Mr Michael Behrens is the Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Integrity Alliance. Below he provides Members and Stakeholders with an update.

Dear VIA Members and Stakeholders

Throughout the previous twelve months, the Steering Committee of the VIA has been developing a course of action that will take the initiative from ‘kick-off’ phase to the next stage in its development.  The support and momentum provided by you, members of the VIA, donors, interested parties, chambers of commerce and others, provides a strong foundation for the future.

Many of you will know that from the formation of the VIA, Mr David Priestley (CEO of Rolls Royce Vietnam) was elected to become Chairman.  He led the Steering Committee with passion, commitment and a strategic understanding of the issues.  Unfortunately for all of us, Mr Priestley returned to the UK in March this year.

As Vice Chair, I have picked up the leadership of the Steering Committee for the time being.

I am writing to you today to update you on the next steps for the VIA.

In late 2014 and early 2015, the VIA Steering Committee has undertaken further and deeper engagement with government and business stakeholders in an effort to find a suitable vehicle to build upon the existing foundation.

The chambers of commerce currently represented (EuroCham, AusCham, BBGV, CanCham and GIC AHK) all agree it makes sense for the VIA to merge into the existing Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) Governance & Transparency Working Group.

Over the last few months discussions with the co-chairs of the VBF (Ms Virginia Foote, Bay Global Strategies & Dr Vu Tien Loc, President of VCCI) have led to the VBF Board endorsing the merger proposal from their side.

We believe this move will provide a suitable environment for the implementation of ongoing business integrity initiatives and allow the effective engagement of key government and business representatives who desire to be involved.

The following document outlines the decision, the rationale and some plans for the future:

Please review the proposal and email any comments to Phil Newman, by Monday, 25 May, 2015.

We anticipate a public announcement of this merger at the forthcoming VBF Mid-Year F­­orum in Hanoi on 9th June, 2015.

Of additional interest, the working group is currently drafting an agenda for two half-day workshops on Current Trends for Business in Compliance & Integrity.  We propose to hold the events in HCMC and Hanoi on June 25 & 26 respectively.  We are currently securing a couple of international speakers as well as some local experts.  Please note the dates in your diaries – more information to follow very soon!

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