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DEVELOPING SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN TRADITIONAL HANDICRAFT VILLAGES IN BAC NINH PROVINCE A Doctor Thesis Presented to The Faculty of Graduate School Southern Luzon State University, Lucban, Quezon, Philippines in Collaboration with Thai Nguyen University, Socialist Republic of Vietnam In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree Doctor of Business Administration Vuong Quoc Tuan (Strongman) December 2014 TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ................................................................................... 1 1.1. Background of the study ......................................................................................... 1 1.2. Objectives of the study............................................................................................ 4 1.3. Hypotheses ............................................................................................................. 5 1.4. Scope and Delimitation ........................................................................................... 5 1.5. Significances of the study ....................................................................................... 6 1.6. Definition of terms............................................................................................... 7 CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURES AND STUDIES ................. 9 2.1. Related Literatures.................................................................................................. 9 2.1.1. Concepts .......................................................................................................... 9 2.1.2. An Overview of Small and Medium Enterprises .............................................. 13 2.1.3. Small and Medium Enterprise Development and Business Development in Traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh Province .............................................. 31 2.1.4. Factors Affecting the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises ............ 46 2.2. Related Empirical Studies ..................................................................................... 50 2.3. Conceptual Framework ......................................................................................... 56 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY.......................................................... 57 3.1. Research Design ................................................................................................... 57 3.2. Population, Sample Size and Sampling Technique ................................................ 57 3.3. Description of Respondents .................................................................................. 58 3.4. Research Instrument ............................................................................................. 58 3.5. Data Gathering Procedures ................................................................................... 59 3.6. Statistical Treatment of Data ................................................................................. 59 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND SOLUTIONS ABOUT CURRENT SITUATION ON DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES IN TRADITIONAL HANDICRAFT VILLAGES OF BAC NINH PROVINCE ......................................... 61 4.1. Overview of traditional handicraft villages and small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province..................................................... 61 4.1.1. Traditional handicraft villages ....................................................................... 61 4.1.2. Small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province................................................................................................................... 63 4.1.3. Employment and income in small and medium-sized businesses in handicraft villages, traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province .................................. 65 4.2. Features of the elements in external environment affect the development of small and medium enterprises in handicraft villages, traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province ...................................................................................................................... 66 4.2.1. Group of policy factors .................................................................................. 66 4.2.2. Group of administrative procedure factors ..................................................... 71 4.2.3. Group of geography, infrastructure factors .................................................... 80 4.2.4. Group of financial and economic factors........................................................ 85 4.2.5. Group of labor factors ................................................................................... 88 4.3. Assessing the internal problems of small and medium enterprises in handicraft villages, traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province today ............................. 94 4.3.1. Group of business owner factors .................................................................... 94 4.3.2. Group of labor factors ................................................................................... 99 4.3.3. Group of organizational structure factors .................................................... 102 4.3.4. Group of raw material factors ...................................................................... 106 4.3.5. Group of technological level factors............................................................. 110 4.3.6. Group of financial capacity factors .............................................................. 115 4.3.7. Group of product and market factors ........................................................... 