Enterprises more upbeat despite challenges
VietNamNet Bridge – Local enterprises for the most parts agree that this year will bring better business opportunities as the investment environment will change for the better, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said on Tuesday.
Pham Thi Thu Hang, general secretary of VCCI, told the forum Support Solutions for Enterprises 2014 organized in Hanoi on Tuesday that most enterprises believed better sales this year.
Citing a survey conducted by VCCI among 700 enterprises, Hang said some 50.7% of the respondents planned to maintain their business scales in 2014 while 42.5% of them expected business expansion.
Only 6.7% of enterprises may scale down business this year while a trivial fraction of 0.1% could shut down business. Hang did not elaborate more on the 0.1%, but given the number of respondents, it is likely that only one enterprise planned business closure.
“Enterprises sense that their sales revenues will improve strongly against 2013… and prices of products will be much higher,” Hang said. Enterprises also agreed that their machine-equipment utility rate will be much higher, with bigger payrolls and the number of orders will also increase accordingly.
Despite such upbeat notes, Hang said that profits and domestic demands would still be major obstacles for enterprises, besides barriers in the business environment.
Echoing this view, Vo Tri Thanh, deputy head of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said the frail domestic demand would be a great challenge for enterprises.
Although the Government boosts spending from Government bonds, the overall investment in the economy can hardly increase, Thanh said, adding the greater investment from such bonds will unlikely create positive impacts on the economy.
Neither will the Government be able to bring down interest rates to support corporate borrowers, as interest rates are interrelated to the exchange rate, the inflation, and the coupon of the Government bond, he said.
The stronger boon for local enterprises is the overall export performance, as overseas demands will remain high. “Enterprises should grasp export opportunities since both the U.S. and Europe are growing well, while talks over trade agreements (between Vietnam and these two markets) are being speeded up,” he told the forum.
There are also chances in the Chinese market, he added.
Nguyen Truong Son, vice chair of the Vietnam Young Businessmen Association, said that the Kunming-Hanoi-Lang Son Economic Corridor is now taking shape, which will open up more trade opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises.
Figures at the forum show there are 312,600 small and medium enterprises nationwide, including over 6,800 medium-sized enterprises, over 92,500 small enterprises, and as many as 213,300 micro entities.
Last year, nearly 77,000 enterprises were established nationwide, while 61,000 others shut down business.