CAN THO — Small and medium-sized enterprises contribute much to the country's economic development but have not received the support they need to become competitive, economists said.
Speaking at a conference yesterday held to discuss ways to support SMEs, which accounted for 97 per cent of the country's more than 540,000 firms in 2010, they discussed other countries' experiences in fostering small enterprises.
Nguyen Trong Hieu, economist and deputy head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Enterprise Development Department, called for focusing on eight vital areas including drafting a comprehensive legal system, financial assistance, adopting new technologies, developing human resources and management, developing links between small enterprises, and others.
SMEs, with their low competitiveness, did not have the capability to identify and grab business opportunities, he said, adding linkages and co-operation between themselves would help overcome this weakness.
But other economists disagreed saying Vietnamese SMEs were dynamic and flexible and only lacked a strategic business vision.
SMEs play an important role in a country's social and economic development, delivering jobs and livelihoods to the workforce.
With an estimated 400,000 new SMEs to be set up between 2011 and 2015, they will create 4 million jobs in the period.
The sector's direct contribution to the country's exports will be around 10 per cent.
It will also account for 40 per cent of the country's total investment, 30 per cent of GDP, and 35 per cent of tax revenues.
The seminar was organised by the Viet Nam Small and Medium Enterprises Association and the Ministry of Planning and Investment. — VNS