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Measures needed to help SMEs tap ASEAN market: seminar
Vietnam News - 12/9/2023 3:39:03 PM
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 More measures are needed to encourage and improve market access for domestic enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that account for 97 per cent of the country's total businesses, experts said at a seminar entitled "The ASEAN Market: From Initiative to Action" in HCM City on Friday.
At the seminar, which was jointly organised by the Enterprise Development Department of the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the attendees said that these measures are aimed for breakthroughs in the upcoming period, especially as the majority of exported goods come from foreign companies operating in Việt Nam.
Nguyễn Đức Trung, deputy director of the Enterprise Development Department, commented: "Economic integration in general and ASEAN co-operation in particular bring many economic development opportunities.”
However, Trung said, these results do not fully reflect the potential for trade development among ASEAN countries.
“At the same time, Việt Nam's SMEs face many challenges in harnessing these opportunities," Trung said.
Concurring with Trung, participants at the seminar revealed that ASEAN members have focused on big markets such as EU and the US.
The over 600-million-person ASEAN market has lagged behind, said Nguyễn Hữu Nam, deputy director of VCCI.
Nam suggested that companies should focus on ASEAN markets.
To tap the ASEAN market, Nam and other experts told the seminar that companies must study and implement digital transformation and net zero, as well as food hygiene.
SMEs should also co-operate with others to build up a community, they said.
Only 39 per cent of the ASEAN market has been exploited. Over 60 per cent has been untapped so the potential is big for Vietnamese enterprises, experts stressed.
At the seminar, over 100 delegates, including associations and business communities from Việt Nam and other ASEAN countries exchanged views on the prominent new opportunities in cross-border trade, particularly within ASEAN.
They highlighted the new opportunities in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and relevant free trade agreements.
Among these measures, the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA) is considered an important driving force to boost intra-ASEAN trade.
In recent years, Việt Nam has made significant progress in regional and international economic integration.
From 2010 to 2021, trade between Việt Nam and ASEAN has seen remarkable growth, with exports increasing from US$9.3 billion in 2010 to $29.1 billion in 2021. — VNS
At the "The ASEAN Market: From Initiative to Action" in HCM City on Friday, the Enterprise Development Department officially introduced the SME Information Gateway at – an electronic information connection platform.The website provides information and support services to businesses through integrating information about enterprises, advisory networks, programmes, small and medium-sized enterprise support policies, business guidance, industry-specific research reports, market information, digital transformation programmes, innovation, business design feedback reception, and State-owned enterprise information disclosure. Individuals and organisations accessing the SME Information Gateway can utilise information and services for production and business activities, as well as connect and participate in global supply chains, expand markets on modern, convenient, and secure technology platforms.Meanwhile, the ASEAN Access portal at is the main business information portal in the ASEAN region, with over 3,100 registered small and medium-sized businesses and nearly 50 network partners and service providers.Sita Zimpel, Project Director at the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) who is responsible for developing these two portals, said key features on the ASEAN Access portal enable users to conveniently exchange information about the market, participate in business connection events, and access online training to support businesses in expanding their operations to regional and international markets. — VNS
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