The social value of small business was highlighted at the opening of the Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) meeting today in Ha Noi.
Viet Nam's Vice Minister for Planning and Investment, Truong Van Doan, welcomed delegates to the meeting that is taking place in preparation for the SME Minister's Meeting on Thursday.
Vice Minister Doan provided the delegates with an overview of recent SME development in Viet Nam and the essential role that this plays in society.
"SMEs in Viet Nam are not only economically but also socially important, particularly as a source of employment generation," Mr. Doan said in his opening address.
"SMEs are particularly important for helping people to realize their aspirations and self-sufficiency.
"Viet Nam has been utilizing both physical and human resources to narrow the development gap with other economies in the region, in parallel to hunger eradication, poverty alleviation and building social equality."
The SMEWG is meeting over two days prior to the SME Ministerial Meeting on Thursday, September 28, and Friday, September 29.
A large portion of today's meeting covered progress on the SMEWG's work plan for 2006.
A number of delegates have also made presentations throughout the first day of the SMEWG on the latest policy developments in their economies. This includes best practices for establishing policies to deal with barriers to SME expansion and other challenges faced by the operators of smaller businesses.
The SMEWG meeting will conclude tomorrow and will include a discussion on inputs to the "Hanoi Declaration on SME Competitiveness for Trade and Investment" that will be delivered by Ministers on Friday.
News Photos
Chair of the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group Meeting, Mr. Bui Liemo.
 
Vietnam's Vice Minister for Planning and Investment, Truong Van Doan.