From its inception, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has focused on maintaining and expanding cooperation between Vietnam and other countries, to meet the needs of economic development. From having relations with some countries, VCCI now has relationships with hundreds of enterprises, international and regional organisations. The prestige and power of VCCI has been recognized by domestic and foreign institutions through specific, effective support activities and it is considered one of the most dynamic Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the region.
Meeting the requirements of the country
In the first phase, an important task in international cooperation of VCCI was, through exchanges, to expand economic ties with other countries and break the siege and economic blockade; and implement market research activities and international trade rules study to prepare for the expansion of economic activities in the future. VCCI activities this period were closely associated with the mission and requirements of the country and have achieved positive results. VCCI has contributed to penetrating number of capitalist countries markets, breaking the siege and embargo and laying the foundation to build trade relations and trade exchange with other countries.
During the renovation in 1986, VCCI was one of the leading organisations in promoting trade relations between Vietnam and other countries, as well as calling and attracting foreign investment into Vietnam. In this period, VCCI was almost the single gateway for trade, cooperation and investment between Vietnam and foreign countries. VCCI has been a pioneer in exploring and expanding international markets, including markets where Vietnam had no diplomatic relations, such as the US, South Korea, Israel and Japan.
In the current period, in the process of integration and development, trade promotion and international cooperation are always VCCI’s top priority. VCCI has joined the delegation on economics and trade, the committee of bilateral and multilateral economic cooperation and international economic organisations such as: the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and the Mekong Sub-region Business Forum, and coordinated with the International Secretariat ASEAN BAC to organise ASEAN Business Awards in 2011.
To expand international cooperation and create business opportunities for exchange and cooperation with foreign enterprises, VCCI often coordinates to organise Vietnam Business Forums with key markets such as Vietnam–Africa business forum, Vietnam–China business forum, Vietnam–EU business forum, Vietnam–Japan business forum, Vietnam–US business forum; Vietnam – Russia Business Council, Vietnam–Saudi Arabia Business Council, Vietnam–South Africa Business Council; APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC); and ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC). The forums focus on programs to meet businesses; workshops introduce market and business opportunities; provide information, counselling for domestic and foreign enterprises on a specific market; publishing products of export business with key markets; training organisation promoting trade or cultural exchanges to enhance understanding between the Vietnamese business community and the world.
It can be said that VCCI’s current success stems from its expanded cooperation and active integration with all the organisations and agencies that contribute to improving the business environment, thereby creating close links between businesses and associations with VCCI, between VCCI and international organisations.
One of the activities of VCCI appreciated by business community is the active organizing to welcome foreign business delegations to Vietnam to survey the market, and organizing Vietnamese groups to go overseas seeking opportunities for investment. According to the report, in 2012, VCCI received 240 groups representing more than 14,000 foreign businesses into Vietnam, including 11 national head entourage delegations, and sent 110 groups representing 6,000 Vietnamese enterprises to attend international conferences, market surveys, participate in fairs and exhibitions, including three large delegation accompanying Heads and senior leaders of Vietnam. In addition, every year, VCCI organises hundreds of seminars, conferences and business contact meetings with the participation of numerous domestic and foreign enterprises.
Besides, VCCI is also actively involved in the activities, regional and international organisations such as: ASEAN, APEC and the ASEAN Business Award. The workshops organised by VCCI are highly appreciated. Most recently, on the occasion of the 19th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM), VCCI collaborated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, the European Delegation in Vietnam and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam to hold the 3rd ASEAN-EU Business Summit (AEBS) with the participation of approximately 500 enterprises from the EU, ASEAN and Vietnam. This was an opportunity to showcase the potential of trade and investments in Vietnam, ASEAN and the EU, and at the same time create opportunities for businesses to meet and speak directly with ASEAN and EU partners.
At the ABAC Conference in 2005 held in South Korea, VCCI took over the role of Chairman of ABAC 2006. In the year of APEC when Vietnam was Chairman of ABAC, VCCI, along with Vietnam ABAC members, organised activities of ABAC both inside and outside the country; took advantage of opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to expand and integrate; contributed a common voice in the APEC business community to advise APEC Economic Leaders to complete and facilitate the business environment; simultaneously grasped the development trend of the world economy, and actively participated in international economic integration. The successful organisation of the event on the sidelines of APEC showed the role of VCCI in the context of the current integration. Through it, the Vietnamese enterprises promoted cooperation opportunities and potential business investment to international and regional businesses.
VCCI is now actively involved in the overall operation of the ABAC. In 2011, VCCI organised a business delegation accompanying President Truong Tan Sang to attend the 19th APEC in Honolulu, including nearly 60 businesses. In 2012, VCCI successfully organised the 3rd ABAC Meeting from July 16-19, 2012 in Ho Chi Minh City. Mr Hoang Van Dung, VCCI Executive Vice President, is now the Chairman of ABAC Vietnam, Co-Chairman of ABAC’s Action Plan and Advocacy Working Group in 2012.
In addition, within the framework of the support program for international business integration, VCCI also promoted the provision of information to businesses through a variety of different channels including electronic portal WTO and integration via the address www.trungtamwto.vn (Vietnamese version) and www.wtocenter.vn (English version) in order to provide all updated information on the system of legal documents, the WTO documents, the international trade agreements that Vietnam is negotiating or had signed; business online support and associations about the WTO.
After 50 years of construction and development, VCCI has pushed efforts to promote activities as the organisation representing the business community, a team of business and labour users, the trade and investment promotion organisation and business development assistance in Vietnam.