Mekong Delta start-ups flourishing

Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 08:19

Phan Van Mai, standing deputy secretary of Ben Tre Province’s Party Committee, speaks during a conference on start-ups in the Mekong Delta. – Photo

The growth of entrepreneurship within Ben Tre Province and the Mekong Delta has been flourishing in recent years, officials said during a conference on start-ups held in Ben Tre City on Tuesday.

Nguyen Phuong Lam, deputy director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Can Tho, said that after two years of following the government’s instructions on creating a favourable environment for businesses and start-ups, the number of start-ups had risen and that many provinces were working on long-term plans to promote start-ups.

From 2015 to 2017, the Mekong Delta saw a 12 per cent increase in new businesses, with Ben Tre and Hau Giang provinces seeing a 32 and 35 per cent increase in new firms, respectively. Nine out of 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta reached the targets promised to the government during the period.

However, the Mekong Delta’s entrepreneurial growth is still below the nation’s average of 16 per cent.

Lam, who is also chairman of the Mekong Delta Startup Network, said that start-ups in the region still faced challenges and did not have enough big firms or sources to provide experience, funding and assistance.

In addition, there is lack of customer support as well as connections between businesses and the market.

The Mekong Delta has developed favourable policies, as well as infrastructure and education facilities, but it needs to work on promoting innovation and start-up skills, according to Lam.

Phan Van Mai, standing deputy secretary of Ben Tre Province’s Party Committee, said that over the last two years the province has been working to promote a suitable business environment for small start-ups.

Nearly 1,000 new firms were established over the last two years, and a total of 3,920 firms exist in the province.

The province has also provided funding and financial aid for 774 projects, with VND802 billion (US$34.5 million) worth of funds from sources such as the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development and the Ben Tre Entrepreneurship Investment Fund.

Ben Tre needs to continue to raise awareness of and inspire the spirit of entrepreneurship by providing training for those looking to start their own business and improving the business environment by gathering feedback, Mai said.

The province is also encouraging start-ups to use advanced technology and take advantage of their areas’ specialties to boost competitiveness.

Cu Van Thanh, director of Luong Quoi Coconut Processing Company, said that successful start-ups are passionate about what they do but are practical as well, and do not just follow trends.

The conference was organised by Ben Tre People’s Committee, VCCI in Can Tho City, Mekong Delta Startup Network and Saigon Times newspaper. – VNS

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