15-Year Dramatic Growth of Vietnamese Entrepreneurs

11:41:01 AM | 11/10/2019

In the past 15 years, the Vietnamese entrepreneur force has developed strongly in pace with the country's growth. Since Prime Minister Phan Van Khai signed the decision adopting October 13 as “Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day” on September 20, 2004, Vietnamese enterprises and entrepreneurs have grown significantly in quantity and quality to enhance the country's position in the international arena.

Affirming the importance of entrepreneurs

To uphold the role and tradition of Vietnamese businesspeople, to inspire social strata to build and develop stronger businesses and businesspeople to meet national industrialization and modernization requirements, at the request of the President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Vietnam Business Association, on September 20, 2004, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai signed Decision 990/QD-TTg adopting October 13 as the Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Day. This affirmed the entrepreneurial position in the socio-political life of the country. Since then, businesspeople have been truly recognized as social actors, and the Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day, in addition to honoring entrepreneurs and confirming their position, stimulates entrepreneurship and the nation's desire for prosperity.

The Prime Minister’s decision assigning October 13 as Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day is of profound historical significance. On that day in 1945, President Ho Chi Minh sent a letter to the Vietnamese industrialist and commercialist circle, shortly after the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In his letter, he clearly stated the role and importance of this circle in building a strong economy and finance, closely aligning business prosperity with national development.

The Political Report of the Central Party Executive Committee at the 10th National Party Congress defines the necessity of promoting the entrepreneurial role, changing the social cognition and thinking towards entrepreneurs and respecting entrepreneurs. These are important milestones on the path of innovation to realize Uncle Ho's teachings on businesses and entrepreneurs.

Along with the birth of the Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day, the Politburo issued Resolution 09/NQ-TW dated December 9, 2011 on building and promoting the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the process of accelerating industrialization, modernization and international integration. The Resolution clearly points out guiding viewpoints, objectives, directions and tasks in building and promoting the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs.

In addition, the 5th Plenary Meeting of the Party Central Committee (12th term) issued two resolutions on enterprises: Resolution 10-NQ/TW 2017 on developing the private economy into a driving force of the socialist-oriented market economy, and Resolution 12/NQ/TW 2017 on restructuring, renovating and improving the performance of State-owned enterprises. The Government has also issued policies and resolutions to promote rapid and effective business development such as Resolution 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016 on business support and development to 2020; Resolution 19/NQ-CP (present-day Resolution 02/NQ-CP) on continued implementation of key tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness to 2020. Vietnamese enterprises have developed rapidly and made positive contributions to stable and sustainable economic growth.

Billionaires and ongoing growth

According to Forbes, in 2018, Vietnam had two more names on the world’s billionaire list including Mr. Tran Ba Duong, President of Truong Hai Auto Corporation, and Mr. Tran Dinh Long, President of Hoa Phat Group. Together with another two, Mr. Pham Nhat Vuong and Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vietnam had four billionaires on the global wealth list. They are exemplary for the strong transformation of the Vietnamese business class, from formation to development and globalization.

During three decades of reform and 15 years of Vietnam Entrepreneurs Day, the business community has joined efforts with the Party and the State to reform institutions and improve the business environment. Entrepreneurs all actively and responsibly engage in business meetings, conferences, seminars, business forums, policy advisory councils and working groups led by the Government. The Party Central Committee, the National Assembly, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Party Committees and the People's Councils at all levels also have representatives of the business community. (This is a specific characteristic, not seen in all countries). Public - business dialogues and meetings are an effective mechanism to promote democratic rights in the practice of formulating and enforcing policies in Vietnam, and are an important source of success in the cause of national renovation and reform.

Vietnam will strive to have one million active enterprises by 2020. In recent years, with the close and effective guidance of the Government and the Prime Minister, the efforts of central and local authorities and agencies, Vietnam has seen a rising number of active enterprises and newly founded enterprises which are making positive contributions to national and local economic growth. As of December 31, 2018, the country had 714,755 active corporate entities, driven by rapidly-increased new establishments in recent years. Each of the past three years, more than 100,000 companies have been founded (110,100 in 2016; 126,859 in 2017; and 131,275 in 2018).

The above figures show the strong growth in both number and quality of businesses as well as the role and influence of Vietnamese businessmen in the country's construction and development. The twists and turns of world history have shown that a country will never grow if it does not have a successful entrepreneur force, discriminates against entrepreneurs, or does not have a favorable and safe environment for them to demonstrate their capabilities.

Although there are difficulties and constraints in each stage of development, the Vietnamese business class is very active in many fields. Many Vietnamese businesspeople have built strong Vietnamese brands of agricultural products and seafood such as Trung Nguyen coffee, Phu Quoc fish sauce and Moc Chau snow tea. In addition, aspirations to reach the world have been illustrated by many Vietnamese entrepreneurs active in aviation, real estate and construction sectors.

The above achievements come from the dynamic and bold approach of Vietnamese businesspeople. In the future, if the social environment and legal environment are favorable enough, Vietnamese entrepreneurs will be further enabled to promote their strengths and potential to reach the world.

Quynh Chi