Phạm Thi Thu Hằng, Secretary General of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaks to the newspaper Hải Quan (Customs) about a big role played by business development service enterprises in Việt Nam
Please explain the role of business development service enterprises in Việt Nam?
Vietnamese enterprises have tried to seize any opportunity presented to them in the process of joining global value chains. Modern services like finance, insurance, tele-communications, transport and logistics are connecting enterprises with the world while business development services (BDS) help enterprises cut down their expenditure while strengthening their competitiveness.
BDS are a very effective tool for Vietnamese enterprises, particularly small and medium enterprises.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of Vietnamese BDS enterprises?
Though BDS is a new field in Việt Nam, the number of Vietnamese BDS enterprises has increased rapidly year on year. Their contributions to the country’s GDP remain modest – not on par with potential. For example, the number of Vietnamese enterprises offering services in intellectual property rights can be counted on one hand. So are services in accounting, auditing and tax counseling.
These are the service fields that Vietnamese enterprises should focus more on their development.
What challenges Vietnamese BDS enterprises are facing?
The biggest challenge is low awareness of many Vietnamese enterprises of the importance of using services offered by BDS enterprises. Most Vietnamese enterprises are small and cannot afford services like accounting, auditing or tax counseling.
The majority of Vietnamese enterprises are small scale or family businesses. They don’t see the importance of having a financial report. For them writing a financial report means recording their daily income and spending.
The other point I want to mention is that society does not properly acknowledge the role played by the BDS enterprises. Until now a BDS Association has not been established to act as a spokesperson for BDS enterprises. Nor do BDS enterprises receive support from the government.
What should the government do to support BDS enterprises to develop?
The biggest challenge facing BDS enterprises is how to design products that cater to the needs of Vietnamese enterprises, particularly small and medium sized enterprises. Of course, their services must be high quality, reasonably priced and easily accessible. In addition, the government should create a level playing field for Vietnamese BDS enterprises to join the market so that they can offer their services to Vietnamese small and medium enterprises.
Last but not least, all these the ideas should be reflected in the draft Law on Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises. — VNS