On 29th August 2016, EuroCham met with the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), under the Ministry of Planning & Investment. The CIEM delegation was led by its President, Mr. Tran Dinh Cung, while EuroCham was represented by Executive Committee Member Mr. Nicolas Audier, and Vice Chairman Dr. Stefano Pellegrino, accompanied by Executive Director Ms. Almut Roessner and Advocacy Manager Ms. Le Thanh Binh.
The purpose of the meeting was for CIEM to obtain feedback and input from EuroCham on the following four areas:
1. Overall economic policies and legislation in recent years
2. Reform process of the SOE sector
3. Policies, institutions and regulations to support market economy transformation
4. Availability and quality of public services, energy, infrastructure etc.
CIEM as the leading economic think-tank in Vietnam and provides Vietnamese policy makers consultation on economic reform process and development of growth model. Dr. Cung underlined the importance of strengthening the links to EuroCham to provide a European view and expertise when reviewing policies, legislations aiming to enhance the business environment and competitiveness of Vietnam.
Dr. Nguyen Dinh Cung expressed his interest to hear from EuroCham on several issues considered key by the European business community, namely in regards to business and product licensing procedures, and processing time. CIEM was receptive in listening to Mr. Audier’s view that there is a need for more straightforward and balanced processes, which can be inclusive towards foreign businesses. EuroCham also expressed its position that a deep reflection regarding the evolution of Vietnamese investment laws is fundamental to the advancement of the local market and the country as a whole, ahead of positioning itself as a hub for the ASEAN region.
In turn, Ms. Almut Roessner drew the participants’ attention to current targets and projects of EuroCham Sector Committees, namely the Pharma Group’s upcoming proposal, developed together Irish experts, on how to turn Vietnam into a potential production and research hub for innovative pharmaceuticals. The call for more inclusion of the private sector in Vietnam’s long-term energy and green growth plans was also stressed, citing the work being carried out by EuroCham’s Green Growth Sector Committee (GGSC).
In response, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Cung said that energy, including renewable energy, is among the key interests of CIEM at present. He mentioned that the Government is studying a transformation process to open the energy section in Vietnam. He also emphasized that the Vietnamese Government is interested to to focus more on energy efficiency. Both parties expressed a strong intention to cooperate towards joint activities on the future of the clean energy market in Vietnam.
CIEM also added that energy, infrastructure, transportation, and logistics are the other two vital blocks of concern of CIEM currently. According to Dr. Nguyen, one of the initial conditions to enhance exporting activities is to improve transportation and logistics, a question which needs to be addresses in the short-term.
EuroCham then led the meeting towards Intellectual Property Rights, regarding which both parties agreed that Vietnam needs greater efforts for it to align with the international standards and commitments which can push for a healthier environment in the country regarding IPR protection.
The debate re-entered the involvement of the private sector in the advancement of Vietnam, whereby Ms. Roessner explained to CIEM how EuroCham has been able to have a clearer view of Vietnam’s demand for more professional training through the Chamber’s activities in the provinces in 2016. Ms. Roessner highlighted that the Chamber’s position on vocational training development in Vietnam has been confirmed by many provincial authorities and local businesses. It is EuroCham’s belief that this can be one of the push factors for a more highly qualified workforce in Vietnam, which can also drive the country to position itself in the ASEAN Economic Community as an attractive investment and business destination for EU companies.
Dr. Nguyen Dinh Cung manifested his appreciation for the introduction of the EuroCham Whitebook 2016, and expressed that its contents will be considered by the Institute in the revision of policies and other matters. CIEM looks forward to closer cooperation with EuroCham in bringing the business communities of Europe and Vietnam closer together, by way of events and expertise-sharing occasions that can contribute to raise awareness of concerned parties towards a stronger and more sustainable economic development for Vietnam.