In the latest sign of its shift to a market economy, communist-ruled Vietnam has designated today as - National Entrepreneurs' Day. The October 13 event will now takes its place on the Vietnamese calendar alongside anniversaries of revolutionary military victories and Communist Party milestones. Vietnamese entrepreneurs, however, say they are waiting for more government support for private enterprise than the conferences and awards ceremonies accompanying the new holiday. They say the government has so far offered more promises than action to help private businesses grow. State-owned companies still enjoy several advantages, and red tape continues to tie up investment and business activity, they say. 'We have few advantages compared to other countries in the region,' said Tran Anh Vuong, 32, a director of the private BacViet Steel. Industries monopolised by the state reap the most profits, Mr Vuong said, pointing to the lucrative fields of telecommunications and electricity. State firms also have an easier time getting bank loans and acquiring land, he said. Mr Vuong said the private sector anxiously awaited a new law aimed at levelling the playing field between state and private firms. It is expected next year. In 1991, when Vietnam's poverty and global isolation were near their peaks, the country had just 414 private firms. Now there are more than 120,000. The symbolic importance of a special day for entrepreneurs is not lost on them. 'It's a very meaningful day,' said Vu Tan Tien, chairman of the National Young Entrepreneurs Organisation. 'It's evidence of the government expressing its respect for the business circle.' The new capitalist holiday has a uniquely socialist touch, however. October 13 was chosen because it was the date on which revolutionary icon Ho Chi Minh sent a renowned letter of encouragement to business leaders in 1945.