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New SME support law takes note of Japanese, S Korean experiences

Update: July, 19/2014 - 11:16

Director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Enterprise Development Department Ho Sy Hung spoke with Hai Quan (Customs Online) about a development plan to support SMEs

Why has the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) decided to make a law to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) based on a study and experiences of Japan and South Korea?

We have been talking about support to SMEs in Viet Nam for the past 10 to 15 years. In comparison, in the rest of the world it has been around for about 60 years. Experience has shown us that it was necessary to develop SMEs in every country, and it was for the State and the Government to support them.

In the Government's decision on the SME development plan from 2011 to 2015, it assigned the MPI to develop the SME support law. And, the meeting between MPI and experts from Japan and South Korea would be the first step in implementing the law project.

The experiences of Japan and South Korea in this area would be the best starting point for Viet Nam because both countries, which have dynamic economies and rapid development, have the experience and have shown results in supporting SMEs during the past years.

What would Viet Nam learn from Japan and South Korea?

Japan and South Korea have had tremendous experience in building the SME sector. Some of the experiences could be applied to Viet Nam while others may not be suitable due to the low starting point of the country's economy and the weakness in capacity and linkage of local small and medium enterprises.

From 1940 to 1945, Japan had seen SMEs as enterprises with many weaknesses and disadvantages compared to big enterprises. The Government of Japan had also made a lot effort to support the SME sector.

In the 1960s, Japan had changed its view towards SMEs. They had played the basic role and had been a driving force in the development of the Japanese economy. That was a basic change in awareness.

In the 1990s, Japan saw SMEs as source of innovation and flexibility in business that could create new technologies or trading fields. That was the correct perception on the role SMEs could play and this perception could also work for Viet Nam.

Can you tell us about the plan to build an SME support law?

The revised enterprise and SME support laws all aim to support enterprises, in which 98 to 99 per cent are SMEs based on their capital. The revised enterprise law provides a legal corridor for enterprises to form and to operate equally in the market. The SME support law aims to hold activities for supporting SMEs following preferential targets given by the Government.

It would take between 2 to 3 years to complete the legal process for submission to the National Assembly for adoption. We will strive to promulgate the law as soon as possible. — VNS

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