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Last updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2018


APEC Start-up Forum 2017: Opportunity for Vietnam to Strongly Develop National Start-up Ecosystem

Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017

APEC Start-up Forum 2017, chaired by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), is scheduled to take place in Ho Chi Minh City on September 11 and 12, 2017.

Speaking at a recent press conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Ms Pham Thi Thu Hang, Secretary General of VCCI, said, in the context of international economic integration, a highly innovative country will have many opportunities and competitive advantages when they play on a big playground. Business start-up ignites creativity and lighting the flame of starting business is a universal goal of all nations. Over the past years, developed APEC economies such as the United States, Japan, South Korea and Singapore all have been working to build start-up ecosystems and facilitate their people to grasp business opportunities and contribute to national economic development. Therefore, building start-up ecosystems and completing conditions for start-up is the most urgent requirement to help start-up communities in developing countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam to grow strongly.

In Vietnam, the National Innovative Start-up Ecosystem Support Project to 2025 approved by the Prime Minister in Decision 844/QD-TTg dated May 18, 2016 initially produced effective results. “We hope that, through the APEC Start-up Forum 2017, components of Vietnam's start-up ecosystem will be gradually completed and we will have valuable experience to strongly grow the national start-up ecosystem,” Ms Hang said.

With respect to providing support services for start-up businesses, Ms Hang said that many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) need a lot of support services when they start up their business and they expect that service providers such as business incubation consultancy, shared workspaces, start-up finance, technology consultancy and vocational training will offer help. Nevertheless, supplying support services to MSMEs or start-ups is different from serving other businesses as they need the active engagement of multinational corporations and the government and they particularly need innovative support models operated under the market mechanism. “That is why we will have an important keynote session at the APEC Start-up Forum 2017 to share experiences of APEC economies in supplying support services for business start-ups,” she revealed.

Concurring with Ms Hang’s viewpoint, Mr Francis Nguyen Tuan Anh, Head of Application Development, Microsoft Vietnam - one of main sponsors of the APEC Start-up Forum 2017, said APEC is a cross-border economy and the start-up movement must also be transnational. To launch the start-up support programme, in January 2016, Microsoft set up a training centre for start-up companies specialised in software in Vietnam with the primary goal of training soft skills for these companies and bringing their services to other countries. After training courses wrapped up, Microsoft took them to other countries in the region such as Singapore and Japan to deploy their services. “Starting from July 2017, Microsoft Vietnam completely reorganised the company to carry out start-up support programmes more professionally and more formally,” he said.

The APEC Start-up Forum 2017 will welcome more than 300 delegates and speakers from APEC member economies. Apart from the plenary session on start-up ecosystem, the forum will also have theme-based breakout sessions (e.g. Innovative start-up in the digital age, start-up education and training and start-up support services) and other cooperation building activities prior to the forum (e.g. Talks to investors, product display desks, and experience sharing workshop from Canada.

Discussion contents focus on MSME, particularly start-up, support and development like facilitating MSMEs to change and create opportunities for international and regional integration, access global value chains right from the start of doing business; promoting sustainable and environment-friendly socio-economic growth.

Initiatives and contents of the APEC Start-up Forum 2017 will be discussed to become the Joint Statement on Business Development Facilitation and MSME Development to send proposals to the APEC SME Ministerial Meeting, held on September 15, 2017.

My Chau

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