(03 April 2023)
Sunwah – On the afternoon of 3 April 2023, the workshop “From Compliance to Competitiveness: How ESG integration benefits Vietnam’s businesses” was successfully held at Sunwah Convention Center, Ho Chi Minh City, in order to raise awareness of integrating ESG standards in business and operation strategies of Vietnamese enterprises. The workshop was organized by Sunwah Vietnam in collaboration with the Business School of the University of Hong Kong and VinaCapital, and supported by the Vietnam Institute of Directors (VIOD) and United Overseas Bank (UOB) Vietnam, with media partner Quickom.
The event was attended by more than 80 leaders from many domestic and international businesses, experts in ESG from universities and supporting organizations. Notably, the event is delighted to welcome the distinguished guests Mr. Sam Wood, Deputy Consul General of the British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, and Mrs. Sureerat Punduang, General Secretary of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.
Representing the organizers Mr Jesse Choi, Regional Director of Sunwah Group in Southeast Asia, and speakers and honorary guest
Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) has been becoming an increasingly important consideration for businesses around the world, as investors, customers and other stakeholders demand greater transparency and socially responsible leadership. In Vietnam, ESG is also gaining momentum driven by the Government’s agenda towards ESG practices and growing sustainable investments.
Delivering the welcome remarks, Mr. Jesse Choi, Regional Director of Sunwah Group in Southeast Asia and CEO of Sunwah Innovations, said, “With more than 50 years of operation in Vietnam, we believe that our success is not only measured by financial performance but also by the positive impacts we have been creating for our stakeholders, customers, employees and the local communities in which we operate. Sunwah’s mission is to continue pursuing sustainable development and achieve many more 50-year milestones in Vietnam.”
Mr. Jesse Choi, Regional Director of Sunwah Group in Southeast Asia and CEO of Sunwah Innovations
As the first keynote speaker, Professor Roni Michaely, Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship, the University of Hong Kong, gave an overview of the ESG concept and successful case studies of ESG from Israel. He shared the groundbreaking innovations that Israel has successfully adopted when facing challenges related to putting ESG into practice, especially in the field of environmental technology, coping with climate change and the information technology sector.
Professor Roni Michaely, Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship, the University of Hong Kong
Mr. Cong Vu, Director, Head of ESG, VinaCapital, introduced the overview of applying ESG in Vietnamese businesses. From the perspective of an ESG expert, he pointed out the barriers that currently make Vietnamese businesses hesitate to apply ESG in business activities, such as cost and lack of professional skills related to ESG. He also mentioned that improving the transparency and disclosure of a business when applying ESG well will help raise the brand image in the eyes of not only investors but also the community.
Mr. Cong Vu, Director, Head of ESG, VinaCapital
Ms. Ha Phan, Business Ecosystem Director, USAID – Improving Private Sector Competitiveness (IPSC), shared information from a government perspective on promoting the sustainable development of the private sector in Vietnam. Specifically, Ms. Ha Phan highlighted the short-term goals to 2025 set by USAID IPSC in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Investment in supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow and catch up with the global trend of sustainable development, as well as the contents that private businesses can propose support from USAID IPSC.
Ms. Ha Phan, Business Ecosystem Director, USAID – Improving Private Sector Competitiveness (IPSC)
The panel discussion saw the sharing of many opinions from expert including Professor Roni Michaely, Mr. Cong Vu, Ms. Dong Ho, Deputy CEO of Khang An Foods; and Dr. Hien Nguyen, Director in Charge, Thought Leadership and Academic Committee, VIOD. The attendees also asked questions related to the problems that businesses are facing when integrating ESG into governance, as well as how to apply ESG effectively in their operation, business development and investment attraction.
Panel discussion “ESG Integration in Vietnam”
The event is an opportunity for business leaders and experts to discuss how to integrate ESG elements into core business strategies to create value for the company as well as for society as a whole. Sunwah Group and the co-organizers hope to bring multi-dimensional perspectives, valuable experiences and useful resources to promote and spread the integration of ESG in the local business community.