Both sides addressed key topics related to trade and investment between Vietnam and Europe with an emphasis on Ho Chi Minh City. Michael Behrens underlinedthe importance of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and the need to raise awareness amongst the local business community on its potential benefits.
Mr. Behrens and Mr. Dinh La Thang exchanged ideas on the plans and strategies of Ho Chi Minh City towards the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Resolution 19, targeting the improvement of the business environment and competitiveness. Mr. Dinh La Thang emphasized the PC’s commitment to pursue the guidelines of Resolution 19, which principles will be reflected on future Ho Chi Minh City’s trade and investment projects, and continued open dialogues with business community. Mr. Dinh La Thang said: “The Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee aims to assure that Ho Chi Minh City will be the number 1 city to implement Resolution 19.”
The future development of the Ho Chi Minh City region’s industrial parks and processing zones was another topic. EuroCham took the opportunity to voice the concerns of 3 member companies regarding the continuation of their respective investments and leasing contracts in the Binh Chieu Industrial Zone.
A following section of the meeting was dedicated to inform the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee about activities of EuroCham and its partner organisation EU-Vietnam Business Network (EVBN) to attract European trade and investment to Vietnam and HCMC. Delphine Rousselet, Director of EVBN mentioned the need for more suitable venues for trade fairs in the city, for simplifying customs procedures related to the temporary importation of goods for display. EuroCham and EVBN committed to contribute further to more European participation in the City’s projects and also to work more closely with other agencies like ITPC for investment promotion.
Moving to more specific matters raised by EuroCham’s Sector Committees, EuroCham Vice-Chairman Tomaso Andreatta expressed his concerns about Cai Mep Port. Both sides agreed on the high potential of Cai Mep and that a fruitful cooperation between business and government can help elevate it to a strategic port in the context of ASEAN trade . Mr. Andreatta also pointed out the opportunities of renewable energies for Ho Chi Minh City, especially the use of solar power and stressed that many European companies could contribute to a sustainable development of the City. Mr. Thang responded by stating that the City will ensure investment plans are in line with the Government’s strategy and will not sacrifice its environmental safety for short-term benefits.
EuroCham Vice-Chairman Vo Quang Hue led the discussion on HCMC’s “smart city” future, where research, outsourcing, education and professional training for high-qualified staff should be in focus. It was also mentioned that European companies are ready to share their know-how regarding traffic management, waste management and flooding prevention. Mr Dinh La Thang stressed that the City will always welcome constructive ideas and invited EuroCham to share concrete proposals for the City. As a closing good gesture, EuroCham Chair offered the PC its 2016 Whitebook, compiling EuroCham’s legislative recommendations to the Government of Vietnam.