Mr. Vu Tien Loc, President, Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry;

Mrs. Tran Thi Huong, Vice President of Viet Nam Women’s Union;

Mr. Pham Van Tan, Vice President, Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA);

Madame Ha Thi Thu Thanh, CEO of Deloitte Viet Nam and Chairperson of the Center for Social Initiatives Promotion;

Mrs. Vu Thi Mai, Vice Minister, Ministry of Finance

Distinguished representatives from the government, business, diplomatic corps, media, and non-for-profit sector;

Distinguished Colleagues, Partners and Friends,

Good Evening, Xin Chao,

I’m honored to be here tonight to celebrate inspiring champions of sustainable, responsible, and inclusive business. UNDP is delighted to be part of such a timely and invaluable initiative that helps to accelerate the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) in Viet Nam. As many of you know, The SDGs provide a roadmap for sustainable and inclusive future where No One is Left Behind.

Blue Swallows is one of Vietnam’s leading programs to BUILD, ACCELERATE and RECOGNIZE business initiatives for social change. It promotes entrepreneurial spirit and accelerates innovative and scalable business solutions which are making positive contributions to environmental or social outcomes critical to the SDG’s.

There is a growing understanding that it is not possible to have a strong, functioning business in a world of increasing inequality, poverty and climate vulnerability. At the same time, we know, we cannot achieve the ambition of the SDGs by 2030 without the active participation of business. Doing good so to speak also makes good business sense. There is a growing ‘business case’ for driving social change in your enterprises and increasing interest in ‘Ethical Investment’, where investors pay much more attention to Environmental, Social and Governance issues when making decisions to invest in businesses.

Business has the unique opportunity to embrace the SDG agenda and recognize it as a driver of business strategies, innovation and investment decisions. No matter how large or small, and regardless of which industry, all companies can contribute to the SDGs. The UN Global Compact requests companies to do business responsibly and pursue opportunities to solve societal challenges through business innovation and collaboration.

To unlock the full potential of the private sector in achieving the SDGs in Viet Nam, we must count on businesses for their innovation, partnership and leadership. And that is one of the reasons we are together here today, to honor and recognize such initiatives. It is crucial for Viet Nam to fully embrace this new way of doing business, to ensure the country does not get left behind others. We have already seen strong commitments from other governments in ASEAN to build an environment where responsible and sustainable businesses can grow. It is also critical to ensuring No One is Left Behind, a principal at the heart of the SDG’s.

In conclusion, I would like to offer my deepest appreciation to CSIP, VCCI and VUSTA for partnering on En Xanh initiative and great thanks to our business partners with us here today. We are honored to be awarding and recognizing all the Blue Swallows (the businesses) today for their efforts in driving social impact, homegrown here in Viet Nam. Your work is inspiring many more business leaders to become partners in achieving the SDGs. UNDP looks forward to deepening our partnership with CSIP, VCCI and VUSTA to demonstrate the role businesses can play in delivering green, inclusive and prosperous Viet Nam.

Thank You, Xin Cam On!

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