Vietnam currently has around 400,000 SMEs, making up 97 percent of the total number of enterprises operating in the country (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A wide range of measures involving the change of legal documents alongside practical support to further facilitate the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been recommended at a recent conference in Hanoi.

Vietnam currently has around 400,000 SMEs, making up 97 percent of the total number of enterprises operating in the country, contributing 40 percent of the gross domestic product and creating jobs for 52 percent of the domestic workforce.

Despite those impressive proportions, SMEs still have many difficulties in accessing resources and business opportunities like loans, market and information, in addition to their own weaknesses including small scale and poor business management capacity.

Le Hong Son, former head of the Bureau of Legal Normative Documents Post-Review under the Ministry of Justice, said SMEs still face unfairness in terms of business conditions in the very legal documents themselves.

Son cited as an example Circular 23/2015/TT-BKHCN issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology which forbids the transfer of imported used machinery between enterprises except in the case enterprises go bankrupt or end their operation. He said this violates the ownership and free business rights as well as causes great wastefulness.

Another circular he mentioned was Circular 56/2014/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance that requires price-declaring procedures that are not compatible with the law.

According to economic expert Le Duy Binh, the government should play the role of creating favourable for the development of enterprises instead of protecting them. Support programmes and services for SMEs are also necessary but should be limited to avoid violating market principles and international treaties, he said.

Agreeing with Binh, Le Van Khuong, Head of the Division for Development of SMEs, at the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Department for Enterprise Development, said the government’s assistance should be selective, specific, transparent and equal.-VNA