August 15, 2018 18:09

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'Handshakes' in trade promotion: Export strength for small businesses

12:25 | 10/06/2018

VCN- Over the past 5 years, thanks to the program "Raising export competitiveness for small and medium enterprises in Vietnam through the local trade promotion system", the trade promotion system has a close link with the community, facilitating export activities. This model is expected to continue to be replicated in many localities and branches throughout the country in the coming time.

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Tea production and export is one of the sectors with many positive results when participating in the program. Photo: Nguyen Thanh.

Signing more than 100 contracts

According to the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (the Ministry of Industry and Trade), over the past five years, the program "Raising export competitiveness for small and medium enterprises in Vietnam through the local trade promotion system" has achieved quite satisfactory results. Mr. Do Kim Lang, the Deputy Director of Trade Promotion Agency said: The program is directed to the system of local trade promotion agencies, capacity building for the center and trade promotion system to serve small and medium enterprises. In general, during the project implementation, the area and network of trade promotion system in the localities have been formed, and there is a cross-linkage for small and medium enterprises with potential export in the areas.

Regarding the main objective, the importance of the program is to improve the capacity and improve the export activities of small and medium enterprises. The report of the Trade Promotion Agency stated: From March 2015 to now, there have been 41 enterprises setting up export development plans with 103 contracts signed during or after participation in international trade fairs and business exchange meetings. Of the 41 companies that are planning to develop their exports, 20 units have increased exports and 17 units have increased the number of foreign customers.

"With this program, for what is needed and sufficient for the business, we started to do from the beginning. Especially, when we set up the export program for small and medium enterprises, we first had to identify the brand issue, and in the next steps, we focused on capacity building, training, and implementation of the export plan in the foreign market. The knowledge and activities are conducted throughout the program from the beginning to the end. In fact, some products and branches brought success immediately, typically the tea industry when the program was implemented", said Mr. Lang.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Hien, Director of Ha Thai Tea Joint Stock Company said,"Enterprises have learned many import-export skills and joined in many localities in the country as well as in foreign markets, such as Russia, Poland, Korea, the United States and Canada. Accordingly, the company draws on experience such as with high technology processing production, especially production of clean and safe products and changes for all models to suit the tastes of consumers".

"The obvious effect that businesses realize is growth in exports. In the past, Ha Thai Tea Joint Stock Company mainly exported to the Middle East market. After joining the program, the company has been approaching difficult markets such as Poland, Germany, Japan and the United States. In addition, besides the production of simple products, now the company has developed a special product with a high value, even 10 times higher than before", she emphasized.

Expanding and deepening

In the coming time, Ms. Hien expressed her desire to continue receiving the support and cooperation of the units, especially the Trade Promotion Agency to perfect the export skills for businesses.

According to Mr. Do Kim Lang, the results of the companies participating in the program have created a "domino effect". That is because active enterprises are able to lead enterprises in the same industry. This is a model to share with businesses in the local area in the coming time.

"In the next stage, the orientation is to continue improving and consolidating the model of cooperation among local enterprises, organizations and trade promotion agencies to bring sustainable results. In August 2018, Swiss experts will work with Vietnam to design a new phase. Accordingly, the activities of the program will be more closely integrated with the activities of the Trade Promotion Agency and Trade Promotion Centers in the area. In addition, in the next stage, we will have to choose the priority items to promote export, but deeper development, without the need to build a model approach, towards faster practical implementation", said Mr. Lang.

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The development of domestic trade and services based on widespread supply chains is the most proper way ...

At this point, Mr. Jonas Grunder, Deputy Head of Swiss Affairs in the Swiss Embassy added,"This summer, we will have an evaluation program, bringing international experts to Vietnam to evaluate the results as well as the impact of the program. Based on that assessment, we will identify the needs as well as constraints and challenges of Vietnamese enterprises in the next phase of market access, thereby identifying the areas in which they should focus on. We will support in the future, in order to further improve the competitiveness of enterprises in the export".

By Thanh Nguyen/ Hoang Anh