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Time for business sector to take collective action on integrity

“The Integrity Alliance is envisaged as a community of institutions, organisations and professionals who support each other to promote the standards of integrity across all sectors and engage collectively in anti – corruption initiatives.” Conrad Zellmann, Deputy Executive Director, Towards Transparency

The Vietnam Integrity Alliance was introduced to almost 100 participants at two networking events amongst business chambers, business leaders, trade promotion agencies, and CSOs. These events were jointly organized by EuroCham Vietnam, Towards Transparency, with funding from the British Embassy on 22nd April in Hanoi and 24th April in Ho Chi Minh City. Each networking event was co – hosted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce, the British Business Group Vietnam and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The concept of an integrity alliance was developed from a series of discussions surrounding the Anti – Corruption Dialogue in 2013. So far, Chambers and leading businesses consulted in Vietnam agree that an Integrity Alliance is an appropriate framework for business – ledcollective action on integrity.

The Vietnam Integrity Alliance aims to advocate and advance principles of business integrity, transparency and accountability in Vietnam, while helping to promote Vietnam as an attractive investment destination.

During these two events, business experts from Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam and South East Asia joined a panel discussion with interested participants. The panelists themselves, and a number of Chambers and businesses throughout the country have expressed their commitment to join theVietnam Integrity Alliance. Understanding both advantages and challenges of doing business in Vietnam, they all believe that the Alliance can be a driving and uniting force behind their collective action to support positive changes in the business environment and to demonstrate business leadership on integrity.

It is expected that a number of chamber and business representatives will take initiative and volunteer to form a Steering Committee. This Steering Committee will be charged with determining the structure and operation of the Alliance, and promoting the Alliance to business associations, industry groups, SMEs and large companies, as well as government agencies. While being led by the business community, the Alliance can count on support from a range of actors, amongst whom government support and participation will be critical for the Alliance to be successful.