Trade nuclei promote business networking

10:05 | 02/08/2017 MUTRAP Corner

(VEN) - The Trade Capacity Vietnam (TCV) project has been implemented for nearly three years. Its purpose is to increase the participation of business associations in the policy development process for trade and international investment, and enhance trade capacity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and their compliance with EU market requirements through the “trade nuclei” network.

The TCV project has been implemented since 2014 in cities and provinces across Vietnam, aiming to enhance SMEs’ trade capacity and promote their penetration into the EU market.

Its main activities include knowledge and skills training, encouraging business participation in policy making, and gathering businesses from the same sectors to establish trade nuclei. The project’s overall objective is to maximize benefits for economic development, inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

At a recent meeting held in Hanoi to announce the end of the TCV project and discuss measures to improve SME access to the National Technology Innovation Fund, Nguyen Van Toan, Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises and Director of the TCV project, said that over the past nearly three years, the project has coordinated with more than 20 business associations of cities and provinces nationwide to organize 14 training courses and three dialogues with 1,200 participants.

The project has conducted three policy research studies and submitted eight policy recommendations to legislative bodies and provided direct input to hundreds of conferences, seminars, and interviews of public media on trade related topics and policies. The project also coordinated with business associations nationwide to set up a network of 32 trade nuclei with 429 members.

Positive results of the project show that trade nucleus is an effective model of business linkages, which promises to bring Vietnamese SMEs more value and success.

Nguyen Ngoc Xuan, President of the An Giang Automobile Transportation Association, said the TCV project helps improve business access to information, laws and market opportunities in accordance with Vietnam’s trade and international investment commitments. He believes trade nucleus is a linkage model that enables businesses to exchange information and achieve success in trade.

Nguyen Van Minh, a representative of the Tuyen Quang Small and Medium Enterprises Association, said that many member companies of trade nuclei have committed to using each other’s products and services and offering each other discounts. For example, a group of forestry companies have associated with forest product processing facilities in implementing a sustainable forest management project and applying for a certificate from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

So far, more than 10,000ha of planted forests in Tuyen Quang Province have been certified by FSC, allowing forestry companies to sell their products at 15-30 percent higher prices.

Trade Capacity Vietnam is an EU-funded project under the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP), with a total budget of €525,000. The EU announced it would launch a comprehensive support program called ARISE Plus for Vietnam in 2018 after the ending of the EU-MUTRAP.

Nguyen Huong & Kim Chi