The impact of media on investment

June 20, 2023 | 20:00
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Vietnam’s business press has been making contributions to the successful performance of enterprises and experts in the country. However, improvements are needed to meet the growing demands of readers.
The impact of media on investment
Strong relations between the press and foreign companies can help the latter expand their presence

Habitually, Dang Huu Cu begins his new day with the newspapers, from which he can learn much information and prepare notes for briefing his manager.

Cu began his work as a communications specialist at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) where he worked from 1997-2008. Since then, he has been at the Vietnam Resident Mission of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). His work means he frequently meets with journalists.

“In our work, the press plays an important role, as it closely follows and reflects up-to-date news on socioeconomic developments, providing outstanding issues in life for policymakers to consider and offer effective solutions,” Cu said.

These articles also report on the new policies of the Vietnamese government, and supplement data for reference and use in multi-sectoral research, especially the ADB’s work related to Vietnam.

“We read many types of newspapers, including VIR. The domestic press frequently publishes interviews and articles by ADB experts, which encourage discussions about challenges and opportunities in Vietnam’s development process,” Cu said.

“These opinion-sharing articles or policy recommendations give readers a more comprehensive view. This positively contributes to the country’s policy development, creating public consensus on new policy.”

Meanwhile, the press closely follows the ADB’s work in Vietnam. There are many articles about the impact of ADB-financed projects. There are also many trenchant news articles that point out mistakes and weaknesses in project implementation.

“These stories not only help agencies to promptly handle the violations, but also help sponsors spot errors and coordinate with executing agencies to strengthen measures and management tools, and boost monitoring,” Cu said. “This aims to ensure transparency and effectiveness in ADB projects.”

Living in Vietnam for more than 20 years, Hong Sun, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam, reads newspapers every day.

“I need to read all relevant updated information every day as it is greatly useful to my work,” Sun said. “The press can provide me with information about the Vietnamese market and where our company’s projects are going well. I am also interested in macroeconomic reporting as it has a big impact on investor decisions.”

The impact of media on investment

Strength of the media

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, Vietnam has about 850 press agencies employing about 50,000 people, including 20,000 reporters.

There are dozens of printed newspapers exclusively featuring economic and investment news, including some in English like VIR, Vietnam Economic Times, and Vietnam News, in addition to many online English newspapers.

These English-language newspapers play a crucial role in conveying the Party and state’s policies and law, and help foreign businesses and readers have up-to-date on Vietnam’s economy, as well as proper investment policies in Vietnam.

Neermal Shunmugam, former counsellor at the Malaysian Embassy to Vietnam, believes that no matter who you are, information gives you more power.

“The more we know, the more we can effect change, both on a personal and societal level. One way we acquire knowledge is through the media, whereby it disseminates information to audiences and empowers them. The mass media cannot exist without an audience,” Shunmugam said.

According to Shunmugam, newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations with large audiences are considered successful and powerful. Due to this relationship, media members or journalists have massive power in their hands. However, they have a great responsibility to educate and inform honestly.

Ramla Khalidi, resident representative in Vietnam at the UNDP, also highlighted the role and strength of the media. The media’s broad coverage of the Vietnamese government’s work on socioeconomic development and pandemic response and recovery provides an important platform for exchange and opportunities towards global sustainable development goals.

“As a weekly newspaper that provides up-to-date information covering the country’s progress on topics such as the economy, business, investment, industry, technology and the environment, VIR has consistently been a valued resource and strong supporter of our work and discussions with our Vietnamese partners,” Khadili said.

“I am very pleased to see VIR championing green and low carbon sustainable development and resilience building by serving as a reliable source of information for the public on renewable energy, energy efficiency, green transportation, the circular economy, environmental protection, climate change, and disaster risk management.”

Over recent years, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) has annually released its Whitebook, a special publication featuring the chamber’s policy proposals to the Vietnamese government, ministries, and central agencies. It aims to help Vietnam ameliorate its business and investment climate, and protect investors and enterprises.

To make such proposals, EuroCham has sourced different information not only from its hundreds of member companies, but also from other sources, such as reports from relevant authorities. However, one of the most important sources is the media.

VIR is also among the newspapers that EuroCham and many other domestic and foreign business associations have consistently read and sought information from before making policies, regulations, and proposals to Vietnamese agencies.

Staying with the times

At present, there are also some worries about the quality of the information transmitted by the media to the public.

“Inaccurate information can badly affect the prestige of those cited by the reporters. Moreover, rectifications are not often issued,” said Cu of the ADB.

