Asia-Pacific Business Forum Opens in Viet Nam

Ho Chi Minh City saw the opening of the Asia-Pacific Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Best Practice Forum last week. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is organizing the forum, according to VietNamNet Bridge.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee reports that the two-day forum, “Promoting, supporting and investing in Asia-Pacific SMEs” is expecting some 500 attendees. This number includes 150 coming from other countries in the region, the ASEAN Federation of Accountants and The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

Viet Nam took the first step toward entering the World Trade Organisation (WTO) back in September 2005 with their first revision of their working party membership report, according to a WTO press release dated September 20, 2005. The membership report is a core part of their membership of the WTO.

The forum’s agenda will be varied and intense with issues relevant to their WTO membership. VietNamNet Bridge reports that the forum expects the discussion of issues such as taxes and business laws in the country and ways to improve companies’ competitiveness. An important discussion will concern financial information in gaining access to capital sources and accounting standards used in accessing capital. Future operational policies will also be discussed.

The country of Viet Nam has around 160,000 SMEs that account for some 96 percent of all the country’s companies contributing 40 percent of Viet Nam’s GDP. These businesses employ 2.6 million local workers and have so far attracted about $30 billion worth of investment, according to VietNamNet Bridge.

The ACCA is an international accountancy group with 260,000 students and 110,000 members in some 170 countries, according to their web site. They use their expertise and experience to assist governments, donor agencies and professional organizations in order to promote the accounting profession.

In the same part of the world, three Chinese accounting firms have merged so they can take on the likes of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT), Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), as well as domestic accounting, according to the Shanghai Daily. The Shanghai Shulun Pan Certified Accountant Co., Zhongtian Huazheng Accountant Office and Guangdong Yangcheng Certified Accountant will unite under the new Shanghai Shulun Pan Certified Accountant Management Co.

Shanghai Shulun Pan Certified Accountant Co. was the largest Chinese accounting firm before the merger, with 2004 revenues totaling some 153 million yuan. The Shanghai Daily reports the other two accounting firms ranked in the top 30 firms. Zhu Jiandi will be the chairman of the new company that will employ about 2,000 employees and expects to generate some 500 million yuan (US$63 million) in revenues.

Zhu told the Shanghai Daily, “The new company is like a group, with the three accounting firms running independently. Every report will be examined by a joint committee before being sent out. It’s an ongoing experiment, even the trail failed, but we took many lessons from it.”

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