A programme designed to improve export competitiveness for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was launched in Hanoi on June 13 by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Swiss Economic Cooperation and Development Division (SECO).

The programme, a continuation of the Swiss-funded VIE/61/94 project to assist Vietnam trade and export promotion, aims to increase SMEs’ contribution to the country’s export turnover by improving their access to trade promotion services at regional and lower levels.

In order to achieve this, local commercial plazas, trade promotions agencies and local-level goods industry associations will receive technical aid to enhance their capacity in trade promotion.

In addition, the programme will support the establishment of a national export council, so as to reinforce Government officials’ capabilities in overseeing and evaluating the implementation of the national export strategy.

A steering board for the programme will be founded with members being representatives from SECO, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Finance Ministry.

Initially, handicraft, fruit and vegetable industries will be helped to promote exports.-VNA