Vientiane authorities have devised a six-point work plan to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access finance, and aim to increase the number of SMEs by 10 per cent this year.
Director of the Vientiane Industry and Commerce Department, Berlin Phetchanthalath, unveiled the plan at last week’s meeting of the Vientiane People’s Council.
The meeting was attended by the council’s president, Anouphap Tounalom, Vientiane mayor Sinlavong Khoutphaythoun, and members of the council.
Berlin said the development plan for SMEs had been adopted and would be put into practice.
The objectives include creating favourable conditions for SME operations and their establishment, improved access to finance, creation and development of new SME operators, greater market access and expansion, increased use of technology and innovation, and greater use of consulting services for business development.
“To make this plan a success, we will focus on the SME Service Centre in Vientiane under the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which opened in February 2017. We are now building a dedicated SME Service Centre and in April last year laid the foundations of a project for SME promotion and development as well as product distribution by members of the Vientiane Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Naxaithong district,” Berlin said.
The new building is scheduled for completion next month, he added.
The Vientiane Industry and Commerce Department is working with the Bank of the Lao PDR and commercial banks in Vientiane to make payments for SMEs easier through an e-commerce platform (Plaosme.com).
There are currently 474 SMEs registered as members, of which 385 have used this platform to advertise 1,344 products, Mr Berlin said.
The department is continuing to strength the capacity of SMEs in various areas, such as writing business plans, keeping proper accounts, and making use of financial services so they can obtain financing, as well as receiving training in certain areas of business.
The department is also trying to create markets for SMEs to ensure they can sell their products, such as by organising exhibitions and trade fairs around Laos and in other countries.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK