The workshop takes place in Hai Phong city on November 21 (Photo: VNA)

Hai Phong (VNA) – Opportunities and challenges facing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in getting involved in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and global value chains were discussed at a workshop in northern Hai Phong city on November 21.

Vu Viet Ngoan, head of the Prime Minister’s economic advisory group, said to be part of global value chains and Industry 4.0, SMEs should be confident and active in integration.

He noted SMEs contribute more than 30 percent of Vietnam’s GDP and provide jobs for more than 50 percent of the workforce.

Bidhan Roy, a director at the US-based Cisco Systems, said digitalisation helps SMEs in ASEAN not only take part in cross-border trade but also expand their business and cut expenses.

SMEs have different scales and are in different development stages, and not all of them can reserve resources for IT. Therefore, more support from the Government and major businesses is needed to develop a concentrated digital economy.

Vice Chairman of the Hai Phong municipal People’s Committee Le Khac Nam noted that many companies are still weak in integration and foreign language skills, do not dare to face challenges and lack vision and capacity of engaging in international labour chains. 

Michael W. Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), said the workshop, held by the US-ABC and the Hai Phong municipal People’s Committee, showed the US and Vietnamese business communities’ commitment to supporting the Vietnamese Government’s agenda, which looks to improve local SMEs’ competitiveness amidst Industry 4.0 and global value chains.

The US-ABC and Hai Phong encourage SMEs to capitalise on sci-tech advances and opportunities to integrate into regional markets, he noted.-VNA