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VCCI, ILO help SMEs join global supply chains
Friday,  Nov 3, 2017,11:41 (GMT+7)

VCCI, ILO help SMEs join global supply chains

Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attended a forum themed “Increasing labor productivity - Participating in global supply chains” jointly held on October 27 by the HCMC branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI-HCM) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The forum, part of the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) program implemented since June 2011, also attracted representatives of VCCI, ILO, the Embassy of Norway in Vietnam, the Consulate General of Switzerland in HCMC, the World Bank Group, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, and relevant departments of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An and HCMC.

Enterprises and the SCORE program organizers talked about benefits of the program and proposed solutions to improve its effectiveness. The program aims to help SMEs overcome shortcomings, increase labor productivity, improve administration capacity and develop high-quality products for global supply chains and integrate deeply into the global economy.

Representing Switzerland at the Workshop, Mr. Othmar Hardegger, Swiss Consul General to Vietnam, congratulated VCCI, ILO and their partners for the successful implementation of Phase II. He expected that through phase III “the core values that Switzerland has embraced to develop SMEs include social dialogue, solidarity, human working conditions and integration into the world economy will be further shared with more Vietnamese SMEs in other sectors”. “The experience from Switzerland shows that strong social dialogue is essential for the prosperity of a country. Together, workers’ and employers’ organizations find tailored solutions to improve working conditions, increase productivity and assure the competitiveness of the economy”, emphasised Mr. Hardegger.

Mr. Vo Tan Thanh, Vice President of VCCI and Director General of VCCI HCM, said increasing labor productivity is the key to sustainable development at SMEs, thereby improving incomes and working conditions for workers.
Over the years, VCCI and its partners have sought measures to help enterprises grow business in a sustainable way. The SCORE program includes training and consulting services for SMEs. In the initial stage, the program focuses on wood processing companies in Binh Duong, Binh Dinh, Dong Nai, Long An and HCMC and will be expanded to other key sectors such as supporting industries and textile.

Thanks to the program, many companies can save costs and improve the environment, thus enhancing their competitiveness. Tan Thanh JSC in Binh Duong Province has saved VND200 million a year and Chutex International Co Ltd has reduced 33% of water use and 60% of gas emissions.

More than 110 wood processing firms and 30 mechanical and textile enterprises have got support from the program. Some 91% of participating companies can cut production costs and 61% of companies can apply solutions to improve communication skills. In addition, errors in production lines have decreased by 29% and the number of employees quitting their jobs has dropped by 42%.

Michael Elkin, chief technical advisor of the SCORE program, said the program has benefited over 300,000 employees, with 30% of them being women, at 1,400 enterprises in Bolivia, China, Colombia, Ghana, Vietnam and Peru. The program has gained a global satisfaction rate of 88%, helped 70% of businesses save US$500-50,000 in production costs and increase labor productivity by 30% on average.

The program is expected to support SMEs in supporting industries, textile, footwear, food processing and electricity-electronics so that they can effectively take part in global supply chains.

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