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Italy grants $3.8m to Viet Nam SMEs

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The Italian Government will support SME cluster development in Viet Nam with more than US$3.87 million in the form of a technical assistance grant during 2009-2011.

The funds are for the SME Cluster Development project, the agreement for which was signed here yesterday by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Embassy of Italy and the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

The project aims to develop the capacity of associations and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the three pilot sectors, which have yet to be determined, to take part in partnerships with Italian associations and other SMEs.

It builds on achievements from a recently completed MPI-UNIDO project working towards the establishment of national and provincial SME support infrastructure, which was funded by Finland, Italy and Norway.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Truong Van Doan said development of SME clusters would help Vietnamese SMEs to enhance their competitiveness in domestic and global markets.

The project would also help the ministry’s Enterprise Development Agency and selected associations draw lessons from the successful experiences of Italy and UNIDO in SME cluster development, he said.

"With assistance under the project, partnerships to be established between Italian and Vietnamese associations and SMEs will further the excellent technical and commercial co-operation that exists between our countries and yield beneficial outcomes," said Andrea Perugini, Italian Ambassador to Viet Nam.

The project will be implemented under the UN’s One Plan, a joint-action programme between the Government and 14 resident UN organisations in Viet Nam.

SME clusters (a sectoral and geographical concentration of enterprises which produce and sell a range of related and/or complementary) and enterprise networks (a group of SMEs that co-operate on a joint development project, complementing each other and specialising in order to overcome common problems) can help SMEs achieve collective efficiencies and conquer markets beyond their individual reaches. — VNS

Source: http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn

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