119 4.3.8. Group of production and business result factors .......................................... 126 4.4. Analysis of factors affecting the development of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province................................................... 130 4.4.1. Factors affecting the growth in the number of small and medium-sized enterprises ............................................................................................................. 131 4.4.2. Factors affecting the gross revenus of small and medium-sized enterprises in traditional handicraft villages of Bac Ninh province .............................................. 133 4.5. Assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges for the development of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province ............................................................................................................ 134 4.6. Limitations and challenges of the SME sector ..................................................... 136 4.7. Orientation and solutions for SMEs development in traditional handicraft villages of Bac Ninh province in the near future ......................................................................... 138 4.7.1. Orientation .................................................................................................. 139 4.7.2. Development Goals ...................................................................................... 139 4.7.3. Solutions for the development of SMEs in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province ........................................................................................................ 140 CHAPTER 5 ................................................................................................................ 148 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION .......................................................... 150 5.1. Summary ............................................................................................................ 150 5.2. Conclusions ........................................................................................................ 151 5.3. Recommendations .............................................................................................. 153 BIBLIOGRAPHY ....................................................................................................... 155 APPENDICES ............................................................................................................. 161 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Due to the many countries have important role of small focused on encouraging and this medium-sized type of enterprises, enterprise development. Institutional support nature to encourage include: Support to create a favorable business environment (development and promulgation of the law on small and medium enterprises, to facilitate licensing, supply information , etc.), the business support capacity building (training resources management, technology support , etc.), and the support of credit (bank established professional for small and medium enterprise loans, credit guarantees for enterprises, the establishment of venture capital companies , etc.), and other support (such as business premises). According to the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (VINASME), up to 96% of registered enterprises in Vietnam are SMEs. This unit generated 40% of gross domestic product, generating more than 1 million new jobs each year, mainly beneficial especially for untrained labor. For many years, the volume of SMEs is still the engine that runs the economy of Vietnam. But have to admit the fact, this volume is also thrive in areas with modest margin, low technology so there is no advantage in size (financial resources, area of operation, market share, etc.) that often focus on issues such as selection of business objectives consistent with the ability, stability and consolidation of market share or develop gradually and selectively market stage, the sudden most favorable break. SMEs still have the motor and the link to business cooperation that lack of clarity of the role of state policy. 1.1. Background of the study Small Business Development Plan and medium period 2011 - 2015 has been approved by the Prime Minister, in which the goal of bringing the number of newly established small and medium-sized enterprises in 2011-2015 is expected to 350,000 enterprises. Target set by the time on 31.12.2015, there were 600,000 active enterprises. (http://baodientu.chinhphu.vn/Home/Ke-hoach-phat-trien-doanh-nghiep-nho-va vua/20129/148542.vgp). Small and medium-sized enterprises play an important role in socio-economic development and active support for the development of big business, but they have certain restrictions on capital, production technology, production ground... So, requiring solutions, long-term policies to support enterprises to overcome difficulties and improve competitiveness towards the goal of sustainable development. 1 According to a survey of the Department of Business Development (Ministry of Planning and Investment), officially recognized in 2001, by the end of June / 2012, the country has 658,645 SMEs registered establishment, of which 468,023 enterprises activity (about 71.1%). The number of SMEs in terms of the labor force each year by an average of 22.11% / year (if in 2000 more than 38,000 companies, 2010 was over 283,000). In 2010, Bac Ninh Province have been granted business registration certificates for 797 enterprises, including: 748 enterprises granted business registration certificates of the Company Law, 100% new business was established in 2010 small and medium-sized enterprises; 49 FDI investment certificates associated with the establishment of enterprises, branches, representative offices under the Investment Law; as the end of 2010, Bac Ninh province has a total of 4.293 enterprises, in including 5 state