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Workshop highlights new prospects for SMEs in ASEAN markets

Update: December, 05/2013 - 09:10
The workshop was held to support Vietnamese SMEs seeking to take full advantage of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), and the bloc's FTAs with Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand and India.— Photo vov

HA NOI (VNS)  — Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) stand a good chance of penetrating foreign markets and the world by joining ASEAN-related free trade agreements, heard participants at a workshop in Ha Noi yesterday.

The workshop was held to support Vietnamese SMEs seeking to take full advantage of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), and the bloc's FTAs with Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand and India.

The process has facilitated economic growth in the region and created a highly competitive economic zone, in addition to helping the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Viet Nam, fully integrate into the global economy, said Vice President of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Doan Duy Khuong.

Effectively utilising opportunities from the process would help the bloc's members to reform their policies and the business environment to attract more foreign investment and enhance manufacturing capacity, he added.

Andrew Holt, First Secretary of the British Embassy in Viet Nam, underlined the key role of SMEs in Viet Nam's economic reform, particularly given the current economic downturn.

He noted that local firms have yet to fully make use of tax incentives when doing business with partners within and outside the regional grouping.

The workshop also allowed Vietnamese SMEs to prepare solutions to cope with challenges brought about by the agreements, Holt added. — VNS

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