HA NOI (VNS) — The private sector should be encouraged to work with the rural and ethnic poor, country director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation in Viet Nam, Samuel Waelty, said yesterday.
Speaking at a workshop, Waelty said this could be a difficult task because of higher risks and transaction costs in rural areas.
Last year, the agency provided US$5.2 million to launch the Market Access for the Rural Poor (MARP) Programme to support projects and organisations in Viet Nam, Laos and Myanmar.
The three-year programme enables poor rural households and business, especially ethnic groups, to participate in agriculture value chains.
Projects focus on helping farmers and households with improved farming techniques, high-yield varieties and markets.
They also help business with innovations in production, management, human resources and finance.
In Viet Nam, for every percentage point increase in gross domestic production, the poverty rate fell by 1.2-1.3 per cent, but in 2010, more than 45 per cent of the country's population still lived on less than $2 per day.
In developing countries like Viet Nam, inclusive growth faces challenges, including market information and financial constraints, technology, inefficient farming and processing skills.
Small-and-medium enterprises often lack market linkage, expertise and finance to innovate and expand their companies to a size that impacts on the market.
This means that many firms are content to serve attractive, low-risk market segments, with little pressure to seek new market opportunities.— VNS