Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam plans to more than triple the number of enterprises owned and run by ethnic minority groups by next year in a bid to tap into the full potential of these groups and reduce poverty.
The plan to increase the number of enterprises run by ethnic minority groups from the current 30 to 100 was unveiled yesterday by the Committee for Ethnic Affairs.
“We (Committee for Ethnic Affairs) are determined that poverty reduction and sustainable growth in mountainous and ethnic minority areas rely on the internal power of ethnic minority communities,” said Đỗ Văn Chiến, Minister-Chairman of the Committee for Ethnic Affairs at a forum on ethnic minority development.
The plan is a start-up model expected to develop into a startup eco-system nationwide. its goal is to ensure that “No one is left behind”, said forum organisers.
Mountainous and ethnic minority areas, with a diversity of natural resources, local produce and culture, should be considered areas of development opportunities, especially in agriculture, animal husbandry, herbal medicine and tourism, Chiến said.
The forum agreed that making use of local knowledge is the foundation that must be tapped to harness the full potential of ethnic minority start-ups.
Nguyễn Thị Huyền, National Programme Coordinator of the International Labor Organisation (ILO) suggested offering business skill training to ethnic communities, helping them access capital sources. Ethnic minority people should be regarded as “creative partners”, she said, adding that it is necessary to maintain their traditional identities while developing businesses.
Local products of nearly 30 ethnic minority start-ups were on display at the forum, linking enterprises, local authorities and non-governmental organizations.
Sầm Thị Bích, leader of Hoa Tiến Brocade Cooperative in Quỳ Châu District of the central province of Nghệ An, said that with the support from authorities and NGOs, she and other members of the village can further develop product design and access to market to promote their products at local and international fairs.
Bích’s co-operative is a typical model for start-ups of ethnic minority groups in Vietnamese mountainous areas. She has restored the traditional weaving craft, provides training in weaving skills, and helps group members obtain material and equipment to improve their livelihood. — VNS