As part of consultations on the development agenda for post-2015, the UN recently consulted with representatives from the private sector. Private sector companies are important actors in improving living standards and creating employment opportunities within Viet Nam.
The UN wanted to know what kind of world the private sector would like to see after 2015, what some of the obstacles and challenges they face are, future aspirations as well as needed actions to create more and better jobs for a growing Vietnamese workforce. As Dinh Manh Hung, Associate Director of Viet Nam’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: “We see Viet Nam’s ‘golden age’, the booming generation of young Vietnamese people, creating their own businesses. They bring good energy to our development.”
The consultations held in January in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City involved managers, supervisors and environmental and labour officers, representatives from business associations and NGOs. They focused on four topics: Viet Nam’s position in the global economy, opportunities through sustainability and productivity improvement, the Vietnamese workforce and representation and policy advocacy.
Deeper integration into global value chains
According to the private sector representatives, Viet Nam has to shift to more skills- and knowledge-intensive sectors. This requires enterprises to improve their ability to catch up with new and more challenging international standards and bilateral and multilateral agreements. Those consulted also said they would like to see more simplified administrative procedures, following international best practices.
“We need professional training and support from experts to meet international standards,” said Nguyen Bao Thoa, Director of the Viet Nam Rural Industries Research and Development Institute.
New models of growth
In order to promote a greener economy, better supporting policies and further information dissemination by the Government is needed. International standards and requirements in this area change frequently and need to be introduced into Vietnamese practices. Companies also expressed the need for technological and financial support for environmental protection.
According to Chu Duc Khai, Vice President of the Viet Nam Foundry and Metallurgy Science & Technology Association, “We need to green our energy year after year to attain low carbon economic development.”
Better training and skills enhancement were identified as a key human resource strategy for Viet Nam after 2015. Cooperation between industries, training institutions and universities should be encouraged and strengthened to narrow the gap between labour demand and supply.
Participation in policy making processes
The private sector also called for increased participation in the policy making process. This could include a strengthened role for business associations as enterprise representatives in policy dialogues with the Government and other stakeholders.
Finally, the private sector called for joint initiatives with government agencies and international organizations, including the UN, to introduce environmentally-friendly technologies, regulations and quality standards; facilitate information exchange; and develop collective actions.
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