Capacity building for partner associations of UNIDO – MPI SME

[08 Jannuary 2012] - The UNIDO – MPI SME Cluster Development Project is a three-year EUR 3 million project, funded by the Italian Government and being implemented by UNIDO and the Confederation of Italian Industries (Confindustria). The project focuses on upgrading the competitiveness and capacity of Viet Nam’s SMEs through extensive technical assistance programmes and the promotion of business partnerships between Italy and Viet Nam. The project is helping develop SME clusters which are commonly found worldwide but not in developing countries like Viet Nam.


The project aims at two interconnected development goals: to upgrade the competitiveness and capacity of Vietnamese enterprises, through extensive technical assistance programs also focused on strengthening SME “clusters” and their industry associations, and to promote business partnerships between Italian and Vietnamese enterprises. Development actions will be implemented in selected pilot clusters of SMEs in different manufacturing sectors.


The project also aims to assist potential SME clusters in Vietnam in the development of this kind of collective efficiencies, fostering cooperation, linkages and joint initiatives, and strengthening local representative associations and institutions as leading actors of a continuous upgrading process.


While business partnerships will be a most effective way for transferring capacity, technology and know how to Vietnamese companies, the project will also support their upgrade through an extensive technical assistance program, addressing the main common weaknesses reported by the enterprises: capacity in design and marketing, process and product innovation, production technologies, quality control, managerial and technical skills, access to finance.


Sector business associations are important players of any SME clusters. Stronger business associations will definitely bring about better services for SME in the clusters. Strong business associations are also important to sustain the efforts and activities in cluster development in the long run when the project is ended.


In this context, the UNIDO SME Cluster Development Project decides to implement a capacity building programme for its partner associations, including AGTEX, HAWA, SLA in HCMC and VITAS. UNIDO has selected Economica Vietnam for the implementation of this important activity of the project. The selection by UNIDO is based on the expertise, experience of Economica in training, policy training and in implemenation capacity building activities for business associations and ministries.


Before this capacity building project for UNIDO, Economica Vietnam had successful implemented many imporant training and capacity building projects and programmes, e.g. the MUTRAP/Eurocham Business Association Training Programme, the ILO’s Training Programme on Policy Monitoring and Evaluation, the Government’s Office Training on Stardard Cost Model and on Process Mapping (applicable to business licensing/ administrative reform), Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Minitry of Environment and Natural Resources, local economica governance for provincial governments in Cao Bang, Tuyen Quang, Bac Kan, Quang Nam, Phu Yen etc.


Under this project, Economica Vietnam implements a training need assessment, design and delivery of training courses for the project’s partner business associations, formulation of an institutional development plan for some selected business associations and support to the implementation of such institutional development plans.