enterprises and private business 4013, 275 FDI enterprises. In general, businesses in the province to develop good business in accordance with law, to be effective, has potential exploit local strengths such as capital, labor, skill, level workers, especially is in the local traditional handicraft villages. Private sector was contributing to production development, create jobs, increase budget revenues, improve people's lives; contribute to poverty reduction, economic restructuring towards industrialization of modernization and contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the province. Enterprises have increasingly conscious mouse than in the observance of safety, occupational health and insurance. Results of implementation plan for SME development in the province of Bac Ninh 2006-2010. Bac Ninh Province to encourage and create favorable conditions and support people to establish enterprises; province has planned and established industrial parks, small and medium-sized industrial clusters, industrial villages, to help people set up businesses have leased premises conditions for investment in the business. The province has implemented mechanisms, effective new policies to improve the business environment. PCI index increasingly improved rankings year after more than year ago: rated 22 (2006), No. 16 (2008); 2009, provincial competitiveness index of the North increased security 6 Level No. 10 compared to nationally and internationally as one of three leading provinces PCI index of the northern provinces; 2010, the provincial competitiveness index of Bac Ninh increased to 4 Level stand 6 compared with nationally and internationally as one of the top leading PCI of the northern provinces. On the business side: The majority of SMEs have small capital, so the investment in modern technology and equipment (mostly imported from abroad) is very difficult, 2 while to the competitive foreign companies to continuously improve equipment, reduce input costs. State policies to support credit loans but access to capital is impeded by the small value mortgage, can not afford credit guarantee; SMEs often lack and difficulties with most kinds of business are not given priority in terms of production, often using their own homes, and hiring of private land lease prices high, there is still discrimination. Low level of technology and quality of labor is limited, derived from small-scale features which should virtually restricted business investment in modern technology and equipment. Management level and low-skilled, the number of SMEs through training percentage is very low and virtually untrained professional; while workers mostly manual labor, only trained short-term job or the labor shift from agriculture to up the skill is still limited. Therefore, the application of modern advanced technology is also difficult. SMEs lack information and remain flat side of the relationship (the state, the market, banking, science centers and training centers, etc.). Internet access and applications in business for SMEs constrained by insufficient qualifications as well as the cost is quite high compared to the size of the small business. SME Development Goals 2011-2015: accelerate business growth and enhance the competitiveness of SMEs, business investment environment and convenient, equitable, transparent to the SME contribution increasing economic development and improve national competitiveness. Target SME Development 2011-2015: number of newly established enterprises increased by 25% / year; each year about 500 new established enterprises and 20,000 employees supported technical training, and technical management in SMEs; meet the basic business of the production business. The story of a representative enterprise producing bamboo handicrafts in Y Yen District, Nam Dinh said: Although the village is famous for its line of bamboo lacquer products, but the products must through intermediate systems, inaccessible to direct customers. There is time for the people of this village to busy racing competition, including not healthy, so it's time for poor quality products. When the product is on the market, customers see poor quality so next time do not buy anymore. Notably, there are many large business companies do not get the goods of this village that takes the product of another village, while other villages choose to buy products that actually get the product from this village for sale rather than production. This 3 situation led SMEs in this village that the deadlock, even feel the "injustice" in the marketplace. However, according to Pham Chi Lan, this is something quite common in villages in Vietnam. Being aware of mentioned issues and with the support from small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province and consultant from supervisor, with the purpose of enhancing quality and quantity of not only products of SMEs but also SMEs themselves, the researcher studied this thesis entitled “Developing small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province”. 1.2. Objectives of the study The general objective of the study is to know about the current situation of small and medium enterprises development and then to propose feasible solutions for the development of traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province. The specific objectives of the study are as follows: 1. To determine the profile of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province in terms of: - Capitalization/investment; - Type of products; - Number of employees; - Scope of operation. 2. To analyze elements in external environment and internal environment that affects the development of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province in terms of: * External environment: - Policy; - Economics and Finance; - Administrative procedure; - Geography, infrastructure; - Labor. * Internal environment: - Human resource (Business owner; Labor); - Organizational structure; - Production (Raw material; Product and market). - Technological level; - Financial capacity; - Production and business result. 