The enhancement of competitiveness through creative innovation is vital for Vietnamese businesses, according to Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh.

The official made the statement during a November 13 international seminar in Ho Chi Minh City , jointly organised by the Southern Cooperation Department and the Korean Standard Association (KSA).

Thanh said that the Vietnamese economy is still facing difficulties, with 55,000 enterprises entering bankruptcy and 25 percent of companies posting on the stock market failing to make a profit.

Over the past years, Vietnam has issued and implemented a number of laws on science and technology, creating an important legal corridor for businesses to apply technology in their management and production, he noted.

This is a good opportunity for Vietnamese experts and managers to learn experience from the Republic of Korea – a country that succeeded in the field – thus developing their ideas to improve competitiveness for businesses.

According to Pham Ngoc Hung, Vice President of the Ho Chi Minh City Business Association, Vietnam has deeply integrated into the international economy, while products from ASEAN member countries are soon to enter Vietnam with zero percent tax rate.

Therefore, he said, it is crucial for Vietnamese businesses to enhance their competitiveness through improving product quality and the productivity of their factories.

However, as the majority of enterprises are using old fashioned equipment and have poor access to market information and consultation services, their application of standards remains dependent on foreign partners, he said.

Additionally, he argued that quality management has yet been implemented stably, with an uncompleted standard system for each sector.

Hung also proposed that enterprises should focus on strengthening the application of a new standard management system of international quality for production sectors, while building and expanding the model of manufacturing enterprises with renovated equipment for better productivity and quality.

He also suggested that the government should design policies to support businesses by issuing technical standards and providing guidelines about how to meet them.

Within the seminar framework, the KSA and the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development Centre (SMEDEC), under the Ministry of Science and Technology, signed a memorandum of understanding allowing the two sides to coordinate in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises to approach new technology, increasing productivity and products quality and developing environmentally friendly products.

Accordingly, KSA will send experts in various sectors to Vietnam to offer training courses, while receiving those from Vietnam to study successful management and production models.-VNA