APEC forum looks towards dynamic, networked start-ups community hinh anh 1The APEC 2017 Start-ups Forum was held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 12 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The APEC 2017 Start-ups Forum was held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 12 to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to innovate, integrate and access to the global value chain right at their nascent business stage.

Vo Tan Thanh, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said Vietnam is evaluated as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. The Vietnamese Government aims to have at least one million effective bussinesses by 2020, he noted.

The selection of Ho Chi Minh City as the venue of the APEC 2017 Start-ups Forum is reasonable since the southern economic hub is striving to build itself into a start-up urban centre with the establishment of 500,000 enterprises through 2020.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung said the increasing number of new bussinesses – which hit a record of more than 110,000 in 2016 – is expected to create more job opportunities and social services.

Besides quantity, equal attention should be paid to the quality and health of bussinesses so that more innovative start-up firms will be set up in the future, he said.

He called on major groups such as Viettel, FPT and Truong Hai Auto Corporation to provide pragmatic support for start-ups in Vietnam.

During the forum, participants discussed a wide range of topics such as innovative start-ups in the digital era, education and training on entrepreneurship, business services for start-ups, and acceleration of sustainable socio-economic growth.

Through sharing experiences, ideas and tools to support start-ups, APEC member economies look to form a dynamic and networked APEC Start-ups Community.

Initiatives raised at the event will be discussed to propose a Joint Statement on promoting start-ups and MSMEs to the upcoming APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) in the city on September 15.

MSMEs account for over 97 percent of all enterprises and employ over half of the workforce across APEC economies. MSMEs contribute significantly to economic growth, accounting for between 20 percent and 50 percent of GDP in most APEC economies. However, they account for only 35 percent or less of direct exports. 

Established in 1989, APEC comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taiwan, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.-VNA