4 3. To assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges for the development of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province based on SWOT analysis. 4. To determine the significant difference between problems identified by both groups of small and medium enterprises inside and outside traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province. 5. To propose feasible solutions for 5-year development plan of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province. 1.3. Hypotheses There is no significant difference among the perception of the respondents about conditions for the development of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province in terms of: * External environment: - Policy; - Administrative procedure; - Geography, infrastructure; - Economics and Finance; - Labor. * Internal environment: - Business owner; - Labor; - Organizational structure; - Raw material; - Technological level; - Financial capacity; - Product and market; - Production and business result. 1.4. Scope and Delimitation The main goal of this study is to find out solutions for the development of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province The researcher completes this study with belief that its result will help SMEs in traditional handicraft villages can develop stronger. 5 Due to the author’s limitation of time, the research only studied some contents related to factors of external environment (Policy; Administrative procedure; Geography, infrastructure; Economics and Finance; Labor) and factors of internal environment (Business owner; Labor; Organizational structure; Raw material; Technological level; Financial capacity; Product and market; Production and business result) that affect the development of SMEs in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province. Describing methodology and with survey questionnaires as a main tool to collect the data and information will be utilized in this study. 1.5. Significances of the study This study will be beneficial to the following: For managers of research units: The study shows out the limitations as well as find out conditions needed for the development of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province, so it helps managers of research units to identify solutions and build strategies to remove the difficulties and support SMEs in the province in some different ways and improve investment environment to attract resources from outside of province such as investment capital, science technology, scientific management, also exploit and promote the province's comparative advantage in productions and business, trade and services, infrastructure and available labor resources of the province to enhance the development for SMEs in traditional handicraft villages. For research unit: By realizing appropriate conditions for the development and from which by offered proper solutions, the study helps research units receive better policies to perform well their businesses and develop more strongly. For the researcher: This study helps to complete the PhD thesis, besides it also enhances studying ability, accumulate knowledge for the author. For future researchers: This study will serve as a reference for future studies and researchers on research methods, analysis and evaluation of conditions for the development of small and medium enterprises in traditional handicraft villages, from which researchers’ future studies will determine the issues for related further studies. 6 1.6. Definition of terms Capitalization: is the sum of a corporation's long-term debt, stock and retained earnings. Small and Medium Enterprise: is an independence manufacture base, business registered pursuant to current law, has registered capital not higher than VND 10 billion or the yearly average labors numbers are not over 300 people. Traditional handicraft villages: are villages appear long ago in history and still exist today, as the village has existed for hundreds of years, even thousands of years, is closely related to factors traditional and popular experience has been accumulated over many generations back. Policy: Refers to the set of basic principles and associated guidelines, formulated and enforced by the governing body of an organization, to direct and limit its actions in pursuit of long-term goals to create favorable conditions for enterprises. Administrative procedure: A fixed, step-by-step sequence of activities or course of action (with definite start and end points) that must be followed in the same order to correctly perform a task. Infrastructure: Refers to basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of enterprises (in this study, they are SMEs in traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province), and facilities necessary for them to function. Economics and Finance: Focused on the elements of money, risk, opportunity cost and other variables related to financial decisions. This field of study concentrates on how financial moves are made under uncertain conditions. Labor: The aggregate of all human physical and mental effort used in creation of goods and services. Labor is a primary factor of production. Business owner: Individual or entity who owns a business entity in an attempt to profit from the successful operations of the company. Generally has decision making abilities and first right to profit. Organizational structure: The typically hierarchical arrangement of lines of authority, communications, rights and duties of an organization. Organizational structure determines how the roles, power and responsibilities are assigned, controlled, and coordinated, and how information flows between the different levels of management. 