President Tran Dai Quang (R) meets with businesses in HCM City (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang requested the business community in Ho Chi Minh City to take a pioneering role in the development of domestic private economic sector, especially small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during a meeting in the city on October 3.

He also asked local businesses to promote the city’s advantages to develop the economy in the southeastern and southwestern regions while supporting, nurturing and implementing new breakthrough business initiatives.

The President noted Vietnam’s international integration and involvement in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) as well as engagement in new-generation free trade pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and the Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has opened up new development space for the domestic economy.

This progress has enabled Vietnamese businesses to access over 80 percent of the global markets with zero-percent tariff and get deeply involved in the global production value chains, he said.

However, in addition to opportunities, there are numerous difficulties and challenges, he said, pointing to fierce competition and strong impacts from speeding automation in developed countries.

Unless the implementation of international labour standards is strictly controlled and managed, this could distort the relations in the field and affect the sustainable development of businesses, he stressed.

Given these obstacles, the Vietnamese Party and State pledged to put forth more specific policies to improve the socialist-oriented market economy and guarantee socio-political and macro-economic stability to create healthy environment for businesses, especially SMEs, he affirmed.

In this spirit, the President urged entrepreneurs to build a strong, dynamic, creative and competitive business community while ensuring economic independence and autonomy, and promoting industrialisation, modernisation and international integration.

He called on businesses to actively take part in programmes to ensure social welfares, reduce poverty, and address consequences of natural disasters.

On the Vietnam Entrepreneurs’ Day (October 13), the President wished HCM City to soon become one of the economic, financial, trade and science-technology hubs in Southeast Asia.

With over 40 years of establishment and development, the business association in HCM City is now home to more than 60 voluntary organisations with 8,000 members.

By the end of 2015, the country had 535,920 active businesses, over 97 percent of which are SMEs, contributing 49 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) and around 38.5 percent to the total social investment, and generating about 45 percent of the total jobs.-VNA