Vietnam is expected to have a million active businesses by 2020. There are now about 900,000 registered businesses, but only about 500,000 are active (Source:: cafef.vn)
Hanoi​ (VNA) - Now that Vietnam emphasises the importance of the private business sector, there is a chance for small- and medium-sized enterprises, especially female entrepreneurs, to have “greater voices”.

Layton Pike, Deputy Head of the Australian Embassy Mission to Vietnam, made these remarks at an economic forum in Hanoi on June 3, as Government officials, international economists and businesspeople discussed private sector development.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the private business sector, accounting for 95 percent of the entire business community in Vietnam, was the most important thing for the local economy.

The Government would work hard to create the best conditions for them to grow in a fair and competitive environment, he said.

Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of Technology Corporation FPT, said the whole world was involved in the digital revolution, especially in the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other free trade agreements signed recently with developed countries.

Binh said the Government needed to support local businesses with shorter administrative procedures, especially in registering a business and tax policies.

The Government should help connect Vietnamese businesses with overseas Vietnamese people so that local businesses can tap their experience and investment capital, he said.

Better and faster money transfers overseas were also urged at the forum, as many local enterprises worked with overseas partners but struggled to transfer money, which delayed investment and lowered competitiveness.

Sandeep Mahajan, lead economist from the World Bank, said Vietnam was striving to enter the higher reaches of the upper middle income status (22,000 USD GDP per capita purchasing power parity).

The economist said that in order to achieve the target, the country needs to boost productivity in the local private sector by enhancing micro institutions of the market economy, strengthening participation in global value chains, and commercialising and modernising agriculture.

Chairman of the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs Association (VYEA) Bui Van Quan said private enterprises created about 1.2 million jobs and contributed more than 40 percent of Vietnam’s total gross domestic product.

He said the private sector could adapt to challenges, had strong creativity and competitiveness. But it showed limited capacity related to capital, market knowledge and conjunction with international partners.

The forum, the first forum of its kind for the private business sector in Vietnam, was held by VYEA with support from the Mekong Business Initiative and the Australian Government.

More than 500 participants focused their discussions on areas such as the digital economy, agriculture, education and vocational training, logistics and distribution, capital and fund raising, and industrial and auxiliary industries.

VYEA Chairman Quan said the event established a mechanism for regular dialogue between the Government, private sector, and partners inside and outside the country.

“It is a good chance to hear from the private community,” Hue said.-VNA