Enhancing financial support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) businesses was the main focus of a conference held by Ho Chi Minh City’s Association of SMEs and the municipal Department of Industry and Trade on June 17.

During the event, experts said it is increasingly difficult to solve issues related to capital for enterprises, as almost all Vietnamese companies operate at small and medium scales.

Vice Chairman of the Association Pham Ngoc Hung said his agency carried out a survey of business awareness of Vietnam’s integration process, which produced alarming results as almost all interviewed firms stated they are concerned about issues related capital, trade barriers and markets if Vietnam integrates deeply into the global economy.

Assessing Vietnam’s economic development situation in the first months of the year, experts said the country saw signals of recovery in its economy, as its real estate market rebounded, enterprise production and trade was prosperous and the country’s import-export activities reaped good results.

However, Vietnamese businesses, especially SMEs, are meeting with challenges in catching up with the integration process and expanding their markets abroad.

According to Nguyen Manh Tue, a representative from the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, the municipal authorities have conducted a wide range of activities to assist local businesses to access capital sources, such as organising dialogues between firms and management agencies and connecting enterprises with banks in the locality.

During the last three years, thanks to linking activities, businesses in the city signed loan contracts worth 120 trillion VND (5.5 billion USD) with local banks.-VNA