Nguyen Hong Ngan, senior external relations officer at the World Bank in Vietnam, said that the press has been playing a huge role in Vietnam. However, some improvements are needed on local newspapers, especially economic newspapers, to enhance their quality.

“Vietnam is entering a new phase of development this year, and so is the media. The public demands higher quality publications, from content to cover, and to deliver timely information,” Ngan said.

“There are many opportunities for newspapers to gain a strong foothold with a new generation of readers. Catering to the information needs of the growing middle class, for example, will be challenging but also rewarding.”

According to Shunmugam of the Malaysian Embassy, dissemination of information is a form of education, which can often be unfair, violate confidentiality, and be out of step with international norms.

“We believe that the responsibility of a good media practitioner is to educate and enlighten. Because of this, the media and media professionals should abide by following golden rules. Firstly, they should base their work on objective facts and truth. Secondly, they should spread friendship, kindness, solidarity, and cooperation. Finally, the media agency and practitioners should bear corresponding social responsibilities, just like in other professions,” she said.

Nguyen Trong Nghia - Chairman, Commission for Communication and Education, Party Central Committee
The impact of media on investment
The Vietnamese revolutionary press is a sharp ideological weapon of the Party and state, having a strong attachment to and accompanying our people’s cause of building and defending the socialist fatherland.

Over the years, press agencies and journalists across the country have regularly upheld political missions and responsibilities, closely followed the Party’s direction, grasped the realities, and performed assigned tasks well.

They have spent much time studying and bringing to life the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress and the Party’s resolutions, conclusions, and directives.

They have also effectively taken the initiative in producing honest and objective reports and stories, making an important contribution to shaping public opinion, creating consensus in society, and strengthening people’s confidence in the Party and state.

What is more, they have also made positive articles on the country’s socioeconomic recovery and development, and achievements of foreign affairs, while also conducting propaganda on Party building, prevention and fight against corruption, wastefulness and negative phenomena. The press has also contributed to the protection of the ideological foundation of the Party, and the fight against the incorrect views of hostile forces.

To get these results, besides the laudable efforts of the press agencies and journalists themselves, it is impossible not to mention the role of the directing agency, the press management agency, and the Vietnam Journalists’ Association, a socio-political professional organisation of journalists nationwide, and a place to gather and unite, cultivate revolutionary ethics, and improve professional qualifications for members.

To be worthy of the glorious role and mission of the Vietnamese revolutionary press, I suggest that the press agencies and journalists should continue to focus on making bigger efforts with high political determination, and synchronous and effective actions to well accomplish the goal of building a professional, cultural and modern revolutionary journalism.

It is also necessary to pay more attention to the leadership, direction, planning, management and development of the press, with a focus on building a team of press managers and a team of reporters and editors with a political stance, moral qualities, and professional expertise to improve the communication of the Party’s guidelines and policies, and the state’s laws and policies.

It is also necessary to closely follow the reality of the country’s economic reforms, and to discover, reflect, and praise patriotic movements, while highlighting the bright spots, positive changes, results, and prospects of the economy. This will contribute to creating an atmosphere of excitement, trust, and consensus among people of all walks of life.

Being part of the culture, and at the same time one of the main means of disseminating different types of culture to the whole society, press agencies need to continue to participate in and actively respond to building a cultured environment in press agencies. This is of practical significance towards the 100th anniversary of Vietnam Journalists’ Day in June 2025.

Each press agency must be a cultured agency, and each journalist must have a sense of improving his or her own culture and the human spirit, as well as creating works contributing to preserving, building, and developing an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity; promoting Vietnamese cultural values and human strength, and arousing patriotism, national self-reliance; and developing a prosperous and happy country.

*Excerpt from speech at the National Press Festival, March 2023

Tran Quoc Phuong - Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment
The impact of media on investment
We highly appreciate the increasing role of the press in the process of socioeconomic development. Reporters are getting better at detecting and covering issues, as well as promoting and encouraging good practices, which are the foundation for the government, ministries, agencies, and localities to contribute to amending laws and regulations to fit with reality.

Among newspapers, VIR has been contributing significantly to deliver information related to investment and business activities of enterprises in all industries in particular, as well as to show the problems of people and businesses during the implementation of policies at all levels.

As a result, VIR is highly appreciated by all ministries, agencies, localities, organisations, businesses, as well as honoured at many major and prestigious press awards in the country and even abroad for its high-quality work and articles. This confirms the right development and the continuous efforts of all reporters.

I offer best wishes to all VIR reporters and the editorial board, who always keep their love and passion for the job, highlighting the policies of the Party and government. I hope for VIR to grow continuously, as well as perform its role as an information bridge between domestic and foreign investors and businesses, management agencies, and also policymakers.

