VOV1 interview: Business perspective in epidemics fighting and economy recover in Vietnam

In the program “News of the moment” broadcast live on VOV1 (News Channel – Voice of Vietnam), Mr. Nguyen Quang Huan, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Private Business Association, Chairman of Halcom Vietnam JSC. shared perspectives from entrepreneurs and businesses, on the initiative and creativity to complete double objectives: to thoroughly and effectively organize the epidemic prevention work in all social areas, as well as continue to recover and bring the economy back to normal – set in the new context of the year 2021 full of both favorable conditions as well as challenges and pressures.
Chủ tịch Nguyễn Quang Huân và biên tập viên VOV1
President Nguyen Quang Huan and editor of VOV1


For the full broadcast, please click: here.


VOV1: 2020 with many changes and challenges has passed for the business community. How do you think about this when you are a businessman and at the same time is the representative for the association organization  which gathers private businessmen across the country?

Mr. Huân: The pandemic has caused considerable damage to the world economy as well as in Vietnam in general and the business community in particular. According to the General Statistics Office, last year, there were nearly 102,000 businesses temporarily suspended, an average of nearly 8.5 thousand businesses withdrew from the market each month. However, the number of newly established businesses is more than 130,000. The quality of business is also higher, the average registered capital per enterprise increased by 32.3%, which is a good sign, especially there are many new types of business such as online businesses, public applications, tech start-ups in generation 8x, 9x range. Overall, the panorama is gray and pink, but the pink color still stands out. Our country is one of the few economies in the world with positive growth.

VOV1: After what the whole economy has gone through, when asked about “The key tasks in economic development in the coming period”, member of the Politburo, Head of the Central Economic Committee, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said: “We have many tasks and requirements that demonstrate the urgency and practice as well as long-term strategic and strategic goals of the country. First, the prevention of epidemic diseases must be thoroughly organized and effectively organized in all social areas. That is the principle of survival. Second, to continue to recover and switch the economy to a normal state – we must consider the new context of the year 2021 full of opportunities and favorable conditions as well as challenges and pressures. ” From the entrepreneur-business perspective, how do you view the “new context with favorable conditions and challenges” that the Head of the Central Economic Commission has just mentioned?

Mr. Huân: Vietnam has a long history of enduring hardships and overcoming difficulties to achieve objectives. Each difficult time is an opportunity for the whole community to unite and unanimously overcome difficulties to achieve common goals. The Party & Government that has grasped the opportunity to overcome difficulties, accumulate experience without freezing the economy, nor fully opening up like many other countries. Tt would be very good if we continue to maintain like that, continue to have positive growth momentum.

VOV1: How should we assess “pressure”, especially for the businessmen and private businesses?

Mr. Huân: There’s a lot of pressure on businesses, for e.g how to be persistent with the long-term strategy, how to promptly response to the current situation without forgetting the long-term mission and vision. With the pandemic situation, the business condition has changed dramatically. It’s a concern of how to maintain the growth of the business, to pivot in hard time, to keep the employees and attract the talents. I believe that all businesses remaining that restructured to be stronger, as well as the businessmen and partners have found a way to get over this and established better plan.

VOV1: One of the major year of economic balance was indicated by the Prime Minister as to “balance short-term priorities with long-term goals”. So in your opinion, have entrepreneurs and businesses identified this for a long time or is it still a story after a year of upheaval?

Mr. Huân: Every business, I think, has a long-term strategy, including short & medium term, then an annual plan. The annual plan needs to be flexible . For example Covid-19 happens, the supply chain changes, the short-term and annual plans must be adjusted immediately. The short term ones keep us on the ground.

VOV1: All directing information shows that the Government always embraces the situation and looks for solutions to support the whole economy. The remaining problem is the acumen of each businessman – business and efforts to unify will and act from the authorities. What do you think about this?

Mr. Huân: Businesses cannot operate effectively without macro guidance from the Government. Our Party and Government made timely decisions in order to suppor businesses, support employees on policies on tax, interest rates, etc. which is the driving force of problem solving to help businesses overcome difficulties. However, the Government can only support each industry group but cannot support each business. Businesses need to proactively grasp life to see opportunities in new contexts. About ministries, departments, the Government issues policies then they need to find a way to implement is. Mechanisms and policies from central to local agencies need to be implemented in a timely manner, synchronously, and must be very determined. For businesses, policies cannot cover all business activities, on the national level, too, laws and decrees cannot cover all aspects of socio-economic life, so there are times when it will help depends very much on the will of the collective leaders, of the localities. If you are not bold, not for the common goodness, and do not put the national interests first, then the decisions of the Party and the Government will be certainly delayed, so it will be regrettable..

VOV1: On the afternoon of February 18, the Prime Minister hosted an online meeting of the Standing Government with a number of localities on the project on comprehensive State management reform in the economic field, in which emphasizes on innovation of governance. State management towards the private economy must promote the innovative leading role of the private economy. Is there any solution in your opinion that you need to focus on in the coming period to achieve this goal?

Mr. Huân: This is very encouraging for businessmen. The private sector is facing a great opportunity to truly become one of the pillars of the economy. However, there is still a long way to go. And for the private sector to fulfill its tasks as expected in the XIII Congress Resolution, by 2045, Vietnam will become an industrialized country, and by 2030 , the private sector accounts for more than 60%, (currently 42-43%). This is a huge requirement for the private sector. Currently, we have many good mechanisms and policies, but the synchronous implementation and monitoring from the central to local levels, from ministries and agencies and it should be focused. The private economy develops only when the environment is really healthy and clean. When ensuring fairness and transparency for businesses, each business, as a cell, will develop in a healthy way, then the whole body – the whole economy will surely prosper.

VOV1: What do you think about improving the national competitive environment?

Mr. Huân: In order to do this, there needs to be not only the determination of the Party and the Government but also the determination of the whole society, and we cannot go unreasonably fast, we cannot rush because it depends on many socioeconomic factors. Government policies are in place, but it still needs the entire people to participate. To grow stably, we must grow sustainably. But to develop sustainably, we must not only develop economically, but also develop the environment and society. If businesses and state agencies are well aware, we look in the same direction, with determination to act, and when ensuring a healthy society, businesses will do business in an equal environment and with integrity, they will be free to develop and create, and state agencies do not have do anecdotally, because then everything is transparent.

VOV1: How should the initiative and creativity of business people and businesses be strengthened when the last Party Congress has affirmed to encourage enterprises to participate in developing new industries?

Mr. Huân: This is completely consistent with the era of technology 4.0. If we do not innovate but only see what other countries do and do exactly the same, then we cannot run be the first but forever follow other people. To become a modern industrial country, we need to be ahead of others at a very fast speed. If we want to go at a fast speed, only applying new technology, we have to do what the world has not done.