ADB facilitates SME reform in Vietnam

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The Asian Development Bank on Tuesday approved a US$40 million loan for a reform program that would make it simpler and quicker for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam to do business.

SMEs make up a large majority of all registered enterprises in the country and most new jobs in the last decade were generated by the sector, the Manila-based bank said.

But despite strong progress over the past four years, "problems in accessing medium-term capital, as well as some ongoing regulatory issues, have slowed registration of new SMEs and the expansion of existing ones," the bank said in a statement.

The 24-year loan is being granted from ADB's concessional Asian Development Fund.

"The reform supported under the program is targeting a significant cost savings from simpler business procedures, and a doubling in the number of newly registered enterprises over the next four years," Edimon Ginting, senior economist in ADB's Southeast Asia Department, was quoted as saying.

"The priority for the government of Vietnam is to sustain high economic growth to create productive jobs for around 1.7 million new workers each year, and growing SMEs is an essential part of its development strategy," Ginting said.

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