HCM CITY — New policies to promote the efficient operation of business incubators should be developed for short-term assistance to small – and middle-sized enterprises (SME) during their start-up phase, according to Bruno Angelel, Belgian Ambassador to Viet Nam.
In its work with Viet Nam, Belgium will also encourage SME start-ups.
Belgium is in discussion with the Ministry of Science and Technology on (MoST) how it can support the drafting of a legal framework for technology business incubators, the setting up of pilot technology, and creating pilot funding programmes for incubating new spin-off SMEs.
These activities are part of the bilateral Indicative Cooperation Programme signed between Viet Nam and Belgium. This year, many business opportunities have emerged after the creation of the most recent programme activity.
Financed with a grant of 60 million euros (US$79.6 million), the programme in the 2011-2015 period aims to assist Viet Nam's socio-economic development, more specifically in the areas of water and sanitation in the context of urbanisation and climate change and governance.
While poverty reduction remains the core goal of the cooperation programme, greater attention will also be given to new and emerging challenges for Viet Nam, including climate change, lack of sufficient quality human resources, development of a green-based economy and gender disparities.
About 30 million euros ($39.8 million) will be allocated to, among others, a water and sanitation programme in the framework of climate-change adaptation and mitigation in the three provinces of Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan and Ha Tinh.
The capacities of local governments will be strengthened to ensure that threats of rapid urbanisation and climate change are properly mitigated.
The programme aims at strengthening institutional capacities of the three provinces to apply the national strategy on climate change, while covering issues related to regional spatial planning, urban planning and water management.
As for governance, both governments will continue their joint efforts in the field of planning reform. It is expected that more donors will join a multi-donor trust fund to encapsulate experiences in the field, and ensure a roll-out of planning reform to all provinces in Viet Nam.
To address the issue of qualified human resources in Viet Nam, Belgium has tripled the funding of its scholarship programme to 12 million euros in the form of a Capacity-Building Facility.
Bruno Angelel said Viet Nam and Belgium had enjoyed good economic relations for almost 40 years, and this relationship would be strengthened by the visit of a Belgian Economic Mission to Viet Nam on March 11 – 16.
The mission's aim is to boost economic, trade and technological cooperation between the two countries.
The mission will be presided over by HRH Prince Philippe of Belgium, accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders and three regional Ministers.
Belgian companies have invested in Viet Nam in sectors such as the diamond industry, port services, information and communication technology, high tech, health, and chocolate production. — VNS