A new social enterprise named Vietnam Institute of Directors promises to improve the standards of corporate governance in the country.

Launched on April 5 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Institute of Directors (VIOD) is the first independent and private organisation to promote the best practices of corporate governance at Vietnamese public firms.

Supporters of VIOD include the International Finance Corporation, the Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi Stock Exchanges, the State Securities Commission, and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

The Institute aims to encourage business ethics and transparency, create a pool of independent board members, and enhance the professionalism of Vietnamese boards. It will deliver workshops, seminars, conferences, and board events on important governance topics, mainly through its flagship Governance Excellence Programmes.

Sitting on VIOD’s management board are senior executives from Vietnam Holding Asset Management, Dragon Capital, PwC, Deloitte, Duane Morris, and Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk).

“This is an important milestone for Vietnam, as the country must address the urgent needs of the market in the context of global integration and raising capital from foreign investors,” said Tran Van Dung, chairman of Vietnam’s State Securities Commission.

The ultimate goal of VIOD is to enhance the competence of board directors in Vietnam. Dominic Scriven, chairman of Dragon Capital Group, said that throughout his 20-year investment journey in Vietnam, he often saw domestic firms struggle due to low levels of corporate governance. The number of independent and non-executive board members is also few and far in between due to the serious lack of qualified candidates.

VIOD’s leaders hope that the new platform will be a testament to Vietnam’s on-going efforts to promote corporate governance, reform the capital market, mitigate risks, and raise significant foreign capital inflows. The Institute will also publish newsletters, publications, and relevant resources in this area, as well as hosting networking events.

The first training event, titled the Audit Committee Programme, will take place in May.

Vietnam Investment Review