The second Vietnam Private Sector Forum (VPSF) will be held in Hanoi on July 31, chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and attended by leaders from the government, departments, international organizations, and business associations.

With the theme “From Central Resolution 5 to the Action Program of the Private Sector in Vietnam”, the session will focus on discussions and dialogue between the government and the private sector in three key national spheres: agriculture, tourism, and the digital economy.

The forum will discuss four topics. The first is the Private Sector Action Plan from Central Resolution No.5. The second is Digital Economy - Promoting the Implementation of Policies to Catch Up with Industry 4.0. The third is Reorganizing Agricultural Production, and the fourth is Removing Bottlenecks to Create Breakthrough Momentum.

The VPSF is an initiative from the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs’ Association and the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Government.

It is a bridge between the government, public authorities, and the private sector for continuous and close consultation on public and private policy, based on the gathering and reflection of voices from enterprises.

The forum this year is expected to see 1,000 delegates in attendance, including those from the government, ministries, departments, international organizations, and business associations, as well as economic experts and numerous CEOs from Vietnamese and foreign enterprises.

Vietnam currently has around 610,000 private enterprises, but the majority are micro-sized, with 70 per cent employing less than ten workers and having registered capital of less than VND5 billion ($220,300).

The number of large companies has been growing but they are yet to demonstrate their leadership in innovation and driving growth.  

Private companies have a prominent position in several industrial clusters, like textiles and garments, and footwear. It is notable, however, that the overall structure of the private sector is imbalanced, with over 80 per cent concentrating on trade and services with low productivity and low value-added products and services. The number of private enterprises in manufacturing and processing is small.

It can also be seen that private enterprises have been facing many difficulties in conducting business, with the rate of loss-making and bankrupt companies at an average of a high 45 per cent in the 2007-2015 period.