Do Thang Hai - Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade
The impact of media on investment
I appreciate that VIR reporters and the editorial board closely monitor and inform on issues in our sector. Thank you for the very close and effective coordination with leaders of the ministry and the entire sector to do the most regarding tasks assigned by the Party and government.

Managing multi-sectors and fields, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has tried to fulfill the tasks assigned by the Party and state in many fields such as electricity, coal, oil and gas, energy, industrial production, trade, import-export, e-commerce. Such work is carried out with the participation and consensus of ministries, agencies, the business community, and international organisations, especially, with the support of press agencies and journalists.

Press agencies have done a good job as a bridge between the MoIT and the public, effectively communicating the policies of the Party, and ministerial and government solutions. Information and the press are important for us. The companionship and support of the press agencies and VIR will help the MoIT to accomplish its goal.

We will try the best to complete the tasks assigned by the government as well as provide maximum support for the press, not only from the leadership of the MoIT but also from each unit, to provide timely information on the key issues of the day.

Phung Duc Tien - Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
The impact of media on investment
The press agencies are crucial in the development of the agricultural and rural sector. They have also contributed to the successful implementation of strategies, plans, schemes, and assignments of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the business community.

One of the most outstanding achievements is the contribution to changing the mindset from simply agricultural production to developing an agricultural economy. This is an important factor for agricultural growth and sustainable development. Early this year, the ministry determined some key missions for the press and communication work in 2023.

It chose the media as a key channel to communicate our work on legal documents, the undertakings and policies for the development of ecological agriculture, modern rural areas, and farmers, according to the Central Party Committee’s resolutions on fisheries, forestry, and animal husbandry.

The press agencies must also focus on publishing forecasts on opportunities for agricultural products in both domestic and export markets and the benefits of free trade agreements.

Raymond Gordon - Vice chancellor and president, British University Vietnam
The impact of media on investment
The press is vital to any society and community. It provides a medium through which information can be conveyed. The press works with agencies and businesses and governments to convey the messages that they need truthfully, and to be trusted by the general public.

And when it comes to education, VIR not only reports but also helps and engages with universities, schools and other types of education institutions to let the public know what’s happening in education and what the opportunities are, particularly for young people but also for older people who need additional training skills.

The press plays an important role in the growth of Vietnam, which is an emerging economy that has aspirations of moving to being a wealth economy, as well as committed to being carbon-neutral by 2050. These are all important things for the world and for the people that live in Vietnam. And the Vietnamese people need to be informed about what is happening.

In particular, that’s going to take education and training. So, there’s a lot of pressure on the Vietnamese education system currently, because of the need for skills that they don’t currently have. In other words, things are moving quickly. The jobs that young people will have in the future have not even been invented yet. Things are moving so quickly that it creates a sense of excitement for many people, but also risk and alarm.

The press can convey what the education institutions are doing, and how those education institutions are preparing our children and our adults for what they need to do.

Michele Wee - CEO, Standard Chartered Vietnam
The impact of media on investment
On behalf of Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam, I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt congratulations to Vietnam Investment Review (VIR) on the occasion of the Vietnam Journalists’ Day (21 June).

As the leading economic and investment publication in Vietnam, VIR has been an invaluable companion, delivering timely news, insightful analysis, and comprehensive coverage of the business landscape as well as unwavering dedication to sustainability.

With sustainability taking centre stage for foreign-invested businesses and investors in Vietnam, VIR actively promotes responsible practices and offers valuable insights into sustainable finance, green initiatives, and broader environmental, social, and governance developments.

We appreciate opportunities to have been featured on VIR to share our thoughts and expertise on topics of interest to readers. We look forward to our continued collaboration.

Through its high-quality journalism and conferences, VIR empowers the business community, raises awareness among investors, entrepreneurs, and policymakers, and underscores long-term and sustainable growth.

Most recently, at the conference celebrating 35 years of foreign investment in Vietnam organised by VIR, Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam was honoured for our contribution towards facilitating investment into Vietnam. We are proud of this achievement as it acknowledges our commitment and hard work in delivering value in the country.

We wish VIR continued success and development in your journey to deepen the connection between Vietnam and the foreign business community and investors.

As Vietnam navigates its path towards a sustainable future, together, we can drive positive change, creating a prosperous and sustainable Vietnam for generations to come.

