Switzerland Aids Vietnam in Enhancing SMEs’ Competitiveness

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs signed an agreement on an ODA project worth over CHF 5.6 million to enhance the trade activities and global competitiveness of the SMEs in Vietnam
October 22, 2021 | 21:57

On Oct. 22, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs signed an agreement in Hanoi on the commitment and recipient of the ODA grant for the Trade Policy and Export Promotion (SwissTrade) project.

The project aims to improve the effectiveness of trade activities and global competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) via strengthening framework conditions for trade, improving public-private dialogue mechanisms and developing an ecosystem for trade promotion.

The project will be implemented from 2021 to 2024, with a total implementation fund of CHF 5.672 million, including CHF 5 million in ODA grant and CHF 627,000 in matching fund.

Switzerland Aids Vietnam in Enhancing SMEs’ Competitiveness
The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs signed an agreement in Hanoi on the commitment and recipient of non-refundable ODA. Photo: congthuong.vn

Economic reform and trade liberalization play an important role in boosting growth and economic development.

Despite the visible trade growth in recent years, however, Vietnam’s strategies on export promotion and an ecosystem enabling export are limited. Local SMEs are facing challenges in accessing the international market and joining the global supply chain, partly due to a lack of competitiveness.

The project is expected to help address trade challenges by providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, such as shaping Vietnam’s import-export strategic direction in the next 10 years, especially developing and completing the framework on the institutions and policies to facilitate and boost import-export.

The project also aims to effectively connect the government and businesses in making and implementing policies via public-private dialogue, creating trade advantages and promoting trade. It is expected to help improve the capacity to support export for business support organizations, so they can aid SMEs in Vietnam in raising export competitiveness and partake efficiently in the global value chain.

In addition, the project also takes into consideration the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and promotes digitalization for Vietnam’s SMEs.

At the signing ceremony, Ambassador of Switzerland to Vietnam Ivo Sieber noted that Switzerland committed to continuing long-term trade cooperation with Vietnam. The project, funded by the Swiss government, would help strengthen Vietnamese SMEs’ competitiveness and promote trade in an efficient, sustainable and inclusive manner, he added.

Switzerland Aids Vietnam in Enhancing SMEs’ Competitiveness
The SwissTrade project, funded by the Swiss government, will be carried out by the Ministry of Industry and Trade with technical support from the International Trade Center. Photo: congthuong.vn

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan underlined that the project was significant in aiding the ministry to carry out the goals and responsibilities laid out under the resolution of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party, the 10-year Socio-economic Development Strategy in the period 2021 – 2030 and the five-year socio-economic development plan in the period 2021 – 2025.

Deputy Minister Nhat Tan also noted that the project was an important milestone celebrating the 50th anniversary of Vietnam – Switzerland diplomatic relations and 30 years of bilateral economic and technical cooperation, contributing to strengthening the commitments between the two countries on the sustainable socio-economic development of Vietnam.

The SwissTrade project, funded by the Swiss government, will be carried out by the Ministry of Industry and Trade with technical support from the International Trade Center.

This is one of the most important projects on economic development cooperation between Switzerland and Vietnam under the 2021 – 2024 cooperation program conducted by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.

The program aims to aid Vietnam in achieving sustainable growth, enhancing framework conditions on the market-oriented economy and strengthening the competitiveness and market access of the private sector in Vietnam.

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