SMEs in Disadvantaged Areas Should Be More Supported

This is the guiding opinion by Mr. Le Thanh Hai - Vice Chairman of People's Council of Soc Trang province at the meeting held on April 24th 2014 between the monitoring mission of Economics - State Budget Office (under People's Council of Soc Trang province) and the Project Management Unit (PMU) of Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Development Project in Soc Trang province.

There were also Mr. Tran Dai Phuc - Vice Head of the Economics - State Budget Office, Mr. Mai Phuoc Hung - Director of Department of Planning and Investment cum Director of the PMU, Mr. Pham Van Thu - Deputy Director of the PMU, other members of the monitoring mission and PMU office staff.

The members of the monitoring mission of the Economics - State Budget Office noted and appreciated results achieved in 2013 by the SME development project in Soc Trang province including many activities such as ST rice and red onion value chain upgrading, models supporting income improvement from artemia raising, support to the establishment of Soc Trang Business Association and the Investment Promotion and Enterprise Support Center, support to enterprises in terms of trademark protection registration, training to improve management skills for enterprises, trade promotion, and increased information for enterprises… Besides, small scale infrastructure works (like bridges, roads and markets…) were constructed with the planned progress, had environmental protection commitments implemented; the participation of Community Supervisory Boards was mobilized, and the quality of the SSI works was ensured. This contributes to creating favorable conditions to support SME development in the selected communes or townships.

Through actual observation and field visits, the members of the monitoring mission of the Economics - State Budget Office presented opinions for discussion and clarification so that activities of the SME development project could achieve more success in the coming time. After that, the members of the monitoring mission provided some comments and contributions related to further strengthening communication activities for enterprises in the province, especially for those in disadvantaged areas, so that they can access the project's programs and support more effectively; further focusing on the training subjects and organization venues; better information sharing about good and successful practices through study tours inside and outside the province; paying attention to supporting trademark protection registration for the districts' strong products; maintaining capacity building for district Project Steering Committees, commune Project Management Units and related staff; instructing districts and towns and city to develop plans surveying and clarifying the support demands of enterprises in these areas; and further paying attention to the structure and role of Community Supervisory Boards… Receiving these contributions, leaders of the Project Management Unit and its staff had some feedback, explanations and clarifications for the concerned matters.

Mr. Le Thanh Hai (middle) - Vice Chairman of People's Council of Soc Trang province
provided some comments at the meeting.

Concluding the meeting, Mr. Le Thanh Hai proposed the Project Management Unit to pay more attention to communication activities, provide enterprises more and more information and appropriately apply information technology into communication; to improve awareness and responsibility for related departments and district/ town/ city People's Committees in implementing the approved provincial 5-year SME development plan from 2012 to 2016; further improve the effectiveness of training activities; and paying more attention to SMEs located in disadvantaged areas.

* Before this meeting, the monitoring mission of the Economics - State Budget Office had other meetings with the Project Steering Committees of My Xuyen, Ke Sach and Tran De districts and the Project Management Units of Lich Hoi Thuong and Thanh Phu communes and Ke Sach townships; the meetings were related to the management and use of ODA fund in implementing the SME development project in Soc Trang province. The monitoring mission also had field visits to small scale infrastructure works invested by the Government of Canada (through the SME development project) and interviewed enterprises and local people to see the possible effects from the invested works. Then the mission stated recommendations to help the implementation of the SME development project achieve better success.


Tran Van Van
Monitoring and Evaluation officer cum Interpreter


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