Mr. Tran Ngoc Liem, Deputy General Inspector of the Government Inspectorate
Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, Secretary General of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of UNDP, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to this consultation workshop on the draft report and guidelines for non-state enterprises and social organizations to implement anti- corruption laws.
I would like to start by thanking the Government Inspectorate of Viet Nam, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) for co-organizing this Forum with UNDP. Our thanks also to the UK government for the generous support for this important initiative.
The critical importance of addressing corruption and its impact on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is well known. Corruption has been consistently cited as one of the most important obstacles to doing business in the region because it increases the cost of doing business, distorts the competitive environment, limits opportunities for investment and widens the growing social inequalities.
In this context, we are all familiar with the challenges faced by the private sector. According to the Viet Nam Provincial Competitiveness Indexes, more than half of the companies surveyed reported paying “informal charges”. This number for 2019 is 53.6%, which is lower than previous years, but still quite high. There is growing pressure on Viet Nam to take measures to address this situation - foreign countries are enhancing enforcement of anti-bribery legislation, resulting in rigorous implementation of corporate compliance programs in emerging markets, including Viet Nam.
The 2018 Anti – Corruption Law came into effect in 1st July 2019. Decree 59 was then adopted to guide the implementation of this Law. Anti-Corruption Law, for the first time, includes a new whole chapter on anti-corruption in non-state enterprises and organizations. This demonstrates the intention of the Vietnamese Government to combat corruption in all areas to implement the requirements of the UN Convention against Corruption, which Viet Nam ratified in 2009. Now, the implementation of the Law requires strong efforts not only on part of the Government but also on the part of companies.
UNDP has worked closely with Vietnamese partners on the anti-corruption issue for several years. Especially, since August 2018, UNDP has supported the process of developing and implementing the new Anti-Corruption Law and the implementing Decree. Such support was provided under the Regional Project “Promoting a Fair Business Environment in ASEAN”, supported by the UK Government. This three – year Project, starting in August 2018, aims at promoting a fair business environment in ASEAN by minimizing corruption risks and encouraging sustainable practices. It targets 6 countries in ASEAN, including Viet Nam which is one of the priority countries. The programme is focused on promoting business integrity and strengthening anti-corruption policies and laws.
Continuing the previous support, in order to help non-state enterprises and social organizations to better implement the new Anti-Corruption Law, UNDP has commissioned a study that includes the review of the current Vietnamese legal provisions, analysis of international experience, and interviews with around 50 key informants.
Today, we will discuss the key findings of the study, learn about international experience from our expert who is attending the workshop from London. We also aim to collect your comments on the proposal of a guideline for non-state enterprises and social organizations. We hope that based on these comments, we can improve the draft guideline that will help the non-state sector better implement the Anti-Corruption Law.
In closing, I would like to stress that effective implementation of the 2018 Anti-Corruption Law, especially the new legal provisions on anti-corruption in the non-state sector, which is key for the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption. As always, UNDP stands ready to work with the Government Inspectorate, VCCI and all relevant stakeholders to promote business integrity in Viet Nam. I wish you all a successful and productive workshop.
Thank you (Xin Cám Ơn)!