Eight small- and medium-sized enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City will be chosen to receive eco-business consulting services from the ASEM Eco-Innovation Consulting Project for SMEs, according to the ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Centre (ASEIC).

Sponsored by ASEIC, the project aims to strengthen the green competitiveness of SMEs in ASEM-member countries, especially in developing countries, by disseminating and utilising green management and technology in their business.

In 2011, ASEIC launched its first ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Consulting Project for 33 SMEs in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Last year, ASEIC offered consulting services for 32 different SMEs in those four countries.

This year, 40 SMEs in five ASEM-member countries, with new participation from the Philippines, are expected to benefit from the programme, according to Hyun Ae An, manager of ASEIC's Green Business and Technology Support Department.

Hyun Ae An said that 16 SMEs in northern Vietnam, which took part in the project in 2011 and 2012, had improved their environmental awareness as well as production efficiency.

"This year is the first time the project is implemented in the south, from June to October," she said. "As of today, more than 30 SMEs have registered to take part in the project, but we will choose eight firms to provide specific consulting services."

Under ASEIC's consulting process, after selecting eligible SMEs for the programme, ASEIC in collaboration with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Support Centre 2 in HCM City will assess the environmental performance of the participating SMEs.

Based on the assessment, both short- and long-term environmental management and cleaner production strategies will be established.-VNA