Higher coverage helps SMEs recover faster hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - The Law on Support for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) took effect on January 1, 2018, but its programmes have not provided adequate coverage to make any big difference.

According to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), ten programmes have been implemented under the law, but fewer than eight percent of enterprises enjoyed the benefits from the programmes.

Notably, only 7.34 percent got access to the SME Credit Guarantee Fund, 6.55 percent got the consultancies from state agencies, and 4.75 got the subsidies for rentals in industrial parks, high-tech parks and industrial complexes.

Regarding other subsidies, just 6.17 percent were granted legal aid services subsidies, 5.40 percent market information consultancy subsides, 6.83 percent training courses subsidies and 5.39 percent vocational training subsidies.

Although 80 percent of enterprises which managed to access the programmes said procedures were easy to follow, the figure does not capture those who never applied. In fact, 51.3 percent were unaware of the programmes.

"On the bright side, over 80 percent of firms that accessed the relief programmes said eligibility procedures were easy to complete. However, one note of caution is that only firms completing the entire procedures gave these assessments," said Dau Anh Tuan, Deputy Secretary-General of the VCCI.

The law's low coverage has led to policy ineffectiveness and left many struggling enterprises in the lurch. 

Given nearly 35,700 enterprises had to temporarily cease their operation and 11,300 awaited dissolution in Q1/2022, the VCCI urged the authorities to step up the programmes to expand their coverage, helping more SMEs back on their feet.

SMEs account for 98 percent of enterprises in Vietnam, 45 percent of the country's GDP and 31 percent of the state budget, with over 5 million workers on the payroll. 

The pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine conflict have put many SMEs at risk. They are struggling to keep afloat, are not so optimistic about the long-term, and are in urgent need of support, according to the VCCI./.