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SME Support Law Revision Needs to Go to Essence

GBS - The Ministry of Planning and Investment recently hosted a workshop in Hanoi with the Drafting Committee of the Law on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Support in order to seek out the best legal framework to assist the SME community. The workshop was of great significance when the Government of Vietnam has paid special attention to this economic sector so as to create new growth momentum for the economy.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said, in the spirit of the Prime Minister's Decision 1273/QD-TTg dated August 7, 2015 which assigned lead agencies to draft bills and ordinances in 2016, the Ministry of Planning and Investment is the lead agency tasked to draft the Law on SME Support. To date, the ministry has collaborated with relevant agencies to organise many workshops and seminars attended by ministries, branches and localities, southern lawmakers, SME associations, international organisations, scientists and experts. To date, the ministry has collaborated with relevant agencies to organise many workshops and seminars attended by ministries, branches and localities, southern lawmakers, SME associations, international organisations, scientists and experts. The ministry has also posted the draft law on its website where it can collect feedbacks and opinions from the business community.

Drawing an overall picture of this important law, Mr Ho Sy Hung, Director of Business Development Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, introduced a summary of basic contents of the draft law. He said the law includes seven chapters and 49 articles, with Chapter 1: General provisions having eight articles; Chapter II: SME support contents having nine articles; Chapter III: SME support programmes having 16 articles; Chapter IV: Tasks, powers and responsibilities of agencies, organisations and individuals in SME support having six articles; Chapter V: Budget, mechanisms for coordination, monitoring and assessment of SME support having four articles; Chapter VI: Commendation and handling of violations in SME support having three articles. Chapter VII: Execution provisions consisting of three articles. The draft law provides of SME support contents, plans and programmes; State management over SME support; duties, powers and responsibilities of SME support agencies, organisations and individuals.

He added that the compilation and promulgation of the Law on SME Support will concretize operating guidelines of the Government to create all conditions and provide comprehensive supports to the Vietnamese SME community by establishing consistent SME support policies and programmes on the basis of selective supports consistent with objectives and directions of the country’s economic development, local advantages and national resources to increase the quantity and improve the operating quality of the SME sector. The ruling will clearly define responsibilities and roles of the Government, central agencies, localities, social organisations and the private sector in supporting SMEs; consolidate the SME support policy implementation system from central to local levels; enhance the participation of the private sector; and raise the effectiveness of coordination, monitoring and assessment of SME support activities. Besides, “framework provisions” take into consideration the construction of a vanguard important business force with strong competitiveness to reach out international markets when Vietnam advances extensive international economic integration. At the same time, this is also an important legal framework for all economic sectors, foreign organisations, donors and investors to procedurally support SMEs more easily.

Giving more details about the significance and importance of this important law, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung stressed that Vietnam targets to have at least 1 million businesses in operation by 2020 and thus actively promote entrepreneurship among young generations. The law also clearly provides how to equally support businesses, not only SMEs. Particularly, the ruling deliberately defines support for SMEs, for example support in production, information, advice, personnel training and retraining. Moreover, it SME development is also private economic sector development, he stressed.

Minister Dung also directed compilers to study the scope of application, SME criteria, organisational apparatus, support methods, and representatives of SMEs. Besides, they were told to further research, consult and selectively learn best experiences and practices of SME support in other countries in the world to opt out best ones for Vietnam with its characteristics, resources and socioeconomic conditions taken into account.


Anh Phuong/ VCCI

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