Dang Trong Duc - CEO, KTG Industrial
The impact of media on investment
On the Vietnam Journalists' Day, we pause to express our heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated journalists and reporters who work tirelessly to provide accurate and timely information. Their commitment not only benefits the growth of Vietnam's industrial real estate market, but also attracts foreign direct investment, strengthening our nation's economic landscape.

The role of the media in shaping public perception and facilitating informed decision-making in relation to industrial real estate development cannot be overstated. By shining a light on industry trends, exploring growth opportunities, and offering insights into market developments, these professionals empower investors and stakeholders to make informed choices. Their unwavering dedication to truth, integrity, and service is what continuously drives our nation towards progress.

The future of industrial real estate development in Vietnam relies on many factors, including macroeconomic trends, regulatory policies, and technological advancements. However, it is the media's crucial role in shaping public perception and informing decisions that will remain a driving force behind our nation's continued growth.

As we celebrate the Vietnam Journalists' Day, let us acknowledge the power of the press and the profound impact it has on Vietnam's industrial real estate market and foreign investment landscape.

Le Hoang Chuong - Assistant vice president, C.P. Vietnam
The impact of media on investment

After the pandemic, especially since the beginning of the year, livestock enterprises have faced many difficulties. However, thanks to timely information from the press, especially VIR, businesses (including C.P. Vietnam) have adjusted our business development strategies and felt it easier to breathe.

The press and media have quickly conveyed the government's policies to businesses. At the same time, the press communicates the thoughts, problems, and burdens that businesses are facing to policymakers. This helps policymakers make appropriate changes and deliver a range of wide-reaching information on business to all audiences.

Happy Vietnam Jornalists' Day. We wish health, happiness, and success to all journalists, reporters, editors, and people working in the media industry.

David Jackson - CEO, Colliers Vietnam
The impact of media on investment
Journalism is an indispensable communication channel for the development of the economy. In the past 98 years, Vietnam’s journalism has grown significantly. Nowadays, readers can easily access information through various channel. Journalism has a strong, comprehensive, and pervasive power.

It’s also an official channel to update news, market happenings, new policies and regulations as well as play a role as a bridge for businesses to reach the mass and contribute data, comments, and forecasts about the market. Journalism provides a reliable, timely, and objective source of information, contributing to the market development towards more transparency and accuracy.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to the journalists for their persistent efforts, perseverance, and determination in the profession to bring the latest and most accurate news to readers every day.

Winnie Lam - General Secretary, Hong Kong Business Association Vietnam
The impact of media on investment
VIR has reported on the challenges and opportunities for foreign investors in Vietnam during and after the pandemic, including great insights from economists as well as investors on the ground

It covers a wide range of topics such as government policies to draw foreign investment, the impact of the pandemic on supply chains, and the shifting global economic terrain with much truth and encouragement.

There were also many stories featuring the successful turnaround of businesses and those more fortunate helping the vulnerable. Such stories are a motivation for the public to join hands and work together for the betterment of Vietnam.

VIR has comprehensive coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on foreign investment in the country. While the COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges, the Vietnamese remain committed to attracting foreign investment and serving the country’s economic growth in the long term.

We continue to be optimistic, seeing a lot of new and renewed interest with many delegations to explore and continue to do our part in linking investments through Hong Kong and Vietnam in many years to come.

Lars Voedisch - Founder and managing director, Precious Communications
The impact of media on investment
Like a typewriter in a touchscreen world, media outlets that resist adaptation are destined to become relics of a bygone era. So it’s not surprising that press agencies in Vietnam are moving beyond traditional print and online formats to include a wide range of more engaging mediums.

This strategic move aligns with global trends and caters to the Vietnamese audience’s changing preferences for captivating, interactive, audio-visual, and bite-sized content.

Vietnamese press agencies frequently work with local influencers to create engaging content that encourages audience participation and creates a sense of community. More platforms and more ways of accessing news and information mean more opportunities for businesses to reach their target audiences through different channels.

The press has long served as a crucial bridge between enterprises, the government, and the public in Vietnam, profoundly impacting business activities.

The media regularly promotes Vietnam’s start-up ecosystem through funding rounds and success stories, inspiring a whole generation of Vietnamese entrepreneurs.

It is estimated that there are about 3,800 startups in Vietnam. By providing in-depth analysis and industry-specific information, offering valuable insights for businesses and investors, the media can help increase this number multifold.

The media actively promotes Vietnam as an attractive destination for foreign investment. For instance, global manufacturers are are willing to invest in Vietnam, as it aims to move from a low-tech manufacturer to hi-tech manufacturing. This is partly driven by the government’s push but mostly because of the awareness created by the media.

