Accounting for 97 per cent of the total number of businesses operating in Vietnam, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in Vietnam’s economy, as they make up about 45 per cent of GDP and 31 per cent of total revenue, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). This group, however, is facing many obstacles and challenges, especially in the context of Industry 4.0.

Ms. Lam Thi Ngoc Hao, Partner and Head of Private Business at KPMG in Vietnam, said most SMEs in Vietnam are having difficulties maintaining growth rates after their first development steps, which leads to a reduction in competitiveness. In addition, the evolution of Industry 4.0 has clearly showed that digitalization is rapidly disrupting traditional business models. According to Mr. Nguyen Quang Phuc, Director and Head of Enterprise Services at KPMG in Vietnam, it is imperative for all Vietnamese businesses, small or big, to embark on their digital journey.

Understanding the situation, KPMG NEXT, one of KPMG’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in Vietnam, was designed to support SMEs in the process of developing and taking their business to the next level, not only in the region but also in the world. Based on practical needs and business operations during the 25 years KPMG has been in Vietnam, KPMG NEXT provides an overview of the difficulties and challenges on the path towards sustainable business development SMEs may encounter and how they need to prepare to cope with those barriers. Over the past three years, the program has attracted more than 100 Vietnamese entrepreneurs from different regions and various sectors.

This year, with a message of “To the next level”, the program continues to present practical topics to SMEs looking to fast-track their growth and sustainable development and take their business to the next level. As Industry 4.0 has become an indispensable trend in the sustainable development of businesses, the program will equip SMEs with essential knowledge to enable them to seize the advantage and create a leap forward in competing by applying new technologies to business operations.