By staff writers – Translated by Uyen Phuong
Hanoi (VNA) – Taking place on March 7, an online charity auction in Malaysia, a meeting and musical festival in Macau ( China ), and a contest in Laos were among the activities held by Vietnamese overseas in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8.
The Vietnamese women’s union in Malaysia hosted the charity auction on its Facebook page, auctioning products made by female Vietnamese expatriates. In just over an hour, more than 100 different products were sold for nearly 7,500 RM (42 million VND), which was channelled into the union’s charity fund to help disadvantaged people.
The friendship association of Vietnamese in Macau, which has more than 8,000 female members, held a meeting and musical festival in a bid to cheer up participants and encourage them to overcome the difficulties amid the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the association of Vietnamese in Vientiane held a celebration and a contest to honour Vietnamese women in the country.
Vu Tu Oanh, a counsellor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos, lauded the female group’s contribution to the growth of the association./.
|Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh granted Madame Nga a certificate for her valuable contributions to the ASEAN business community|
BRG Group, under the apt leadership of chairwoman Nguyen Thi Nga, has gone out of its way to share the burdens of the communities in Vietnam and incite businesses across the ASEAN to greater action for the common good.
Last year’s difficulties forced a halt to most large-scale community events. But going against the grain, the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) were still organised to honour the bloc’s best performers, continuing an annual tradition going back to 2007.
Nga, an organiser of ABA 2020, shared that the year was a hard one for both ASEAN and Vietnamese businesses but it was also a year for kind-hearted actions and activities that need to be recognised and honoured. “That is the reason why we could not allow the ceremony to be cancelled – to highlight businesses which have not only been working to maintain development but also to make significant contributions to the prevention of the pandemic,” she said.
“The prime minister expressed his full support for us to organise the annual event. His belief was great motivation for us to go ahead with this prestigious and meaningful ceremony for the business community during the hard time of the pandemic,” Nga shared with VIR.
As a result, 58 corporations from across ASEAN were honoured in 10 categories at ABA 2020 last November in Hanoi, sharing the stories of each entrepreneur and business to inspire the public and the entrepreneurial community to greater action.
“In 2020, many ASEAN businesses and entrepreneurs have been on the frontlines of COVID-19 action. The business community has helped mitigate the damage on the regional economy while ensuring jobs for employees and maintaining business growth,” Nga said. “At the same time, they have contributed great and valuable resources to epidemic prevention and control in their respective countries. This dedication deserves to be brought to the public eye, which was the primary aim of the 2020 edition of ABA.”
She called businesses that received the ABA awards in 2020 the pride of the ASEAN Economic Community. “However, they also have a great responsibility to continue demonstrating this bravery and spread the outstanding values of the ASEAN Business Awards to all,” she added.
At the awards ceremony, she reminded outstanding businesses that “We should consider the ASEAN as a common house where we can trust and cooperate with each other and reach for new heights.”
Armoured with this spirit, she was certain the ASEAN business community would be able to together find the right way and effective solutions to turn the dangers into benefits for all.
Joining the delegation of BRG Group to present gifts for the central coastal provinces after 2020’s serious floods and storms was a determining experience for Hung Khanh, a young BRG employee. Born and raised in the city and witnessing the destruction the elements wrought on the lives of the poor has been a real eye opener, giving Khanh and other young employees a new perspective on life and the true meaning behind crucial corporate social responsibility activities.
Through this and such trips, chairwoman Nga shares her enthusiasm and spirit with BRG employees to light a fire in the minds and hearts of the next generation of corporate leaders. After the trip, she expressed confidence that the younger generation will maintain BRG’s business culture of sharing both the woes and happiness of the communities it serves – the same way it did in 2020, a year of tremendous fluctuations for the group when all key projects, from hotels and resorts to golf and services, were impacted by the pandemic.
