Hanoi (VNA) - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has recently approved a legal assistance program for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the 2021-2025 period.

The programme aims to promote awareness and sense of legal compliance and reduce legal risks and obstacles of SMEs that account for majority of the country’s total businesses, the Vietnam Government Portal (VGP News) reported.

Under the programme, ministries, agencies and localities shall have to update policies and legal assistance programs for SMEs, collect all feedbacks regarding legal obstacles from SMEs and report to competent authorities for refining legal regulations.

Legal assistance shall be conduct in a diverse manner, including direct and indirect forms such as forums and dialogues as well as via various platforms.

Earlier on June 2019, the Government issued Decree No 55/2019/ND-CP on legal assistance to SMEs.

The Decree outlines supporting policies for household businesses which change their business model into SMEs, innovative SMEs, SMEs joining industrial links.

Up to 98 percent of Vietnamese businesses are SMEs (about 88,000 enterprises), making up 40 percent of GDP and 50 percent of employment (or 1.2 million job).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 90 percent of them have been negatively affected./.