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Policy support can boost private sector role in agriculture

Update: December, 01/2014 - 08:43
The workshop yesterday co-organised by the Embassy of Denmark and the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM). — Photo dddn

HA NOI (VNS) — Stable policies, together with incentives in land and credits, would encourage the private sector to invest in agricultural and rural development, experts said at a workshop yesterday co-organised by the Embassy of Denmark and the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).

The private sector was hesitant to invest in the agricultural sector due to worries about working with farmers who were ill equipped to cope with bad weather and diseases, deputy director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Do Anh Tuan told workshop participants. Slow capital recovery in comparison with other sectors was another deterrent.

CIEM's vice president Nguyen Thi Tue Anh said that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) changed the employment structure in rural areas. Anh cited a study that found that the number of rural residents employed in the agro-forestry-fishery sector declined from 79.6 per cent in 2011 to 59.6 per cent today, while the number working in industrial production and services increased from 7.4 per cent to 18.4 per cent.

However, declining productivity was a major issue due to the large number of SMEs creating primarily low-productivity jobs, Anh said. With outdated technology, declining investment, intense competition and cheap imports, SMEs would also find it hard to maintain growth.

Denmark's support

During the 2011-14 period, Denmark's support to the private sector under the Global Competitiveness Facility for Vietnamese enterprises created about 30,000 jobs and generated significant export income, workshop participants heard.

The US$11 million programme provided grants for 42 projects in eight provinces with a focus on increasing the competitiveness of Vietnamese exports through supporting innovations and initiatives to develop commercially viable business services for SMEs, household enterprises and farmers.

VNA/VNS Photos

The Danish programme's grantees also shared experience at the workshop, besides an exhibition showcasing products and initiatives from the programme's supported projects.

During 2014-15, Denmark will disburse up to $90 million in official development assistance to Viet Nam. Danish support to Viet Nam focuses on green growth, climate, private sector development, water and sanitation, culture and governance activities. — VNS

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