7 Raw material: Basic substance in its natural, modified, or semi-processed state, used as an input to a production process for subsequent modification or transformation into a finished good. Technology level: The purposeful application of information in the design, production, and utilization of goods and services, and in the organization of human activities. Financial capacity: Refers to ability of enterprises in terms of money, capital and equity. Product: Is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need. In the study, products are types of subjects made by traditional handicraft villages in Bac Ninh province. Market: A medium that allows buyers and sellers of a specific good or service to interact in order to facilitate an exchange. Production and business result: Refers to output in the process of manufacture and business operation of the enterprises. 8 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURES AND STUDIES This chapter will present concepts and theories that have significant effect on the conduct of the study. Review of related literatures and study will present what had been written about the subject. Finally a Conceptual framework that will aid the conduct of this research work will be established. 2.1. Related Literatures 2.1.1. Concepts 2.1.1.1. Development Development refers to the systematic use of scientific and technical knowledge to meet specific objectives or requirements. Development in its simplest definition and perhaps in its common usage can be considered as the objective of moving to a state relatively better than what previously existed: “good change” as defined by Chambers (2007). As change is a process, this definition of development tends to denote a process towards a desirable state in society. Whether this state is achieved in the short or long term, change has several implications for society. Disruption may occur in the established patterns of living within the society as it moves towards good change, and thus reflect a contradiction to its intended meaning, and generate a discourse on what constitutes this “good change” (Thomas, 2000). As a result, the term development in both academic and non-academic fields has enjoyed an ambiguous position of being alluded to a diversity of meanings defining or evaluating what “good change” is, and who this good change belongs to. In general terms, “development” means an “event constituting a new stage in a changing situation”. If not qualified, “development” is implicitly intended as something positive or desirable. When referring to a society or to a socioeconomic system, “development” usually means improvement, either in the general situation of the system, or in some of its constituent elements. Development may occur due to some deliberate action carried out by single agents or by some authority preordered to achieve improvement, to favorable circumstances in both. Development policies and private investment, in all their forms, are examples of such actions. Given this broad definition, “development” is a multi-dimensional concept in its nature, because any improvement of complex systems, as indeed actual socio-economic systems are, can occur in different parts or ways, at different speeds and driven by different forces. Additionally, the development of one part of the system may be detrimental to the development of other parts, giving rise to conflicting objectives (trade-offs) and conflicts. 9 Consequently, measuring development, i.e. determining whether and to what extent a system is developing, is an intrinsically multidimensional exercise. 2.1.1.2. Small and Medium Enterprises Small and medium enterprises are the enterprises with small scale in terms of capital, labor or revenue. Small and medium enterprises can be divided into three categories based on size includes micro enterprises, small enterprises and medium enterprises. Statistical definition of SMEs varies by country and is usually based on the number of employees, and value of sales and/or value of assets. According to the criteria of the World Bank Group, micro enterprises are enterprises with the number of workers fewer than 10 people, small businesses are the number of employees from 10 to 50 people, while medium enterprises have from 50 to 300 labors. To date, a single, universally accepted definition of the term small and medium sized enterprise (SME) still remains elusive among countries and blocs across the world. Each country defines SME based on its economy’s characteristics and states of technological development in order to devise programs to support these targeted firms. Since there are “significant differences in aggregate income and its distribution, in production structures and capabilities, and in industrial and technological characteristics among economies” (Asasen and Asasen, 2003), it is not unexpected that the definition of SME will vary greatly from one country to another. Some countries distinguish between small and medium-sized firms, while others put them all into one category. Some use the capital investment criterion, while others do not. That is also the case with assets and annual sales criteria. Furthermore, the level of labor and capital intensity required by firms differs noticeably among countries and across different sectors within a country. This is because different countries give preference to different areas. A country with a focus on laborintensive industries such as the textile industry will not put as high a capital investment benchmark to categorize a firm as an SME as does a country with a focus on capitalintensive industries such as the automobile industry. Because this research limits its scope to Vietnamese SMEs only, the official definition by the Vietnamese government (Government Decree 90/2001/ND-CP dated November 23, 2001) was adopted. The definition is stated as follows: “SMEs are independent production and business establishments which make business registration according to the current law provisions, each with registered capital not exceeding VND 10 