In his opening note to the workshop, Mr. Mark Billington, South East Asia Regional Director ICAEW said: “Vietnam is ranked among the three fastest growing economies in the region and remains a place to be for foreign investors. For businesses in Vietnam to upgrade their competitiveness and build trust with investors, a good whistleblowing and corporate governance system have a vital role.
“Together, these two components will help businesses resolve internal disputes efficiently and lay the groundwork for their own sustainable development, which eventually contributes to the sustainable development of the economy as a whole.
“That’s why ICAEW joined forces with VIOD and the British embassy to hold this workshop to share useful and necessary knowledge for the Vietnamese business community.”
Ms. Elizabeth Richards, Head of Corporate Governance, ICAEW told the workshop: “This Code places emphasis on businesses building trust by forging strong relationships with key stakeholders. The new code underscores that trust is essential in promoting transparency and integrity in business for society as a whole.”
One of the two keynote topics of this morning’s workshop, Elizabeth’s presentation titled “How whistleblowing helps companies”, was much welcomed by local business participants.
|Ms.Elizabeth Richards, Head of Corporate Governance, ICAEW was sharing how whistleblowing helps companies at the workshop held in HCMC|
Whistleblowing is considered a major factor in businesses successfully controlling fraud, especially finance companies. This mechanism not only helps detect wrongdoing in organisations, but is also used as a corporate governance tool which prevents and deters fraudulent activity and helps protect the good name of businesses and their sustainable development.
As Elizabeth pointed out, for an internal whistle-blowing system to work, businesses need to keep whistle-blowers well protected.
“First of all, companies need to keep whistleblower identity confidential, because in many cases, being a whistle-blower may mean putting oneself in harm’s way. In the UK now, businesses often refuse to give financial incentives to whistle–blowers and instead offer support for them to find a new job.
“In some lines of work such as aviation and combating money laundering, whistle-blowing has become a must and employees are often made responsible to report on one another. At many companies, the responsibility for internal whistleblowing is even written in the labour contract.”
Mr. Nguyen Viet Thinh, CEO of Vietnam Institute of Directors (VIOD) made a presentation on “Whistleblowing from a local perspective”.
“As businesses from Vietnam are increasingly integrating themselves with the regional and global economies, corporate governance, transparency and improved trust with investors are critical requirements,” he said.
We hope that by sharing the best international practices as well as the best practices of corporate governance and whistle -blowing, this will help the BOD members lead the business to success.”
Closing the workshop, Mr. Ed Vaizey MP, UK Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, said: “I am very impressed by the growth of Vietnam economy in the last few years and robust growth of the stock market. I believe that good corporate governance practices will help Vietnam to attract more UK investors into the countries through both foreign direct and indirect investment. The UK is very proud to be one of the world leaders in education and financial services. I am very glad that organisations like ICAEW have been very proactive around the world sharing knowledge, ethical standards and increasing capability of finance and accounting professionals.”
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