SMEs Cluster Development Project in Vietnam - Round Table “Woodworking Cluster in Vietnam”

Rome - July, 21st 2011

SMEs Cluster Development Project in Vietnam - Round Table “Woodworking Cluster in Vietnam”

SMEs Cluster Development  Project in Vietnam
Round Table “Woodworking Cluster in Vietnam”

The Round Table for the development project for woodworking cluster in Vietnam has been successfully concluded within UNIDO ITPO Italy premises in Rome. The project, implemented by UNIDO and funded by the Italian Development Cooperation, is a concrete example of public and private companies synergies aimed at recognizing entrepreneurs as key links for International cooperation. The project also represents an important success story as a result from a close collaboration between UNIDO ITPO Italy and UNIDO HQs, which have been constantly committing forces to economic and industrial development of countries most in need of a development hand, through a series of activities and initiatives aimed at promoting local entrepreneurship.

The Round Table was attended by representatives of FederlegnoArredo, Veneto Innovazione, University Consortium of Pordenone, SIMEST and Confindustria. Hanoi government - beneficiary of the project - was represented by the Commercial Attache of the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy, Mr. Ta Quang Hoa. Mr. Gerardo Patacconi – UNIDO Unit Chief of the Clusters and Business Linkages Unit, Mr. Dino Fortunato - UNIDO ITPO Investment Promotion Expert and Mrs. Elisabetta Vignando – UNIDO Advisor Woodworking Cluster, participated as organizers of the meeting.

In Vietnam, three SMEs clusters have been identified as beneficiaries of the project: textiles and clothing, footwear and wood processing. Mr Patacconi and Mr. Fortunato opened the meeting by highlighting the importance of involving industry in this project with a particular focus to the Italian excellence in the identified industrial fields.

In regards of woodworking, Mrs. Elisabetta Vignando delivered a detailed analysis on the sector development in Vietnam, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. Among the identified priorities  noteworthy is the need to improve: quality and product design, production facilities technology, management, marketing skills and improve local labour skills. According to Mrs. Elisabetta Vignando’s analysis, the project will be developed in two main areas: Vietnamese knowledge and skills improvement, and the concrete development of industrial clusters. In respect of the wood processing industry and the Italian excellence in the sector, Mrs. Vignando draw attention to the importance of involving business and innovation agencies and the Italian researchers in order to support product development and local skills.

FederlegnoArredo President Mr. Roberto Snaidero, which has always been active in supporting the internationalization of its trade association members, expressed a strong interest in the project and his beliefs in the potential offered by Vietnam’s woodworking sector. Of the same opinion was Prof. Gaetano Di Donato, Industrial Policies, Europe and Internationalization department of Confindustria, which pointed out the importance of supporting the internationalization of Italian companies through development aid. Prof. Di Donato also highlighted the necessity to act in synergies for a business system capable of maximising the full opportunities offered by Vietnam. In the medium term, in fact, It is foreseen that over 80 million consumers will enter into the market, resulting in a GDP growth of over 6% this year. SIMEST, in the words of Mr. Marco Rosati, expressed their support through their services to companies wishing to invest in Vietnam, a country where for years major Italian industrial excellences have been already active.

Given the need to transfer know-how and expertise in Vietnam to improve local staff skills in managing all types of wood, Veneto Innovation and the University Consortium of Pordenone, have expressed interest in participating actively in the project. The participating Institutions have introduced their activities emphasizing the importance and the need of research, education, innovation and networking, which made of the medium and small enterprises of Veneto and Friuli Regions a model of excellence at international level.

"We thank all the participants of this Round Table and the UNIDO project for the development of industrial clusters in Vietnam, and for your continued efforts aimed at supporting the development of local entrepreneurship in the identified areas" said the representative of the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy, Mr. Ta Quang Hoa, which, in regards of the woodworking sector further commented: "the country has great potentials in terms of quantity and quality of raw materials and relies on a huge young enough qualified human capital. The Vietnamese government continues to commit itself in the development of local infrastructures necessary to ensure the country's economic growth".

Dr. Gerardo Patacconi concluded by recognizing the absolute importance of the participants in order to successfully implement the project. With reference to the capacity building activities and the ideas that emerged at the meeting, noteworthy are the new opportunities to maximise relationships with the participants, not only in respect of  Vietnam but also in other contexts to which UNIDO is committed