|The meeting between permanent Government members and the executive committee of the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Hanoi on July 6. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired a meeting between permanent Government members and the executive committee of the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Hanoi on July 6 to seek solutions to challenges facing SMEs.
Due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the world situation, SMEs have suffered from declining orders, struggling sales, and high input costs, which have affected their revenue as well as jobs and income for workers, the association reported.
PM Chinh applauded the contributions and achievements by SMEs, which account for over 97 per cent of the total businesses nationwide.
He cited a recent survey as finding that up to 59.2 per cent of the 10,000 interviewed companies said their biggest problem is the shortage of orders; 51.1 per cent, access to capital; and the remainders, difficulties related to administrative procedures and legal rules.
Current challenges face not only the Vietnamese economy but many others in the world, he noted.
The Government always listens to businesses and exerts efforts to tackle the problems SMEs encounter, he affirmed, highlighting the extension of tax and land rent payment deadlines; the reduction or exemption of taxes, fees and charges (totaling about 200 trillion VND, or 8.4 billion USD); the facilitation of the corporate bond and real estate markets; the promotion of administrative reforms and the improvement of the business climate; assistance for businesses to recover fast and develop sustainably; and the establishment of 26 working groups of Government members to work with localities in this regard.
Talking about the difficult access to capital and the high interest rates, PM Chinh said the banking sector has cut key interest rates for four straight times while striving to lower lending interest rates, increase outstanding loans, and facilitate credit access.
He asked the banking sector to take stronger actions to implement the Government’s resolutions on removing obstacles to production and business activities and creating jobs. Particularly, it needs to step up easing the monetary policy by increasing the money supply, aligning credit growth with credit demand, and reducing interest rates, especially lending ones.
The sector was also requested to boost the disbursement of the 120 trillion VND credit package for social housing development and the 10 trillion VND package for wood and fisheries businesses, and launch more consumption stimulation measures.
As inflation has been placed under control and gradually brought down, it is necessary to give more priority to realising the growth target and promoting the three growth drivers of investment, export, and consumption, the leader went on.
With regard to administrative procedure reforms, the Government has assigned its Office to coordinate with the Ministry of Home Affairs to keep reforming and streamlining administrative procedures, step up the decentralisation of power and the appropriate allocation of resources, and improve inferior agencies’ implementation capacity.
It will continue devising priority mechanisms for SMEs to develop new areas such as innovation, digital transformation, green transition, the circular economy, the sharing economy, the PM noted.
In terms of order shortages, he held that it is important to increase trade promotion; capitalise on the existing free trade agreements (FTAs); negotiate new ones; diversify markets, products and supply chains; and improve product quality.
He added that this is the time for enhancing solidarity among the Government, ministries, sectors, localities, and businesses to surmount difficulties.
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