Strategies for small and medium sized enterprises (SME) to deal with the economic crisis was the topic of a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 4.

The seminar was just one of several global initiatives launched by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and brought together more than 200 businesspeople.

It was aimed at studying and satisfying the needs of SMEs and providing a consultancy service for them during the crisis period.

The ACCA’s President Brendan Murtagh, said that during a financial crisis, SMEs always find it difficult to access loans and they also face a fragile recovery, even when provided with stable financial support.

The Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, Dr. Vo Tri Thanh, shared this view, saying that their shortage of assets is the biggest barrier of all for SMEs trying to get a bank loan.

To create better conditions for SMEs, Thanh said that the government needs to simplify administrative procedures, improve the legal environment and provide more information about other capital sources, as well as bank loans.

SMEs need to map out their own business plans to reduce costs, publicise themselves and take part in more of their associations’ operations, he added.

ACCA’s Business Development Manager for Asia and the Pacific, Reza Ali, spoke of Singapore’s experience in supporting SMEs to weather the crisis, including solutions to cut the cost of personnel and business premises, providing easier access to loans, developing their capacity and helping them to penetrate foreign markets./.