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May 18, 2023 / 12:52

WTO Director-General in dialogue with women entrepreneurs in Hanoi

The local women's business community is calling for greater cooperation between Vietnam and the WTO to support the participation of women entrepreneurs in international trade.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala held a dialogue with Hanoi’s female entrepreneurs on May 17 as part of her working visit to Vietnam.

 Delegates at the meeting. Photo: Khac Kien/The Hanoi Times

During the meeting, Okonjo-Iweala introduced the Organization and discussed the initiatives taken by the WTO to promote women's economic empowerment.

She also highlighted the cooperative programs and plans between the WTO and Vietnam to promote and support women entrepreneurs in their participation in international trade.

Vu Ba Phu, Head of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, highlighted Vietnam's active efforts to implement and coordinate with international agencies and organizations.

"This cooperation aims to take advantage of technical assistance from foreign partners in the field of trade promotion and ultimately to improve the capabilities of Vietnamese enterprises, associations, and localities," Phu said.

Specifically, Phu noted that the Trade Promotion Authority had been actively promoting initiatives to support the marketing of products from businesses, including women-owned enterprises.

As part of their collaboration with the International Trade Center (ITC), both have established the SheTrades Vietnam Project Office to provide more effective support to women entrepreneurs and start-ups seeking to engage in the global value chain.

During the meeting, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Founder and Chairperson of the WeLead Network, emphasized the importance of this opportunity for Vietnamese women and women-owned businesses to keep abreast of the activities of the WTO.

She expressed her expectation that the WTO will work with Vietnam to promote and support the participation of women entrepreneurs in international trade and to consult on issues of concern to Vietnamese women entrepreneurs.

Nguyen Thi Huong Lien, co-founder of Hanoi-based Sao Thai Duong Company, shared Vietnamese women entrepreneurs' determination and approach to challenges.

The meeting and dialogue with the WTO Director-General reflect the Ministry of Industry and Trade's commitment, supported by the Permanent Mission of Vietnam to the United Nations, the WTO, the ITC, Welead, and other relevant organizations, to empower women-owned entrepreneurs and businesses.

This initiative aims to provide them opportunities to network, exchange ideas, and seek advice from the WTO's top leaders. This will increase their knowledge, facilitate access to sustainable business development opportunities, and enable their participation in Vietnam's integration into the global market.

A survey conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in 2021 found that Hanoi was among the top localities with the highest proportion of women-owned businesses, at 30%, higher than the national average of 27.4%.

Most women-owned businesses were micro or small (accounting for 90.7% of the total number of women-owned businesses), and their average size was smaller than that of male-owned businesses. Up to 61.3 % of women-owned businesses originated from individual business households.