Illustrative photo (Source:Internet)
Hanoi (VNA) – Usage of business development services (BDS) is low among entrepreneurs in Vietnam as about 60-80 percent of firms lack awareness of BDS or are aware but do not use the services.

Pham Thi Thu Hang, General Secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) made the statement at the forum on BDS in Hanoi on April 13, upon the release of the 2015 VCCI Enterprise Annual Report.

According to the VCCI, despite being a relatively new business concept in Vietnam, BDS has been one of the country’s fastest growing sectors with 300,000 service providers in 2015, tripling that of 2007 and accounting for over 68 percent of operational businesses.

Business development services are defined as those non-financial services and products offered to entrepreneurs at various stages of their business needs. Such support services can be training, advisory services, marketing facilitation and market research.

The services are regarded as effective tools for enterprises, especially those of small and medium size (SMEs), which enables them to reduce costs, increase competitiveness and boost innovation.

However, lack of knowledge about the benefits of BDS has remained the biggest challenge that prevents these companies from approaching BDS providers.

SMEs are most in need of business development services due to their limited resources and human capacity, Hang stressed, noting that without such external support, enterprises could suffer from a lack of vital business skills and knowledge, leading to ineffective performance.

Financial issues and poor-quality services are also major obstacles, added Ho Sy Hung, head of the Enterprise Development Agency at the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Hung believed that BDS should be customised to be more affordable and meet the specific needs of each firm, while Hang urged the providers to enhance their service quality and ramp up promotional activities for more potential clients to learn about their services.-VNA