More legal aid needed for SMEs: Experts hinh anh 1Workers make garments at Dap Cau Garment Joint Stock Company. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - More legal aid needs to be provided to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them quickly recover business, production and become stronger after the COVID-19 pandemic, legal experts have said.

The comments were made during a conference held in Hanoi last week to discuss solutions to enhance legal aid for SMEs. The programme aims to promote awareness and legal compliance, and reduce legal risks and obstacles of SMEs, which account for the majority of the country’s businesses.

Under the programme, ministries, agencies and localities have to update policies and legal assistance programmes for SMEs, collect feedback regarding legal obstacles, and report to authorities to refine legal regulations.

Between 2021-2025, the programme aims to utilise the achievements of Industry 4.0 in providing legal aid for SMEs; direct legal aid activities for ministries, sectors and localities to apply legal knowledge to SMEs; and promote awareness and legal compliance while reducing legal risks and obstacles.

The programme will enhance SMEs' roles in improving the legal framework toward a better business climate, competitiveness and law enforcement.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused great losses to the country’s economy. The programme’s management board has promptly conducted legal aid for SMEs to help them recover production and business performance.

Nguyen Thanh Tu, Director of the Department of Civil and Economic Laws, said it was needed to improve provisions on legal aid for businesses by amending Decree No 55/2019/ND-CP on legal assistance for SMEs, which focused on quality legal providers, finance issues and lawyer responsibilities.

The Decree outlines supporting policies for household businesses that change their business model into SMEs, innovative SMEs, and 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.

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

Tu noted that it was essential to focus on building a legal aid ecosystem consisting of a network of legal consultants and improving the quality and the effectiveness of the legal aid programme for businesses, while enhancing communication activities, applying new technology and evaluating the programme.

Administrative agencies were still the biggest challenges facing enterprises. Therefore, legal consultancy activities providing legal advice, assistance or representation by legal providers were the key to the programme, Tu said.

Tran Minh Son, head of the Legal Aid Office for SMEs, said amid the pandemic, many businesses were already dissolved. Therefore, the number of businesses who needed legal aid was high. Accordingly, legal consulting in both direct and indirect forms would bring effective results for businesses.

Sơn suggested a number of solutions to improve legal consultancy on legal aid for SMEs going forward.

He said it was essential to improve legal policies and provisions and submit them to the Government for approval of financial support for legal providers, and to develop a network of professional legal consultants for specific industries, as well as promoting information technology in legal consulting./.
VNA