International Workshop “Equality in Accessing Resources for Vietnamese Enterprises: Lessons Learned from International Experiences”

This workshop was organized by the Institute of State and Law in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Vietnam on May 21st, 2019 at Sheraton hotel, No.11 Xuan Dieu street, Tay Ho, Hanoi.

The workshop welcomed the presence of foreign delegates and researchers, including: Mr. Peter Girke (Head of KAS office in Vietnam); Prof. Dr. Anna Sobaczewska, LL.M. Piotr Polak, LL.M. Joanna Florecka (Institute of Law Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences); Prof. Dr. Sangin Park (Seoul National University, South Korea).


Managers and researchers from the Ministry of Justice; National Academy of Public Administration; Hanoi Law University; the Faculty of Law (Vietnam National University); Hue University of Law; the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, the Institute for European Studies (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences) attended and participated in the discussion at the workshop.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Minh delivered the opening speech


In the opening speech of the workshop, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Minh, Director of the Institute of State and Law re-affirmed: Resolution No. 35/2016/NQ-CP of the Government recognized the principle that the State ensured equal rights for all businesses regardless of economic forms, sectors to access resources. However, in practice, there were still many issues in need of resolution to ensure the equal right. This workshop was an opportunity to discuss about difficulties and challenges in accessing to resources of enterprises in Vietnam as well as sharing relevant experiences from Germany, Poland, South Korea, the United States, China and Thailand.


Followed up was the speech from Mr. Peter Girke. He outlined some of the challenges that enterprises faced when accessing to resources such as land, finance, recruitment costs, etc. One of the measures to address these challenges was to improve the legal system. This workshop was a forum for foreign and domestic researchers to make recommendations to ensure access to resources. He thanked the Institute of State and Law for the enthusiasm and effective cooperation with KAS and wished for the success of the workshop.


The first session was entitled “Enterprises’ access to resources: International approach” chaired by Prof. Dr. Sangin Park and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Nhu Phat (the Institute of State and Law). The first presentation was made by Prof. Dr. Anna Sobaczewska on “Poland’s experience in improving policies to promote equality for enterprises”. The presentation included 3 main parts:

  • The development of the principle of economic freedom and justice, particularly in the context of political changes in Poland since the 20th century;
  • The principle of social market economy and economic freedom as a fundamental element in the Polish economic life;
  • European Union Law and the assurance of freedom and fairness of businesses.


The principle of social market economy and economic freedom are two out of four fundamental principles that established the framework for the economic system stipulated in Article 20 of the Polish Constitution. The Polish Constitutional Court emphasized that the economic freedom included the ability to establish and conduct business with the primary aim of profit. This is not only a legal form, a constitutional principle but also a right with constitutional value. An individual may use the same rights as the State or a public agency and be protected through the Constitutional Court.


LL.M. Chu Thi Thanh An


Afterwards, the presentation of LL.M. Chu Thi Thanh An (the Institute of State and Law) on “Equality of enterprises in accessing and using resources for development: Experience from the USA”, followed. To legally ensure the equality of business in accessing to resources, the US had enacted antitrust laws and support small and medium enterprises. Competition was the backbone of the US economic policy and the antitrust law was one of the main tools to maintain and develop a market economy. The three antitrust laws were: The Sherman Act, Clayton Act and Federal Trade Commission Act. Of the three, the Sherman Act of 1890 prohibited two acts of restricting competition and abuse of monopoly positions; the Clayton Act of 1914 regulated actions that abuse the monopoly position and anti-competition that were not regulated in the Sherman Act such as: price discrimination, mergers and acquisitions… The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 established the Federal Trade Commission which prevented and dealt with unfair competition practices or other behaviors affecting business.


The workshop continued with the presentation on “Merits-based rewarding system and equality in accessing resources: Experience from the Korean economic development” by Prof. Dr. Sangin Park. He shared that from 1960 to 1988, Korea’s annual GDP per capita growth rate was 6.2%. This was believed to be Korea’s miraculous economic development. The cause of this success came from the effectiveness in overcoming the lack of mechanism in financial market and markets for components, spare parts. The government also had effective strategies to keep up with the development trend of the world. In addition, the merits-based rewarding system by providing business incentives to export enterprises, the equality in accessing to resources of enterprises was a unique point in Korea’s development.


Prof. Dr. Sangin Park (The Republic of Korea)


However, at the present, the system of Chaebol (huge family-controlled corporations) had caused obstacles to the advancement of the industry. The excessive internal trading activities of Chaebol did not create new opportunities for innovation for other enterprises. Lack of innovation competition would undermine Chaebol’s motivation for development and innovation. In addition, the manufacturing industry was in crisis with a decline in competition. Korea’s ranking on the global manufacturing competitiveness index and trade index had declined, especially in non-information technology industries since 2012. The author believed that the Korean economy was at a crossroads. The government must step up solutions to eliminate the Chaebol group interests. Reform of the social-political system was necessary to change the relationship between the Chaebol with state officials.


