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Major US firms back SME growth in VN

Major US companies including United Parcel Service (UPS), Procter & Gamble (P&G), Google, Seagate, Visa and American International Group this week joined a training programme organised specifically to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam.

The session yesterday, organised by the US-Asean Business Council in partnership with the Vietnam Asia Pacific Economic Centre and the |2030 Businessmen Club, drew more than 100 participants of more than |60 Vietnamese companies and associations.

"SMEs are the lifeblood of Asean economies," said Alexander Feldman, president of the US-Asean Business Council.

"US multinationals know and understand the challenges faces by SMEs. Many of our members are former SMEs and faced the same challenges when building their businesses, and are eager to help pass on key skills."

The council's Asean SME programme was established in response to a challenge by the Asean Economic Ministers during the council's annual AEM consultation in 2011 to find more ways to support SME development in the region.

The programme brings together multinationals to offer business |training to SMEs in areas such |as finance, supply chain management,

search engine optimisation, |marketing and branding, |business ethics and data management.

The US-Asean SME programme is supported by a grant from the UPS foundation. The Vietnam country programme was supported by P&G, Seagate, Google and Visa, with additional support from Coca-Cola and the Saigon Times Club.

The US consul-general in Ho Chi Minh City, An Le, also addressed the group on behalf of the US government.


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