The Path to Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day

11:33:15 AM | 11/10/2019

Before submitting the recommendation to establish Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day to the Prime Minister, historian Duong Trung Quoc and I had a long period of exchanges and discussions about it.

After a series of forums on building the Vietnamese entrepreneur force, I found that the word “doanh nhan” (entrepreneur) was not in the Vietnamese dictionary. There was neither document nor policy of the Party on entrepreneur development, although there were already separate resolutions on farmers, workers and intellectuals.

Later, I saw a group photo of President Ho Chi Minh or Uncle Ho with Hanoi industrialists and commercialists on September 18, 1945, two weeks after he made the Declaration of Independence. The industrialist and commercialist circle was the first social organization he met as the President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. This photo was given to me by historian Duong Trung Quoc, and I still keep it in my office at VCCI.

More than a month after making the Declaration of Independence, Uncle Ho sent a letter to the industrialist and commercialist circle on October 13, emphasizing: “The People's Government and I will be dedicated to helping the circle in this construction work.” More than anyone else, he clearly understood the role of entrepreneurs in a “strong and prosperous economy and finance.”

I read very carefully this two-hundred-word letter. I felt that it was really interesting. I consider it the Party’s first manifesto on entrepreneurs, which clearly affirms the mission and role of entrepreneurs in the national economy.

Previously, due to historical reasons, businesspeople had been treated as those subject to re-education for their profiteering motives. Their image was tarnished. But, in the early 21st century, entrepreneurs became viewed totally differently. They became a vanguard force in the market economy.

At that time, Mr. Duong Trung Quoc and I knew that the time had come to revitalize Uncle Ho's message and establish entrepreneurial roles in the new era. Therefore, we decided to materialize this with a proposal to Prime Minister Phan Van Khai.

This process was quite fast. The report was sent in late August 2004 and Prime Minister Khai signed the decision to choose October 13 as Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day on September 20.

(Excerpt from an interview with Dr. Vu Tien Loc, by Manh Nguyen - Investment Forum)