billion (equivalent to US$ 621,774.547) or annual labor not 10 exceeding 300 people. On the basis of the concrete socio-economic situation of each branch or locality, in the course of implementing the support measures and programs, both or either of the above-mentioned criteria on capital and labor may be applied in a flexible manner.” Moreover, according to Decree No. 56/2009/ND-CP dated 30 June 2009, SMEs comprise the businesses registered in accordance with the Enterprise Law, cooperatives and individual business households, of either micro, small, or medium size. There are two criteria for defining the type of SME, namely scale of total assets (as the prior criterion), and annual average number of employees. In particular, a micro-sized enterprise is defined as one having 10 or fewer employees. Table 2.1. Classification of SMEs Source: Decree No. 56/2009/ND-CP. Up to May, 2010, over 55% are micro-sized enterprises with the number of permanent laborers being fewer than 10. Table 2.2. Classification of SMEs by Scale of Labor Dimension Source: White book on SMEs in Vietnam 2009. Note: Unit in % 11 According to the White Book on SMEs in 2009, from 2000, the average registered capital of enterprises increased by 9 times over the 2000 - 2008 period. The increases were 0.962 billion, 3.14 billion, 8.1 billion and 8.7 billion VND in 2000, 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. 2.1.1.3. Traditional handicraft villages The village is a cluster of residents in a village (the village) has one or several lines are removed from production agriculture to independent business, is the village nonagricultural sectors dominate the household, number of employees, and the income from farming. Traditional handicraft villages are villages appear long ago in history and still exist today, as the village has existed for hundreds of years, even thousands of years, is closely related to factors traditional and popular experience has been accumulated over many generations back. There are many traditional handicraft villages in Vietnam such as the paper Phong Khe commune, Dong Ho folk paintings, Luy Lau pottery, wood carvings at Dong Giao, Dong Ky. In the past, after harvest time, Vietnamese people made handicraft works to meet their own needs. Their products are very skillful and sophisticated, even though they are farmers and do not specialize in handicrafts. The techniques were kept secret, but taught to relatives or fellow villagers. The village, therefore, became a very important institution in the handicraft industry. The village's name became the trademark of handicraft products made by its villagers. “Đình làng”- the village's temple became the place of worship and “tổ nghề” the man who first taught the villagers to do these handicraft works. When urbanization came to Vietnam, many people came to towns/cities and professionalized in the handicraft works they had done in their old village. They did not compete with one another but gathered in “phường/hội”, the new form of handicraft village, to help others to improve. The Vietnamese government has recognized about 1.500 handicraft villages, of which about 300 are traditional handicraft villages. These villages maintain the country's handicraft heritage. Bac Ninh is a beautiful and famous province in the northern midlands. Just 30km from Hanoi city, north close to Bac Giang province, Hai Duong province on the east and southeast, Hanoi on the west, Hung Yen on the south. The province has large rivers follow through, so the transportation system of roads, railways and waterways are favorable; 12 locate on the adjacent of Hanoi capital that creates many advantages in economic and cultural development. Bac Ninh used to be a famous ancient town and today is still well-known for its richness in tangible as well as intangible heritages. Bac Ninh have now many famous traditional handicraft villages such as Dong Ky Wood, Dong Ho folk painting village, Dai Bai Cooper casting and Phu Lang Pottery… that create favourable conditions not only for economic development but also for tourism development. Northern Bac Ninh Province, homeland of Quan Ho art, has 62 traditional trade villages. The most colorful village is Dong Ho The village of Dong Ho (Đông Hồ) in the province of Bắc Ninh is known as a center of production of traditional Vietnamese woodblock prints (tranh Đông Hồ), which are sold all throughout Vietnam in time for the Lunar New Year (Tết) celebrations. All of the free space in the village is used to dry the papers, making the village look like a colorful painting. 2.1.2. An Overview of Small and Medium Enterprises 2.1.2.1. The Role of Small and Medium Enterprises in Vietnam Vietnam introduced officially the economic renovation (Doi moi) in 1986, but it was only in 1989 that it actually adopted a comprehensive and radical reform package aimed at stabilizing and opening the economy, as well as enhancing freedom of choice for economic units and competition. Nevertheless, during 1997-2000, the reforms were to a certain extent retarded, especially after the Asian financial crisis. Since 2000 to date, a new wave of economic reforms has been stirred up with emphasis on private sector development, further trade and investment liberalization with deeper international economic integration. The accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the end of 2006 marked a new milestone in the country’s economic reform and development. Through the market-oriented reforms and WTO–driven adjustments, Vietnam has achieved remarkable achievements in the country’s economic growth and stability, foreign trade expansion, attraction to foreign investment, poverty reduction, and human development improvement. It is worth noting that the socioeconomic successes have been significantly attributed from the country’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In Vietnam, according to a Spring 2011 report the number of SMEs is nearing 400,000 