Saroj Chayavivatkul - Member, Board of Directors, TBC-Ball Beverage Can Vietnam
The impact of media on investment
The press plays a vital role in supporting business development and the overall progress of a country. It serves as a reliable source of information, disseminating news and market trends that enable businesses to make well-informed decisions.

By providing transparent and accurate information, the press helps build investor confidence, allowing them to assess risks and make informed investment choices. Furthermore, the press celebrates entrepreneurship by highlighting success stories and fostering innovation, which leads to job creation and economic growth.

As business operators in Vietnam, we highly value VIR as a credible source of business news. We believe the paper has established itself as a trusted platform for businesses to stay updated on the latest developments in the Vietnamese economy.

As Vietnam’s economy continues to perform strongly, we hope to receive more news and updates to assist us in navigating the country’s dynamic business environment.

David Tay - Director, Business Development, Marketing & Communications, PwC Vietnam
The impact of media on investment
As the top English language business newspaper in Vietnam focusing on foreign investors, VIR has been instrumental in shaping the investment landscape and fostering a transparent business environment.

The paper’s dedication to delivering accurate, timely, and in-depth coverage has provided valuable insights, facilitating a meaningful exchange of information among stakeholders. Your professionalism and impartiality have earned VIR a reputation as a reliable source for investors, business leaders, and policymakers in Vietnam.

As we celebrate the Vietnam Journalists’ Day, I want to express my deep appreciation for the paper’s remarkable work. Your extensive coverage of diverse sectors, particularly in investing and mergers and acquisitions, has provided us with valuable insights into the Vietnamese market.

Rahul Shinde - Chief information officer, Coca-Cola Vietnam
The impact of media on investment
On the Vietnam Journalists’ Day, I cannot help but reflect on the profound impact that journalism has on our society. Journalists play a pivotal role in shaping our nation’s future by bridging gaps, dispelling ignorance, and igniting conversations that shape progress. In the era of rapid digital transformation, reliable journalism has become more crucial than ever.

Coca-Cola Vietnam recognises the significance of digitalisation and sustainability and is committed to embracing these goals. During our green transition journey, VIR’s team of journalists understood our vision, learned about our sustainable practices, and shared our journey with the public. Through its articles, we raised awareness among consumers, inspiring us to join the movement towards a greener, more sustainable Vietnam.

In general, with extensive articles and though-provoking talk shows, journalists paint a vivid picture of Vietnam’s path to sustainability, showcasing the tireless efforts of communities, businesses, and policymakers.

Their words, like brushstrokes on a canvas, give life to the net-zero vision, inspiring Vietnamese readers to embrace sustainable practices in their daily lives.

On the other hand, Vietnam has made significant strides in its digital economy. Nguyen Manh Hung, Minister of Information and Communications, predicted that by the end of 2023 the portion of the digital economy to GDP may reach over 17 per cent, and with further initiatives to stimulate the economy, it could rise to 25 per cent by 2025.

This remarkable growth can be attributed, in part, to the tireless efforts of journalists who have amplified the importance of digital transformation in our society. By highlighting success stories, sharing best practices, and disseminating accurate information, they have fostered an environment of innovation, attracted investment, and propelled our digital economy forward.

In addition, journalism in Vietnam has undergone a remarkable evolution in the digital age. Journalists have embraced digital tools and platforms to provide accurate and timely information, combating the spread of misinformation. Their commitment to fact-checking, investigative reporting, and responsible journalism empowers readers to make informed decisions and navigate the digital landscape confidently.

Furthermore, the reach of journalism has expanded beyond traditional confines, with newspapers now thriving on various platforms beyond printed editions and websites. Social media platforms have become powerful tools for journalists to engage with their audience and disseminate news in real-time. Video-sharing platforms have also emerged as dynamic mediums for news reporting, offering immersive storytelling experiences.

In the future, high-quality journalism will remain paramount. Reputable newspapers play a vital part in conveying accurate information, raising awareness about sustainability, and driving positive change. The contributions of companies like ours, combined with the efforts of journalists, create a powerful synergy that propels the nation towards a digital and sustainable future.

Pham Le Ngoc Chau - Business Development Manager, MediaTek Vietnam
The impact of media on investment

MediaTek recognises the vital role of press agencies, including Vietnam Investment Review, in shaping the production and business activities of enterprises. Their diversified activities foster a dynamic media landscape that drives innovation, particularly for a global semiconductor company like MediaTek.

At MediaTek, we value the engagement provided by press agencies, which has contributed to our growth and customer-centric approach. We applaud their commitment to unbiased reporting, promoting healthy business practices, and driving socio-economic development.

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