Ideas for Developing Asia and the Pacific

Call for Paper on Digitalization of SMEs in Developing Countries

Digitalization of SMEs in Developing Countries
Asian Development Bank Institute, Foreign Trade University, and Viettel Corporation
Ha Noi, Viet Nam

ADBI, the Foreign Trade University, and Viettel Corporation invite the submission of original, unpublished papers on the digitalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries, to be featured during a co-hosted conference in Ha Noi, Viet Nam or online in the event of COVID-19 disruptions on 23-24 November 2020.

Supporting SME development is a priority for many developing countries, as SMEs can contribute to employment creation, poverty reduction, and inclusive economic growth. While existing SME development policies typically address vulnerabilities of SMEs, there is increasing need for policy makers to consider how to address new developments in the era of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, or digitalization, which could be integrated into business dimensions such as products, processes, and business models.

Key questions include whether SMEs can independently harness digitalization to a socially desirable level; how the public sector can support SMEs in this respect; and what the best policies for SME digitalization are for different industries in different types of developing countries.

The conference will provide a platform for policy makers, researchers, and practitioners to discuss SME digitalization and development policy based on theoretical studies and practice-based case studies presented during the proceedings. Paper topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Internal and external factors affecting SME digitalization
  • SME digitalization opportunities and challenges
  • Adoption of digital technologies for creating new business models
  • Digitalization of product, process, marketing, and organizational innovation of SMEs
  • Digitalization for efficient SME integration into global value chains
  • Digitalization for improving corporate social responsibility and business ethics of SMEs
  • Models, processes, tools, and solutions of successful cases of SME digitalization

Accepted papers will be presented in multiple sessions of the conference and subsequently published in the conference proceedings.

The papers will also be considered for publication in a special issue of the journal World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development (SCOPUS, Inderscience) on SMEs in Viet Nam and digitalization for sustainable development.

The special issue will be co-edited by Associate Professor Dr Vu Hoang Nam, Foreign Trade University, and Professor Dr Lam Nguyen, Bloomsburg University.

Papers presented at the conference will also be considered for publication in the Foreign Trade University’s Journal of International Economics and Management.

Submission Procedure

Authors should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words by 25 May 2020 to [email protected] and [email protected]. Notifications of accepted abstracts will be sent on 29 May 2020.

Full papers of no more than 8,000 words, including tables and references, should be submitted to the same email addresses by 31 July 2020.

Manuscripts should be prepared in Microsoft Word using 12-point Times New Roman font, with double spacing and a one-inch margins on all sides. Formatting and reference style should follow the APA style manual (6th Ed.). Authors should include figures and tables where they are intended to appear within the text.

All submissions are required to include the following information on a separate cover page:

  • Title of paper
  • Name(s) of author(s) in intended order of authorship, their organizational affiliation(s), position(s), and e-mail address(es)
  • Lead author telephone number
  • Proposed track and submission category
  • Paper words count

The language of paper submissions and conference presentations should be in English.

All submissions will be reviewed under a double-blind process based on the following criteria:

  • Significance/contribution to the field
  • Relevance to conference theme
  • Aims and purposes
  • Theoretical foundation
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Conclusion
  • Formatting

Notifications of paper revisions will be sent on 4 September 2020. Authors should submit their revised papers by 5 October 2020.


Dr Vu Hoang Nam, Associate Professor
Foreign Trade University
91 Chua Lang St., Dong Da Dist., Hanoi, Viet Nam
Tel: +84- 24- 32595 168 (ext: 231, 235)
Email: [email protected] and [email protected] (Please include “DSME2020” in the subject field)