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Workshop on the introduction of Southwest implementation plans within SME Support Program

VIETRADE - Workshop on the introduction of SME Support Program workplan in main phrase (2015-2017) in the Southwest of Vietnam within the Program “Decentralized Trade Support Services for Strengthening the International Competitiveness of Vietnamese Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)” was held on 21st January 2015 in Cantho Investement Trade Tourism Promotion Center.

The Program is a technical cooperation project financed by the Government of Switzerland through ODA and implemented over a four-year period (2013 – 2017). The Program is managed by Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) under the National Execution modality (NEX).

 

The participants are representatives from trade promotion centers in Southwest of Vietnam, Vietnam Chamber of Commercial and Industry (VCCI), Can Tho Business Association (CBA), Can Tho Cooperative Alliance (VCA), Vietnam Association of Seafood and Vietnam Fruit & Vegetables Association.

 

Speaking at the workshop, Ms. Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy – Deputy National Program Director stressed the Program’s purposes and results. The program aims to enhance technical capacity for trade promotion organizations (TPOs), thereby TPOs could effectively support local export enterprises, especially SMEs.

The aim of the workshop in the Southwest of Vietnam in particular and in 03 selected regions (Ha Noi, Da Nang, Can Tho) in general is to clarify further approach methods, implementation and operational management of the Program. Especially, Program Management Unit (PMU) collected the feedbacks from participants to adjust the workplan on time to be approved by donor before the end of January 2015.

At the workshop, PMU briefed all activities which were implemented already in inception phase and drafted workplan in 2015 and years to come. The selected product categories within the framework of the Program are litchi, tea (North), tuna, pepper (Central), Trafish, fruits (Southwest), handicraft, logistics services and tourism (National).

 

The participants also discussed and contributed their ideas to the workplan in main phase including: strengthening competitiveness of SMEs, building capacity on trade promotion network, activities of the Programme Consultative Committee (PCC) and Technical Working Group (TWG), building materials and training course on promotion skills, improving TPOs’s capacity on product and service development, coaching SMEs’ export skills on selected sectors of the Program.   

 

Another important issue in this workshop was to build operational network for 3 TWGs: Product Development TWG, Trade Information - Training TWG, Trade Finance TWG. All groups would continue to operate in three selected regions and have 2- 3 meetings per year at the same time with PCC’s meeting in order to strengthen the connection of the organizations in the region.

 

Closing the workshop, Thuy highly appreciated the feedbacks of the participants. According to plan, PMU would complete proposed general plan for all three selected regions (Northern, Central and Southern) to report at a meeting with National Steering Committee (NSC) on 29th January 2015. The activities in main phrase would be implemented immediately after NSC’s approval.

 
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