needed further information on specific contexts and the most notable components from the business sector.
Tran Nhat Minh, director of RED Communication said, “These conferences provided information and international experience on building and implementing policies to promote responsible business practices from the EU and Thailand. In addition, they were a forum to consult businesses, social organisations, and experts on promoting responsible business practices in the Vietnamese context.”
RBPs are an important component in achieving the dual goals of economic growth and sustainable development. Therefore, the United Nations has introduced guidelines and principles on business and human rights on a global scale and aims to support countries in concretising them into each NAP.
As of October 2019, 25 countries have included responsible business issues in their national agendas. Among these, 23 have established NAPs with specific goals that are appropriate in their national context. In Southeast Asia, Thailand is the first country to develop a NAP on business and human rights – issued in September 2019 and updated in 2022.
Brenda Candries, programme manager of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam said, “The European Union is also proposing a new Law on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence. This directive, which was proposed last February, will advance the green transition and protect human rights in Europe and beyond. It sets out a corporate due diligence duty to identify, prevent, or mitigate human rights issues and environmental impacts in companies' operations, subsidiaries, and value chains inside and outside Europe.”
“Small- and medium-sized enterprises do not fall under the direct scope of the draft directive. However, they may be impacted if they form part of the value chain of larger companies. This is something Vietnamese businesses should be aware of,” she said.
At the end of the conferences, the organising board summarised the suggestions from participants and made further policy recommendations on RBPs in Vietnam.
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