HCM CITY (VNS) — Transparency is an important element in improving the productivity of a business and gaining the trust and loyalty of stakeholders, a forum heard in HCM City yesterday.
Transparency referred to carrying out activities in an open manner and without secretiveness so that people could trust that they are fair and honest, said Pham Anh Duong, business integrity manager at Towards Transparency, the national contact of Transparency International, a global civil society movement working to stop corruption, in Viet Nam.
A recent study by the Government Inspectorate and the World Bank had found that transparent companies developed faster and more sustainably than non-transparent ones, he said.
"Another survey done by our organisation found that 60 per cent of people are willing to pay higher prices to buy products from transparent companies."
With deeper international integration, besides complying with Vietnamese legal regulations, local companies must also prove that they had a strong transparent system and integrity to take part in the supply chain of multinational companies, he said.
It was an opportunity but also a challenge for businesses in ushering in transparency in their operations, he said.
Besides product quality, customers also paid increasing attention to the social responsibility of businesses, he said.
Many Vietnamese firms were aware of the need for transparency but were still concerned about the practical benefits of transparency and did not know how to systematically become transparent, he said.
Government agencies, international organisations and others were carrying out programmes to support businesses that wanted to adopt transparency, he added.
Nguyen Quang Vinh, director general of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)'s Office for Sustainable Business Development, said the VCCI was assigned to co-ordinate with relevant agencies to carry out Project 12, an action plan for speeding up an initiative to usher in integrity in business.
Transparency was one of the solutions to reduce corruption and fraud, he said.
Florian Beranek, lead expert, social responsibility, at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, said business needed transparency in operation, development, reaching customers and competition in the market.
Of the seven principles – accountability, transparency, ethical behavior, and respect for stakeholder interests, the rule of law, international norms of behavior, and human rights - for a responsible organisation, transparency served as the foundation for the others, he said.
Without transparency, it was hard to follow the other principles, he added. — VNS