Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and Vice President of the European Commission (EC) Antonio Tajani signed a Letter of Intent on fostering support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hanoi on November 13.

Under the document, the two sides will share their experience and policies to support the expansion of the SME sector as well as enhance activities to link domestic and EU firms together, with the view to promoting the establishment and development of their linkage clusters and value chains.

Both sides will also work together to raise their technical capacity to assist SMEs, especially in the sphere of high-tech applications, a strong point of the EU.

At an earlier working session, Antonio Tajani who is also Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, told Vinh that many EU firms want to do business in Vietnam, adding that 40 business representatives are accompanying him during this trip to seek business opportunities.

He said SMEs have contributed greatly to economic development in Europe, and are known for their technological innovations. Therefore, they can help with Vietnam’s economic development.

Minister Vinh noted SMEs, which account for over 90 percent of the total number of firms in Vietnam, play an important role in the national socio-economic development. He declared the Government always pays much attention to facilitating the development of the sector.

Two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the EU reached more than 24.8 billion USD in the first nine months of this year, up 20.8 percent over the same period last year.

As of September 2013, the club had 1,800 valid investment projects in Vietnam valued at 32.8 billion USD including an implemented capital of 13.1 billion USD.

The EC Vice President is leading a business delegation on a visit to Vietnam on November 12 and 13 as part of EU’s efforts to deepen economic relations with the country.

On November 12, he witnessed the inaugural of the EU-Vietnam Business Network (EVBN) in Ho Chi Minh City, which aims to serve as a bridge connecting business communities of Europe, Vietnam and ASEAN region.-VNA