Weekly Update from the Executive Director, Michael Roberts [13 September 2018]

Dear Members and Friends,

One of the most fundamental and probably the most important aspect of operating a membership organisation is the ability to effectively represent the views of its constituents. Unsurprisingly perhaps it’s generally the most difficult. There are numerous contributing factors to this conundrum of course. Members have differing views on similar topics, so creating a compromise and walking that fine line in the middle is sometimes tenuous. Western cultures (especially Australian!) seem to prefer to comment on issues that affect them to other people similarly affected, rather than the organisation or people actually responsible, or in AusCham’s case an organisation that might be able to assist. People generally avoid confrontation, so issues get buried, especially when it can only be confronted in a face to face situation. And there are a myriad of other reasons of course. All of these factors are frustrating for a business chamber because when we ask members to renew on an annual basis and they quite rightly review what AusCham has done for their business, they may struggle to justify the expense. We would say of course that this perspective fails to recognise the significant amount of work the Chamber does at a macro level, but we also understand from our own experiences that in business, especially perhaps in an SME every cent needs to be justified and if there doesn’t appear to be a direct benefit then the expense is terminated.

AusCham Vietnam is committed to providing a better value proposition for its membership, and to assist in this we have recently installed a new page on our website under the Feedback tab. We invite members to use this facility to alert us to what issues and problems they are experiencing with the operation of their businesses, so that we can identify trends in issues that are obviously affecting businesses on a broader scale. From there we can use this information in our advocacy discussions with the Australian Government in Vietnam and also the Vietnamese Government through the Vietnam Business Forum.

We encourage you to help keep us informed through https://auschamvn.org/feedback/

Michael Roberts
Executive Director

Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam


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