PM Phuc places SME innovation in focus

Improving competitiveness and innovative capacity are some of the key points small and medium enterprises must focus on, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the 24th APEC SMEs Ministerial Meeting held today in Ho Chi Minh City.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaking at the SMEs Ministerial Meeting

Hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the 24th APEC SMEs Ministerial Meeting was attended by representatives of 21 APEC economies and is one of the most important meetings of APEC.

The Vietnamese PM said that these solutions include providing favourable conditions for enterprises to approach the market and integrate deeper into the global value chain, make the business environment more favourable through easier approach to advanced technologies and increasing management capacity, supporting startups via education, consultancy, and business networking, and promoting a sustainable startup eco-system for SMEs in the region.

PM Phuc suggested that member economies consider setting up a supportive fund which can raise funds to encourage SMEs to connect with multi-national conglomerates and enter the global value chain.

APEC has 21 member economies, occupying around 39 per cent of the global population, 57 per cent of the global GDP, and 50 per cent of the global trade.

The strength of every economy plays an important role in the development of SMEs, which occupy 97 per cent of the total number of enterprises and create more than 60 per cent of jobs.

Moreover SMEs are a very important motivation for development, renovation, and innovation in member economies.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said that in recent years, the global economy has been moving towards the digital age with the increasing role of artificial intelligence (AI).

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung

“The old model based on available natural resources has become less effective and unsustainable. Therefore, APEC economies must move to a new growth model based on innovation as well as increased labour efficiency and product quality,” said Minister Dung.

Minister Dung further stressed that SMEs have become a key motivation for the economic development of the Pacific-Asia region.

The participants of the 24th APEC SMEs Ministerial Meeting

Meanwhile, PM Phuc also expressed Vietnam’s willingness to receive more cooperation from APEC members so that Vietnam can encourage manufacturing and business, fair competition, and prevent  transfer pricing from foreign investors.

By Bich Ngoc