processing cashew nuts for export (Source: VNA)

A workshop was held in Hanoi on September 17 to discuss ways to improve capacity of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in accessing global and regional markets.

Co-organised by the US Agency for International Development, the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the event attracted representatives from over 130 SMEs operating in various fields in Vietnam.
  
Speaking at the workshop, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women Entrepreneur Council and the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurship Network Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, it’s time for SMEs in general and those owned by women to determine their position in global supply and value chains, thus defining their right direction to integrate successfully.

According to the Asian Development Outlook 2015 of the Asian Development Bank, there is 36 percent of Vietnamese SMEs joining production network oriented to exports, while those taking part in global supply chains only account for 21 percent.

VCCI Vice President Hoang Quang Phong stressed the formation of the ASEAN Community by the year-end and free trade agreements between Vietnam and partners would bring opportunities to Vietnamese enterprises to deeply integrate into global supply and value chains, in order to expand their export markets and attract more investments from foreign countries.

However, domestic SMEs face challenges and difficulties as their competitiveness, management and integration capacity remain limited, he noted.

Enterprises will have many chances to promote themself if they understand how to tap their strengths and advantages, Phong said, suggesting that the State should design appropriate policies to facilitate businesses.

At the workshop, experts from US multinational companies such as FedEx, Microsoft, MasterCard and Baker & McKenzie shared issues related to supply chain management, cloud technology, digital payment, and legal procedures in business activities.

The event was part of the chain of workshops and training programmes of US-ABC in Southeast Asia.-VNA