enterprises. The SMEs occupy an overwhelming proportion in total number of country’s enterprises accounting for 97 percent and 87 percent by regular workforce and registered capital criteria in 2005, respectively. They have contributed 39 percent of gross domestic product 13 (GDP), 32 percent of total investment outlays in 2006 (Ho Sy Hung 2007), and about 85 percent of total corporate workforce in 2004 (Le Xuan Ba et al. 2006). Apart from being a relatively dynamic sector in the economy, SMEs have also played an important role in creating jobs, maintaining high mobility of the labor market, and narrowing development gaps among localities of the country. Further, SMEs are the engine of growth in Vietnam just as small business plays the same role in developed markets like the U.S. In Vietnam, SMEs on average, have seen their profits grow approximately 20% each year for the immediate past (Runckel, 2011, Business in Asia). The WTO accession is expected to bring about new opportunities for SMEs development like the creation of a level playing field, easier access to production factors and cheaper imported inputs in the domestic market, expansion of export markets, and facilitation of the national economy to engage more in-depth in regional and global production networks. SMEs have played an important role in the national economy. The sector has long been a major source of employment generation accounting for about 85 percent of the total corporate workforce in 2004 (Le Xuan Ba et al. 2006). SMEs are a main vehicle for poverty alleviation particularly in rural areas and narrowing development 328 gaps among provinces, urban, and rural areas. In addition, SMEs help maintain the high flexibility of the labor market. It also contributed significantly to absorb the “shocks” associated with the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented one especially the collapse of the socialist bloc in Eastern Europe (Le Xuan Sang 2007). The contribution of the SMEs to economic growth is also important. They occupied a proportion of 39 percent of GDP in 2006 (Ho Sy Hung 2007). The “precise” trend of the SMEs proportion in overall GDP over the recent years, nevertheless, is hardly identified due to the lack of systematic and reliable statistical data. In comparison with the SOE sector, the SMEs have likely played a minor role as they account for only 32 percent of the total investment outlays while the former do more than 50 percent. In addition, the SMEs have very limited export and technological capability. Moreover, Vietnamese SMEs have been playing an important role in the development of the country. Not only in generation of non-agricultural jobs, SMEs have made sizable contributions to the State budget (15 percent in 2003), formed the majority of the distribution (retail trade) network throughout the country (making up 80 percent of the network in 2003) and export activities (comprising 39 percent and 41 percent of the seafood and cashew-nut export revenue in 2004 respectively). Besides, SMEs have been 14 active and effective actors in the preservation and development of traditional craft villages and supply of services for bigger businesses. 2.1.2.2. Characteristics of Small and Medium Enterprises in Vietnam a.. SME Distribution and Development Vietnam’s SMEs account for an overwhelming proportion in the total corporate sector by both regular workforce and registered capital criteria. That sector represents for 95 percent, 97 percent by regular workforce criterion and 86 percent, 87 percent by registered capital criterion in 2002, 2005 respectively (Table 3). Majority of the large enterprises are SOEs and foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs). Notably, the increase of SMEs’ share in the context of substantial growth in the number of registered firms implies that the newcomers are mostly SMEs. By size of SMEs labor force, it should be noted that almost all of SMEs are microand small sized firms accounting for about 52 percent and about 35 percent on average in 2002, 2005, respectively. Medium- and large sized firms are very few having on average only 11 percent and 2 percent of the total number in the same period, accordingly (see Table 3). However, that structure is only true for non-state SMEs since they occupied as much as 91-95 percent in 2002, 2005. Indeed, a majority of state-owned SMEs (about 73 percent) and most of FIEs (about 54 percent) are medium- and large-sized (Table 3). The declining proportion of medium-sized firms and the increasing proportion of micro- and small-sized ones imply that the increased number of SMEs is mostly contributed by the latter from non-state sector. Another feature is that mostly SMEs are concentrated in the forms of limited liability and sole proprietary companies, accounting for 47 percent and 32 percent in 2005 by workforce criterion respectively. By the size of registered capital, 90 percent of the firms have a registered capital less than VND 5 billion (about USD 330,000). Most types of SMEs fall well into the range of VND 1-5 billion. By the averaged size of regular labor force, SMEs are small in size, too. In 2005, the labor force averaged to 32 laborers per enterprise. This is a very slight increase because in 2000, it was only 30 laborers per enterprise. During the same period, the average capital of SMEs increased from VND 3 billion to 7 billion. 15 Table 2.3: SMEs distribution by size of employees and by type of enterprise (2002, 2005) By economic activities, SMEs are concentrated in trade, repair of motor vehicles and household goods (42-44 percent), manufacturing (19-21 percent), construction (12- 13 percent) during 2002-2005. Within the manufacturing sector, food and beverage sector attracts more SMEs, with the largest proportion of more than 4 percent in 2005 (Table 4). There are new shifts of SMEs “employers” in the corresponding period. 16
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