US-Vietnam project promotes sustainable growth

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by KnowESG
Picture of US-Vietnam project promoting private sector sustainable growth

Vietnam’s ministry of planning and investment (MPI) and the US Embassy in the country recently announced an initiative to spur private sector-driven sustainable and inclusive growth across the country and promote socially-conscious business behaviour, called environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

USAID assistant administrator for Asia Michael Schiffer and vice minister of planning and investment Tran Quoc Phuong announced the ESG initiative at a USAID-supported business forum.

This first-ever ESG initiative for Vietnam targets small and growing businesses (SGBs) that account for more than nine-tenths of the country’s private sector, employ more than half of the workforce, and contribute roughly 40 per cent of the gross domestic product.

The initiative will deliver ESG technical assistance packages to 300 businesses by 2025, of which 10 will receive additional assistance to pilot, implement, or scale their innovative ESG business concepts.

The effort supports Vietnam’s Green Growth Strategy 2021-2030, and the prime minister’s Decision 167 on supporting private enterprises in sustainable business.

Investors use ESG standards to measure how a company protects the environment; manages its relationships with workers, customers, and the communities where it operates; and employs transparent and accountable corporate governance.

“USAID is pleased to launch this new initiative with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, which will help small businesses improve their competitiveness and innovation, overcome constraints, chart a path for sustainable growth and job creation, and continue to contribute to Vietnam’s prosperity,” Schiffer was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The new initiative is part of USAID’s $36-million Improving Private Sector Competitiveness (IPSC) project. IPSC removes policy, market, and firm-level barriers to the growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SGBs), including those owned by women and other vulnerable groups.

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