To answer Mr. Peter Girke’s question on technology theft and corruption in Korea, Prof. Dr. Sangin Park said that technologies from small businesses were stolen by Chaebols, but they did not dare to testify in fear of the heavy influences from the Chaebol. Regarding corruption, some people who accepted bribes (state officials) had been imprisoned but some bribers (leaders of Chaebol) had not been arrested. This showed that corruption had not yet witnessed any major changes.



During this session, the workshop also listened to the presentation on:

  • Policies on supporting access to financial resources for SME in Thailand – Implications for Vietnam – LL.M. Nguyen Tuan Anh (Institute for Southeast Asian Studies);
  • China’s policies and laws to land resources – Prof. Dr. Do Tien Sam (Institute of Chinese Studies).


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Quang Tuyen (Hanoi Law University), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Nhu Phat, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Huu Nghi (the Institute of State and Law) and other researchers also discussed and commented on various issues, such as: collective land owners in China; resolving conflict of interest in land use; access to water resources in Vietnam and China;…


The second session was entitled “How to improve the equality among Vietnamese enterprises in accessing resources for development” and chaired by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Minh and Ph.D. Pham Thi Thuy Nga (the Institute of State and Law). Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Huu Nghi, on behalf of the co-author (Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Minh) presented on the topic of “Amending and supplementing policies and laws to ensure fair conditions for local enterprises”.  Equality among enterprises had a constitutional basis, which was Clause 2 Article 51 of the 2013 Constitution: “Participants in different economic sectors are equal, cooperate and compete in accordance with the law”. Equality among businesses was also stipulated in other laws such as: The Enterprise Law 2014 (Article 5), Investment Law 2014 (Article 5), Competition Law 2018 (Article 6), the consolidated document No.3/VBHN 2017 of the Commercial Law (Article 10) and many other legal documents. The presentation also focused on analyzing three main resources for business to access: human resources, physical resources and capital.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Huu Nghi


In terms of human resources, the author believed that SME would not be able to compete with large enterprises in the application of achievements of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and in accessing the high-skilled labor force. Therefore, in order to increase the ability to access to resources of enterprises, as well as workers’ resilience to the impact of competition, international economic integration, the State and workers must pay attention to the quality of education and training. Cheap labor was no longer a competitive advantage.


To ensure equality among businesses in accessing to capital, it was necessary to continue to reduce the time and lending procedure of credit institutions, eliminate barriers to informal costs that businesses must pay outside the interest rates. Reducing loan interest rate, helping businesses in accessing capital resources, expanding business was all very meaningful. To reduce loan interest rate, banks needed to deal with bad debts, developed new services, adjust public financial policies, and apply information technology to reduce regular expenditures.


At the workshop, Ph.D. Do Thi Kim Tien (National Academy of Public Administration) recognized that equality in accessing to resources of enterprises largely came from the State’s conduct. She shared with the viewpoint of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Huu Nghi on the legal basis to ensure the equality of enterprises in accessing to resources in Vietnam is relatively adequate, but the realization was not as expected. This was because of the system theory was not integrated into the legal policies. Although the law stipulated that public officials, civil servants and their relatives were not allowed to set up businesses, but in practice, their money still poured into crony enterprises; “backdoor” enterprises and the failure to control the money would lead to the situation that golden land plots might fell into the hands of these enterprises.


During this session, the workshop also listened to the presentations on “Equal access to science and technology resources contributing to the success of enterprises” by LL.M. Ngo Vinh Bach Duong (the Institute of State and Law) and “Equality for enterprises in accessing resources for development: Takeaways from the survey on provincial competitiveness index (PCI)” by Mr. Pham Ngoc Thach (Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry).


Mr.. Peter Girke (Hed of KAS office in Vietnam)


At the end of the workshop, Mr. Peter Girke commented: The workshop had listened to valuable experiences from many different countries and the issues that Vietnam was facing also occurred in these countries. Each country had a different historical background, economic conditions, but the challenges were almost identical, and the workshop had somewhat seen some specific solutions and suitable recommendations for Vietnam. He hoped the Institute of State and Law would summarize these recommendations and sent them to competent state agencies.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Duc Minh thanked the Office of KAS in Vietnam, Mr. Peter Girke and his colleagues for their assistance and close cooperation with the Institute of State and Law to organize this workshop. He thanked the international guests, managers and researchers for their enthusiastic participation and contribution to the success of the workshop.