Network for Development of Business Services for Older Persons Debuted

Network for the Development of Business Services for Older Persons in Vietnam made its debut.

The Network for the Development of Business Services for Older Persons in Vietnam debuted as a special forum to connect business stakeholders, explore cooperation and seek opportunities in promoting the development of business services for the growing elderly population in the country.

The establishment of the network was earlier recommended by the businesses and related partners during the Business Forum, which was held for the first time in Ho Chi Minh City last year, with the objective of expanding business opportunities to provide services to older persons.

Two elderly women have their blood pressure checked before vaccination at a Covid-19 testing site in Hanoi's Ba Dinh District, September 10, 2021. Photo: VnExpress

The HCM City Branch of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), on Jan. 6 officially launched the Network for the Development of Business Services for Older Persons.

The event was held online and offline in the presence of representatives of Government ministries and agencies, VCCI-HCM City, UNFPA, and senior health care service providers as well as stakeholders.

The first-ever business forum on opportunities for the development of business services for older persons in Vietnam was organized in HCM City two months ago, in which national and international businesses discussed how to promote the private sector participation in the development of business services for older persons in the Covid-19 pandemic and the new normal context in Vietnam. At this forum, a Report on Market Outlook for Elderly Care Services in Vietnam was presented and its findings indicate that the domestic service market for the elderly is very promising with 20 million "potential customers" by 2035.

Reality has shown that the senior care service industry is expected to expand into many fields such as basic and advanced health care, tourism, legal services, finance, insurance among others. Vietnam’s population aging is progressing fast due to mortality and fertility declines. In 2020, older people aged 65 and above accounted for 8% of the population, and it is estimated that by 2036, Vietnam will transit from the “aging” to the “aged” country where those aged 65 and above will be 14% of the total population.

Vietnam's Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs estimates that the number of older persons who require daily care will increase from 4 million people in 2019 to around 10 million by 2030.

Delegates agree that the network demonstrates the private sector’s interests in maximizing the gain from population aging, and “finding Gold in the Silver economy.”

Addressing the ceremony, Vo Tan Thanh, VCCI vice president and general director of VCCI-HCM stated that the increasing demand and more diversified needs of older persons present numerous opportunities for domestic and foreign businesses and investors in Vietnam.

Recognizing the importance and necessity of formulating a network of stakeholders to promote the development of this potential service industry, VCCI, as a representative organization of the business community to perform the functions of trade and investment promotion in Vietnam, will strongly and effectively support the network's operation in the coming time, Thanh said.

Naomi Kitahara, the UNFPA Representative in Vietnam also shared the same view. The pandemic has had significant effects on older people and puts a spotlight on the health and rights of older persons in society. It is undeniable that older persons need better care and support, and as a result, the Network for Development of Business Services for Older Persons in Vietnam will become an indispensable framework. It is about promoting private sector partnerships in support of enhanced elderly care in light of population aging in Vietnam.

She emphasized the network is designed to contribute to developing a diverse senior care service industry in terms of types, sizes, and fields of operation, meeting the growing needs of older persons, promoting business links, and attracting domestic and foreign investors.

The network also supports the development of human resources with qualifications and skills to work in the senior care service industry. UNFPA is delighted to contribute to the establishment of the network, Kitahara stressed.

The network has been developed with technical support from UNFPA and financial support from the Government of Japan through the project "Mitigating the negative impacts of Covid-19 on vulnerable population groups - Ensuring National Progress to Achieve SDGs in Vietnam".