Leading business ecosystem
BRG Group is a leading multidisciplinary group operating in banking, real estate, and golf. It has cooperated with various leading international hospitality management groups to enrich the Vietnamese tourism scene with high-end hotel and resort brands, including Sheraton Grand Danang Resort, InterContinental Hanoi Westlake, Hilton Hanoi Opera, and Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa.
The chairwoman’s contributions to the golf industry earned Nga a spot on the list of Asia’s Most Powerful People in Golf for the last five consecutive years, for clearing the path for the Vietnamese golf scene to become one of the most attractive golf tourism destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Many of BRG Group’s high-ranking golf courses were driving this rise such as BRG Kings Island Golf Resort, BRG Danang Golf Resort, BRG Legend Hill Golf Resort, and BRG Ruby Tree Golf Resort, all designed by golf legend Greg Norman and Nicklaus Design.
Furthermore, in real estate, BRG Group is known for its unique and high-end properties that satisfy the expectations of residents and investors while elevating living standards across Vietnam.
BRG Group commands a great deal of attention from high-income local and domestic clients and investors with its various high-end properties such as BRG Legend (Haiphong), BRG Diamond Residence, Le Grand Jardin, and BerRiver Jardin (Hanoi).
Chairwoman Nga summed up her ethos at the brand announcement ceremony of BRGLand. “Each time we invest in a new project, we devote all our mind and heart to it as if we were building our own home. All BRG designs and constructs aim to create new high-class living standards and also to bring the best experiences for both residents and communities.”
By Phong Lan
As 2020 is coming to end, how do you evaluate the development of businesses that received recognition during the Vietnam Value Programme?
|Vu Ba Phu, director general of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade|
After 17 years of running the programme with seven times choosing national brands, we have witnessed the continuous growth of many domestic enterprises. At the first selection in 2008, we saw only 30 chosen companies with their products. By 2018, this number had grown to 97, and this year we have recorded 124 enterprises and their brands.
However, the growth of the business community has not only happened in the number of participating businesses, but also export turnover, sales, and their contribution to the state budget, as well as their efforts in social responsibility and job creation. For example, firms recognised as national brands in 2018 reached a revenue of about VND907 trillion ($39.4 billion), with their export turnover amounting to VND130 trillion ($5.6 billion), contributing VND85 trillion ($3.7 billion) to the state budget and creating 340,000 jobs. Meanwhile, in this year, these numbers have climbed to VND975 trillion ($42.4 billion) and VND123 trillion ($5.34 billion) in 2020, respectively, with contributions to the state budget amounting to VND197 trillion ($8.5 billion) and 350,000 new jobs created – all this despite the pandemic.
What are the main differences between the 2020 programme and previous years’ iterations?
This year has been a special one as most of the businesses were affected by the health crisis, even making it difficult for the organisers of the Vietnam Value Programme to obtain applications, organise conferences, and disseminate information.
Facing these circumstances, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) responded quickly and directed our Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) to coordinate with relevant ministries and localities to implement online procedures for the programme. For example, we deployed online forms for the submission of applications, set up 24-hour consulting groups to assist businesses in completing their documents, and organised online conferences and seminars to support them with understanding the regulations and selection criteria of the programme.
This year was also the first that VIETRADE received applications and chose the national brands following the prime minister’s Decision No.30/2019/QD-TTg, under which applications were accepted no later than April 30. However, this was the most stressful time in our country’s fight against the pandemic, with enterprises facing many difficulties in complying with this deadline.
In this context, the MoIT has proposed to the government and related ministries to extend the application deadline and offered the aforementioned online services. In the end, more than 1,000 businesses still applied for the programme, more than in 2018 with only 900 applications despite the absence of an international health crisis.
How have the organising institutions handled the additional pressure from the pandemic during this year’s programme?
The pressure for the organisers and the chosen companies was very real. We had to effectively support businesses, overcome geographical distances, change the habit of meeting face to face, and redirect marketing and promotion efforts through online channels instead of traditional ones.
Nonetheless, everyone involved in this year’s programme has handled the situation flexibly and contributed to support businesses in promoting products in the domestic and foreign markets.
