CSR is a way to give back

Eight Korean companies last week were presented with corporate social responsibility awards for significant contributions to Vietnamese society.

The ceremony was held together with the “Hallyu Korean Wave Products Shows” in Hanoi in celebration of 20 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Korea.

The honoured firms are Posco Vietnam, VinaKorea, Shinhan Bank Vietnam, PTV, Asian Airlines, Hansoll Vietnam, Posco VNPC and Silkroad Hanoi.

They were selected from 16 short-listed candidates by Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy and Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

According to vice MPI minister Dao Quang Thu, the award ceremony was a chance to praise the responsibility of Korean businesses and to affirm Vietnam’s highly competitive and fair business environment.

“The CSR of a company is its commitment to contribute to sustainable economic development by improving working conditions and living standards of workers, their families and local community. This in turn, brings benefits to firms as well as society,” Thu said.

Since consumers, investors, policy-makers and non-governmental organizations paid more attention to the impact of globalization on workers, environment and community welfare, CSR was a vital way for companies to access the market, Thu said.

Deputy minister of South Korea’s Knowledge Economy Han Jin Hyun said that after 20 years of diplomatic relations, the two countries had been cooperating in areas such as politics, economy, society and culture.

“Vietnam has become destination for Korean companies due to its efforts and skilled workforce,” Hyun said.

He said Korea was the second biggest foreign investor in Vietnam with total investment of $24.3 billion and 3,111 projects as of September, this year.

“Korean investors, when doing business in Vietnam, have not only obeyed regulations on environment and society, but contributed to the development of the local community also,” Huyen added.

Woo Ki Hoon, deputy director general of the Korean Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) in Hanoi, said Korean investment in Vietnam was a good example for a win-win policy because it was one of the best global business opportunities for Korean companies and Korean investors also contributed to the Vietnamese economy.

Nam Sik, general director of Posco Vietnam – one of the awardees, said that social activities were highly appreciated by the company.

“Our main activities relating to talent promotion, public activities and supportive strategy for local residents, especially people in difficult circumstances,” Sik said.

In order to become a safe working investor the company had set out a special strategy to aim for “1,000 days without accidents” in the factory. Steel-maker Posco Vietnam has sunk $530 million into Vietnam and is the developer of the large cold rolled steel factory in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.

It is the second time that the CSR competition was held in Vietnam to present those awards to Korea investors. Last year, four investors were given the award, with two first prizes going to the footwear producer Chang Shin Vietnam and Doosan Vina, a respected manufacturer of power plant facilities.

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