SMEs eager to seek partnership with US firms

VOV.VN - Over 300 businesspeople took part in discussions with representatives from many well-known American corporations to seek closer business ties and further co-operation at the 2019 Supplier Day held in Hanoi on April 25.

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The 2019 Supplier Day included an exhibition fair, networking opportunities, plus interesting presentations on topics useful to both large and small businesses.

Representatives from a range of US-based conglomerates such as GE, Hanesbrands, Coca-Cola, Polaris, 3M, and Gentherm participated the event.

The event was co-organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Hanoi, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Private Sector Development Committee under the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council of Administrative Procedure Reform, with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Dang Dinh Thinh, senior manager of domestically-invested JAT Auto-parts and Industrial Equipment Production JSC, told VOV Online that his firm is focused on setting up new partnerships with US companies in order to expand its partner network during 2019.

Thinh went on to say that since its inception in 2008, JAT has managed to run trade deals with a number of foreign-invested companies, notably Piaggio, Canon, and Honda. Of note, Piaggio makes up some 30 per cent of the firm’s total revenues.

He asserted that JAT products completely meet the quality standards and requirements by overseas buyers, partly attributed to the technical support that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have given to the Vietnamese producer.

In fact, not many small and medium - sized enterprises (SMEs) have been fortunate enough to receive similar assistance from international organizations or foreign partners such as JICA.

Vu Ba Phu, head of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, admitted that a number of private firms, especially SMEs, face an array of difficulties in joining the global value chain. Indeed, many have failed to sufficiently meet requirements set by overseas partners.

VIETRADE has made concerted efforts to update domestic firms with market information to ease their access to foreign markets in the past time, including the US. It has also provided them with numerous training courses related to marketing and brand development.

“We wish to receive more support from AmCham and USAID to further enable local firms, especially SMEs, to participate more deeply in the global value chain in the time to come”, Phu said.

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Daniel J. Kritenbrink, US Ambassador to Vietnam addresses the event.

Vietnam is among the economies experiencing the fastest economic growth, especially in the past two decades, said Daniel J. Kritenbrink, US Ambassador to Vietnam. He added that the ASEAN member country is an important partner of the US.

USAID has financed a project aimed to assist local SMEs in joining the global value chain by increasing linkages between local SMEs and overseas firms.

Up to 95 per cent of Vietnamese firms are operating on small and medium scale. These SMEs have contributed some 40 per cent to the country’s overall GDP value. Of note, less than a quarter of local SMEs have made the leap and joined the global value chain.

This presents an issue as if local SMEs are unable to enhance their participation into the global value chain, they may lose their opportunities to export.

Enabling SMEs to join the global value chain is an important cornerstone for Vietnam to increase its productivity and overall per capita income. In turn, SMEs should work on to further improve the quality of products, efficiency, and productivity, the ambassador said.

The 2019 Supplier Day included an exhibition fair, networking opportunities, plus interesting presentations on topics useful to both large and small businesses.

More than 60 exhibitors showcased their products and services at the event, covering a string of industry sectors, namely electronics, textiles and apparel, leather and footwear, furniture and wood processing, and auto parts.

The event is the first of its kind to be held in Hanoi. Similar Supplier Day events are scheduled to be held in Danang and Ho Chi Minh City later this year.


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