EuroCham was welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi. The meeting served to present the EuroCham's Whitebook 2017 - launched at an event attended by 400 participants the previous day - and to discuss key recommendations firsthand with the Government leader.
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh greets EuroCham Chairman Michael Behrens
EuroCham's delegation - including EuroCham Sector Committee representatives, Executive Committee members, and officials of the EU Delegation to Vietnam - was led by its Chairman Michael Behrens. Mr. Behrens stressed the continued work EuroCham has put forth since Prime-Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's Government took office in 2016, and highlighted various significant examples of dialogue activities between the European business community and the Vietnamese authorities.
The current momentum is of particular significance to EU-Vietnam relations, as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is due to come into force in 2018. In this context, the floor was given to EU Ambassador H.E. Bruno Angelet, who highlighted the importance of the political process leading to the effective implementation of the agreement the Vietnamese Government's coordinated support for the ratification challenges that lie ahead. Referring also to the economic process that the EVFTA entails, the Ambassador hailed EuroCham, in his words "the best Chamber in Vietnam", and its work as a bridging organisation.
The Meeting between the Deputy Prime Minister and the team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, with the EuroCham Delegation
The EuroCham Chairman then gave the floor to eight (8) Sector committee representatives, stressing that EuroCham's mission is not only for its members, but also for the advancement of Vietnam as a whole. Sector Committee representatives then presented selected topics directly to Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, who attentively took note:
- The new pharma law and developing Vietnam into a pharmaceutical manufacturing in ASEAN (Mathieu Fitoussi, Vice Chairman, Pharma Group).
- Improvements to the regulations regarding the sales of infant milk products (Douglas Kuo, Vice Chairman, Nutritional Foods Group)
- Strengthening Government capabilities towards food safety and market access to EU SMEs (Adina Tayutswala, EU-Vietnam Business Network, and on behalf of the Food, Agri, Aqua Business Sector Committee).
- Raising Vietnam's profile in terms of Intellectual Property Rights (Nga Nguyen, IPR Sector Committee).
- Further streamlining of Public-Private Partnership regulations, and other legal topics (Nicolas Audier, EuroCham Executive Committee).
- Advancing Vietnam Smart Cities paradigm (Vo Quang Hue, EuroCham Executive Committee)
- Next steps Vietnam should take towards Green Growth and Sustainable Development (Tomaso Andreatta, EuroCham Executive Committee).
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh proceeded to thank EuroCham for the well informed input given at the meeting. He stressed the importance of EuroCham’s role in pushing for the EVFTA and mentioning that Vietnam’s policy-making does integrate all the issues that the representatives mentioned in the meeting.
The two delegations in the meeting's Official Photo
Making reference to an EU-Vietnam joint committee on the EVFTA, the Mr. Minh mentioned the need to overcome outstanding differences between the two parties, but praised the EU-Vietnam cooperation in a world where protectionism is now being taken as a valid path by key global actors. The Government leader also mentioned that the Whitebook comes at the right time, and that the Government is committed to pass on the information and continue its efforts towards a fruitful business environment.