Last updated: Friday, February 15, 2019


Supporting Business Start-ups in Asia-Pacific

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The first Asia-Pacific Business Forum – Doing Business in the Francophone Community (Photo: Hong Quang, VOV)
The first Asia-Pacific Business Forum – Doing Business in the Francophone Community (Photo: Hong Quang, VOV)

This is the theme of the first Asia-Pacific Business Forum – Doing Business in the Francophone Community, hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Hanoi.

For the first time, a forum in the Asia-Pacific region on business start-ups in the Francophone community was held in Hanoi where delegates exchanged experiences to come up with appropriate innovative solutions to promote trade and investment exchange in the Francophone community.

Attending the event were officials from central agencies of Vietnam, embassies of French-speaking countries in Vietnam, investment promotion agencies in Africa, bank leaders, cotton and textile associations, the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, garment and textile enterprises, and companies engaged in various industries in 10 Asia-Pacific countries.

Women and youth are the two most active actors in the economic development of each country. This is also an issue that the Government of Vietnam focuses very much on in the current period.

Mr Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of VCCI, said that, in the past years, with the support of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), VCCI has carried out several activities to assist Vietnamese enterprises in trade and investment cooperation with Francophone firms in the Asia Pacific, particularly French-speaking African countries.

In the economic development, start-ups contribute a lot of benefits to any economy through knowledge-based improvements, he said. Start-ups are the main driving force to accelerate economic development, increase labour productivity, create jobs, contribute to national economic growth, bring new competitive dynamics into the economic system. This helps countries maintain and boost economic health. In addition, entrepreneurship promotes a research-based innovation system that helps communities change their socially-relevant awareness and thinking based on knowledge and creativity, enabling them to become aware of their responsibilities to individual work and career development in society.

VCCI Vice President Phong said, creating conditions for successful start-ups is not easy. It requires great efforts of individuals, organisations, the Government and related organs to shape an enabling environment and favourable conditions for entrepreneurship to be promoted. Essentially, entrepreneurship is supported appropriately to survive and develop.

Women are increasingly involved in business in Vietnam in particular and in the Asia-Pacific region in general. This is an important new impetus for the regional development.

A survey of 22,000 businesses in 91 countries in 2016 showed the firms which had higher numbers of women would generate a 6 per cent increase in net profit. Companies with 30 per cent of females in the personnel structure will enjoy a 15 per cent increase in revenue. Women-owned enterprises have advantages such as persistence in the face of difficulties, and take more care of employee policies. Thus, to create conditions for women to start businesses, governments and organisations need to be aware of barriers that restrict women and devise appropriate policies to tackle them, said VCCI Vice President Phong.

At present, Francophone countries are carrying out economic and structural transformation strategies to better engage in regional and international exchanges with a view to reconciling economic growth, combating poverty and inequality, protecting the environment and preserving cultural heritages.

Tatiana Yangoupandé, OIF Programme Specialist, said, the French-speaking community consists of 84 countries, accounting for 20 per cent of the world's population, 17 per cent of global GDP and 20 per cent of global trade. This space provides many business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Businesses can share good practices and innovative approaches to promote entrepreneurship, especially for women and youth.

The forum is an initiative of OIF, which is part of the Programme “Promoting Employment through Women and Youth Entrepreneurship Initiatives” launched OIF in 2015 with the aim of promoting sustainable and inclusive growth with a focus on job creation through the development of innovative entrepreneurship of women and youth in highly employed areas and Francophone strategies.

Anh Mai

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