US$22.1 million to strengthen linkages for Vietnamese SMEs

10:30 | 27/09/2019 Economy- Society

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government Office and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) co-launched a project on strengthening reforms and enhancing the linkage capability of Vietnam’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hanoi on September 24.

Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung speaks at the event - Photo: VNA

With an USAID funding of US$22.1 million, the five-year USAID LinkSME project will coordinate with the Government Office and the MPI to improve the supply chain linkage ecosystem for SMEs and strengthen business associations’ capabilities in supporting SMEs.

Facilitating linkages between SMEs and lead firms will help to promote the Indo-Pacific vision of improved economic competitiveness and support the USAID Vietnam’s objective of expanding inclusive, market-driven, private sector-led growth.

Addressing the event, Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung stated that the LinkSME project contributes to creating systematic changes in the business environment through institutional reforms, simplifying regulations and administrative procedures, and reducing compliance costs to improve firms’ competitiveness. At the same time, the project produces fundamental changes in terms of SMEs’ regional and international integration capabilities as well as their linkages to the global value chain.

According to MPI Minister Nguyen Chi Dung, the project will actively work to help the Vietnamese Government deal with the problems currently faced by Vietnamese SMEs and strengthen linkages for SMEs in the selected industries, in addition to creating a spillover effect and encouraging many SMEs to be confident and proactively reach out to the international markets.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink said that SMEs play a crucial role in the Vietnamese economy, taking up 98% of the businesses and contributing 45% of Vietnam’s GDP, but still have certain shortcomings, including the lack of linkages with the global supply chain.

The project is hoped to facilitate SMEs to move towards the goal of operating effectively, contributing more to the economic growth and enhancing their global competitiveness, the diplomat stated.

In 2019, the Government and the Prime Minister have directed the synchronous and drastic implementation of tasks and measures aiming to comprehensively reform specialised inspection activities, reduce and simplify administrative procedures and business conditions, and cut the costs of compliance in order to reduce the burden on people and businesses. Many positive results have been achieved in the work thus far.

Theo NDO