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Hung, Nguyen Manh
Anh, Truong Thi Kim
Huong, Vu Thanh
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
ARTNeT Working Paper Series 120
While Vietnamese businesswomen have exhibited their excellent capability in overcoming the global economic crisis as well as their readiness to play an essential role in rebuilding the post-crisis economy, the country's women-led export enterprises that are facing post-crisis challenges are in the need of suitable policy support and "hand-holding" to successfully navigate this difficult period. This research paper is a preliminary attempt to inquire, through a small sample survey, the response and adaptation of the Vietnamese woman-led, mostly export-oriented, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the new challenges arising from the economic crisis, and especially the ways these enterprises have sustained their export orientation. (However, it is not a comparative study with their male counterpart SMEs). The results indicate that most of the woman-led, export-oriented SMEs have relied on their own efforts to overcome the crisis challenges. Their crisis management strategies have included taking market-oriented and in-house policy measures, such as collecting authentic market intelligence, designing an appropriate crisis management strategy, followed by cost-oriented efforts to scale down the production and marketing volume and readjust pricing to increase their competiveness. As woman-led export enterprises become committed to the responses in line with market requirements to the new difficulties resulting from the crisis, the research findings reveal the need for a more supportive role by government organizations and industry associations. The package of policy programmes may include: (a) market research, up-to-date and ongoing information on supply and demand pattern of the products and early warning signals; (b) export-oriented market development training and skills upgrading programmes; (c) easy access to export credit, including pre- and post-shipment credit; and (d) special dispensing of post-crisis rehabilitation finance from institutional sources on easy terms. To benefit further from on the above research findings and the recommendations emanating from the case study of Viet Nam, it would be worthwhile and cost-effective to examine their policy relevance to the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Cambodia, two neighbouring countries with similar economic settings and SME status. This could be done through two short pilot research projects under the ARTNeT umbrella, with the ultimate objective of mitigating the challenges faced by woman-led exporting units in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Cambodia. Such a study will be an effective starting point for testing the need for suitable policy interventions in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Cambodia as well. Further, viewed from the subregional angle, these joint efforts by Viet Nam, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Cambodia are expected to enhance the capabilities of woman-led exporting SMEs in the regional and global markets.
Global crisis
women-led export enterprises
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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