The APEC 2017 Start-ups Forum was held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 12 to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in their attempts to innovate, integrate and access the global value chain at their nascent business stage.

The APEC 2017 Start-ups Forum opens in Ho Chi Minh City on September 12.

Vo Tan Thanh, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said that Vietnam has been evaluated as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. The Vietnamese Government aims to have at least one million effective businesses by 2020, he noted.

The selection of Ho Chi Minh City as the venue of the APEC 2017 Start-ups Forum is practical as the southern economic hub is striving to build itself into a start-up urban centre, with the establishment of 500,000 enterprises through to 2020.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung said that the increasing number of new businesses – which hit a record of more than 110,000 in 2016 – is expected to create more job opportunities and social services.

Besides quantity, equal attention should be paid to the quality and health of businesses to encourage more innovative start-up firms to be set up in the future, he said.

He called on major groups such as Viettel, FPT and Truong Hai Auto Corporation to provide pragmatic support for start-ups in Vietnam.

During the forum, participants discussed a wide range of topics, such as innovative start-ups in the digital era, education and training on entrepreneurship, business services for start-ups, and the acceleration of sustainable socio-economic growth.

Through sharing experiences, ideas and tools to support start-ups, APEC member economies are striving to form a dynamic and networked APEC Start-ups Community.

Initiatives raised at the event will be discussed to propose a joint Statement on promoting start-ups and MSMEs to the upcoming APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM) in the city on September 15.

MSMEs account for over 97% of all enterprises and employ over half of the workforce across APEC economies. MSMEs contribute significantly to economic growth, accounting for between 20% and 50% of GDP in most APEC economies. However, they account for just 35% or less of direct exports.



                                               Source: NDO

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