HANOI, JANUARY 1, 2016–International funders and organizations looking for funding got a break last week when an internationally recognized consulting company founded a company in Hanoi.

The company, Monkey Forest Consulting Vietnam Limited (MFC-VN), started offering services in Vietnam in December when the government of Vietnam granted its licence as a Vietnamese consultancy. The company provides assessment, review and implementation services for national and international companies working in Vietnam and that want to meet international standards related to managing the way their operations interact with communities.

“Up until now if a organization wanted to get funding from an international financial institution it could only work with an international consulting company. MFC-VN changes all that,” said Timothy McLaughlin, the company’s director. He said organizations like the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, European and Asian development banks are looking to fund a broad range of projects in the country – from coffee producers to oil and gas refineries. But such IFIs are required by their constitutions to only fund projects and companies that conform with a complex set of international standards related to social performance and the environment.

McLaughlin said MFC is no stranger to the kinds of challenges companies face in Vietnam. He said many of its national staff have extensive experience in Vietnam and in the region and across a wide range of industries.”

“Our experience here started years ago when we reviewed a series of coffee production facilities for a group of European lenders. Since then many of our staff have helped organizations work through complicated resettlements for oil and gas and energy companies where the companies are required to go beyond the work already mandated by the Government of Vietnam.”

McLaughlin said MFC has a policy of hiring local staff where possible and working with them to build their capacity to reflect international standards. “We have an active training program that draws on our network of international experts to help people understand new developments in resettlement, consultation, community engagement, as well as community health and security,” he said. He said the company’s experience working in other parts of Asia suggests its Vietnamese staff will be able to work throughout the region on international projects as well as at home.

“Vietnam is growing and looking forward. We’re looking to play a positive role in that growth.”