US-ASEAN Business Council Holds First Hybrid Program to Support Vietnamese Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Facing COVID-19

(Ho Chi Minh City) – On November 19, the US-ASEAN Business Council with the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Council (VWEC) conducted the first hybrid workshop program for Vietnam SMEs. The event was part of a broader webinar series in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Around 150 owners and executives of Ho Chi Minh and neighboring cities participated in person, and 50 participants joined virtually through the webinar platform for the session themed “Adjustment for Adaptation – New Direction and Opportunities.”

The workshop was officially opened by Mr. Ryan Hollowell, Commercial Officer from the U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City, followed by remarks from Mr. Dinh Ngoc Thang, Director of the HCM City Customs Department and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Chairwoman of VWEC.

The workshop featured various knowledge-sharing sessions on the challenges SMEs have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and opportunities to adapt to the current crisis with digital solutions. The program featured distinguished speakers and supported by Coca-Cola, Suntory PepsiCo, Mastercard, Google and Baker & McKenzie. 

Today’s workshop extends the Council’s commitment to empowering ASEAN SMEs. In the region, the Council has run numerous SME capacity building programs in all major cities of the 10 ASEAN countries, benefitting more than 10,000 entrepreneurs. In Vietnam alone, the Council has conducted 14 training programs since 2011.

In 2016, the Council launched the online ASEAN SME Academy, a self-help and self-paced online learning platform for SMEs, offering free courses and resources from the Council’s member companies. The Academy is co-administered with the Philippines Department Trade and Industry (DTI) and Philippine Trade Training Centre (PTTC) on behalf of the Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME). You can read more about the academy and access it here www.asean-sme-academy.org

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For over 35 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 membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. 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.