In addition to the introduced online procedures, we have also transmitted the data of the programme and the chosen companies and brands to Vietnam’s commercial counsellors in 63 countries to introduce this year’s businesses to these markets.
Some enterprises commented that the criteria of the programme were too strict compared to the general level of domestic enterprises. What is your view?
The criteria for selecting national brands are indeed very strict because this is a programme to select prestigious products that represent the image of Vietnamese goods in the domestic and international markets, especially high-end ones such as the EU, Japan, and the US. Therefore, we have referred to foreign exporting standards to research and build the criteria that were finally applied in the selection process.
How have chosen enterprises been supported to increase their competitiveness?
The Vietnam Value Programme is not an award, rather the government’s commitment to accompany business in their endeavour to grow and present our country’s high-quality goods and services inside and outside of our borders. An enterprise chosen as national brand receives the government’s threefold support.
Firstly, when participating in the programme, companies can use the national brand logo and the identification system in business administration and trade communication, according to the regulations.
In addition, the MoIT has been working closely with other ministries and localities to implement additional marketing campaigns and raise awareness within the society and business community, thus also supporting participating enterprises.
Furthermore, the ministry provides technical assistance on branding and development, thereby helping businesses protect their brand names, contributing to improving their competitiveness in the domestic and international markets.
VIETRADE is and will continue to carry out additional support programmes and help to promote national brands on mass media and invite these businesses to domestic and international exhibitions to raise their public exposure.
For example, for products related to food, we give priority to supporting enterprises to participate in major fairs and exhibitions around the world, such as the Sial Fair in Paris, certain exhibitions in Germany, and the Milan Fair in Italy – all important international fairs that exporting businesses cannot ignore.
At the same time, we are inviting international experts to research and develop specific strategies for each field to further support businesses and the promotion of their products on global media channels.
What are the MoIT’s plans to bring national brands to the global stage?
The ministry has proactively encouraged leaders of the Party, the state, and the government to further the negotiation and signing of new-generation free trade agreements, thereby expanding the scope of export markets for businesses, especially those with national brands here.
In addition, the MoIT is also developing a commodity import-export strategy for the next 10 years, which aims at identifying priority markets and avoiding dependence on several traditional markets to reduce risks related to trade remedies, while ensuring sustainable development for domestic enterprises. Accordingly, we will also see some specialised trade promotions to support national brands in international markets.
How has the MoIT been supporting businesses that struggled with exports and a forced return to the domestic market this year?
After the initial months of the health crisis, the domestic market had been redefined. From the beginning of the year, following the directions of the government, the MoIT has worked with ministries, agencies, and localities to implement supply and demand actions across the country to remove companies’ difficulties in production and distribution.
In addition, to support businesses with high-quality brands, we have also been integrating chosen brands in national promotions like the Clean Food Programme to endorse Vietnamese goods to locals. The integration of such programmes has helped the domestic market’s growth since the beginning of the year, despite the economic consequences of the pandemic. This shows that the communication, promotion, and support efforts of the MoIT and its agencies have so far been effective.
By Hai Van
Hanoi-Exhibition: Those who do not move, do not notice their chains
Opening (online launching): Mar 5
Hanoi-Online exhibition featuring shared culture of Vietnam, Australia
HCMC-Exhibitions: ‘Within / Between / Beneath / Upon’ & ‘Home: Looking inwards to the outer world’
HCMC-Exhibition: Art and Peace
Opening: Mar 10, 6 pm
HCMC-Saigon Interplay Exhibition
Until Mar 21, 8 am – 5 pm
The exhibition offers 22 different ideas presenting through different mediums including conceptual models, videos, photographs that provide a unique experience for visitors. Come and explore with us!
Screening of seven French movies
Mar 1-Dec 31
Featuring seven classic and modern French movies.
The films will be screened in 10 cities and provinces nationwide, including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Thai Nguyen, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Lao Cai, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, and Can Tho.