Improving the capability of associations and businesses in accessing the European Union market and enhancing the relationship between the private economic sector and State management organisations were discussed at a seminar in Hanoi on March 9.

Vice President of Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) Nguyen Thi Tong said this is part of the project "IN_TRADE: Innovation and Trademark as a tool to successfully compete in global markets" under project MUTRAPIII funded by the EU.

The nation’s leather and footwear sector and other sectors are increasing their export revenues to potential markets, more than half of which comes from the EU market, she said.

However, she said, this was a good opportunity for Vietnam’s associations and businesses to better understand difficulties and challenges when penetrating the market.

Meanwhile, Director of the Hanoi Rubber Joint Stock Company Pham Hong Viet emphasised the urgent need for small and medium-sized enterprises to have plans to restructure their businesses and professionalise their management methods when joining in a common market.

Businesses need the Government and social organisations’ assistance to take part in the programme, he said.

He also laid stress on the necessity to have professional methods for domestic businesses to access their customers, as a number of businesses have to work with a number of trade companies in the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China when entering the EU market.

The Italian and Belgian experts shared their experiences in building trademarks, technical assistance for businesses, assistance from the Government and trade promotion programmes and negotiations to benefit from the generalised system of preferences (GSP)./.