At the conference themed “Draft law on supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the enterprise community’s perspective” jointly held on July 11 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), policymakers were called on to build the law on supporting SMEs in a way that helps narrow the gap between policies and expectations of businesses.
Despite the government’s effort to create a fair and business-friendly environment for local SMEs, there was still a gap between policies and their implementation in practice as well as between policies and businesses’ expectations, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong said.
According to Dong, the number of SMEs that go bankrupt or have to suspend operation has been on the rise, while most of the enterprises spent very little on technology applications. He stressed the need to thoroughly study the contents of the bill for the early adoption in order to provide timely support for the development of SMEs.
Nguyen Hoa Cuong, deputy director of the MPI’s Enterprise Development Department, said the five-chapter and 33-article bill introduced a number of support incentives for SMEs, particularly in terms of access to funding and technology, securing land for operations, information update and consultancy.
VCCI Secretary General Pham Thi Thu Hang said it was vital to ensure that the support policies were practical and suitable to domestic SMEs who are still struggling to compete with their foreign rivals.
The bill needed more feedback and recommendations from experts and businesses and should be reviewed with reference to international experience, she suggested.
The law itself was not enough, but authorities and State officials must change their mind-set and the way they work with enterprises, she added.
VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc said that the law on supporting SMEs, if passed, would be a legal framework for the development of such group of enterprises, thus it must meet the expectations of enterprises in terms of cutting unnecessary costs, streamlining administrative procedures and easily accessing to supportive loans.
Loc also suggested that the law regulate all banks to have programs to assist SMEs, not just the few banks that were doing so currently.- (VLLF)