U.S. Companies and Vietnamese Government Partner to Promote SMBs Integration into Global Value Chains

Can Tho, Viet Nam (July 9) – More than 200 multi-industry Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) owners and executives from Can Tho and 13 neighboring Mekong Delta provinces participated in a one-day SMB workshop titled “Trade Facilitation: Integrating SMBs into Inclusive Global Value Chains”.

As an implementation of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the US-ASEAN Business Council and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the workshop provided SMBs with series of practical trainings to further capitalize Can Tho’s status as Viet Nam’s home for industries, export-processing zones, and world’s biggest manufacturers.

SMBs were trained to become an integral part of global value chains and regional e-commerce by experts from Viet Nam’s Minister of Industry and Trade (MOIT) and General Department of Customs, as well as Council member companies such as Coca-Cola and Cisco. The trainings included socialization of Rules of Origin (ROO) under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), the importance of logistics for trade facilitation, and the enabling technology to boost SMBs’ regional e-commerce participation.

The workshop featured remarks from the Chairman of Can Tho City People's Committee, Mr. Truong Quang Hoai Nam, U.S. Consul General, Ms. Mary Tarnowka; Deputy Director General of Viet Nam Customs General Department, Mr. Mai Xuan Thanh; and the Council’s Deputy Regional Managing Director, Mr. Vu Tu Thanh.

“As our first SMB engagement in Viet Nam this year, we are pleased that this workshop can further emphasize the commitment of U.S. business community to support Viet Nam’s government in promoting the Vietnamese SMBs’ integration to the inclusive nature of global value chains”, said Mr. Vu Tu Thanh.

"Coca-Cola is proud to be the partner of the US-ASEAN Business Council and VCCI since the very beginning days of the program, offering the practical knowledge and experiences for local enterprises on their integration journey into the global supply chain. The program is aligned with the company’s strategy in enhancing domestic value chain through production, business, and training activities to help develop people and the communities in which we operate. In 2017, Coca-Cola pioneered to mentor a group of SMEs to select 8 companies to become our potential suppliers and we do hope to see more more local SMEs thrive in this year's program.”, said Mr. Sanket Ray, CEO of Coca-Cola Viet Nam.

"Digitization is enabling SMEs across ASEAN to participate in cross-border trade, allowing them to grow and scale their businesses while reducing costs. However, SMEs are at varying stages of maturity in terms of digital adoption and not all are able to dedicate resources to ICT developments. Therefore, more support from governments and corporations is needed to develop an inclusive digital economy. We at Cisco are excited to be US-ASEAN Business Council's main partner for ASEAN SME capacity building program this year and play a role in creating digital ecosystems across the region for SMEs.", said Bidhan Roy, General Manager of ASEAN SMB Market & Distribution of Cisco Systems (USA) Pte Ltd.

Today’s workshop extends the Council’s commitment to empowering ASEAN SMBs. Since 2011, more than 6,000 SMEs in all ten ASEAN countries have benefitted from the Council’s SMB capacity building programs. Sectors covered by these programs include use of modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools, use of electronic payment systems, marketing, logistics, and promotion of women entrepreneurship.

For inquiries related to this workshop and other Council's SMB activities, please contact Vinsensius Kangen at vkangen@usasean.org

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For more than 30 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's 150+ membership generates over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.