Between 4th and 8th September, EuroCham brought a delegation of more than 25 members to Brussels, initiating a successful mission dedicated to promoting and discussing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) implementation and ratification, as well as other relevant topics. This delegation was led by EuroCham Chairman Jens Ruebbert, including 4 other Executive Committee members and a number of Sector Committee and corporate member representatives, with the support of the management team of the secretariat. In some of the meetings, EU Ambassador to Vietnam H.E. Bruno Angelet also joined the group.
EuroCham Delegation with DG Trade officials Ms. Frauke Sommer and Mr. Peter Berz
Throughout the week, EuroCham met with several European Commission departments and Commissioners. This included meetings with Commissioner Guenther Oettinger (VP and in charge of Budget and HR), Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem (Trade), Commissioner Tibor Navracsics (Education, Culture, Youth and Sport), and Commissioner Phil Hogan (Agriculture and Rural Development).
EuroCham delegation with Chairman Mr. Jens Ruebbert and European Commissiner Guenther Oettinger
In addition, EuroCham also met with Mr. Kristian Heldberg, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska (Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs); Mr. Leon Delvraux, Trade Advisor to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker; Ms. Aurore Maillet, Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Karmenue Vella (Environment, Fisheries, Maritime, Affairs); Mr. Denis Čajo and Ms Henriette Geiger, Members of Cabinet of Commissioner Neven Mimica (Commissioner on International Cooperation & Development); Ms. Giulia Del Brenna, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Carlos Moedas (Research, Science and Innovation).
EuroCham met Commissioner Phil Hogan (Agriculture and Rural Development)
Among other key European Commission departments, EuroCham met with the EVFTA team at DG Trade, as well as a team from DG Grow.
EuroCham also met with Mr. David Daly, responsible for Southeast Asia affairs at the European External Action Service (EEAS).
Another highlight of this mission was EuroCham’s participation in a Monitoring Group Hearing at the European Parliament (5 September), presided by the Vice Chair of the Parliament’s Committee for International Trade (INTA) MEP Mr. Jan Zharadil, with the presence of its Chair MEP Mr. Bernd Lange, and the Vice Chair of the EP Delegation for relations with Southeast Asia and ASEAN MEP Mr. Jeron Lenaers. Mr. Mauro Pettricione, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s DG Trade and Chief Negotiator for the EVFTA also participated in this session.
The week closed off with a business conference “EVFTA- What’s in for European enterprises and Vietnam’s reform progress?” co-organised by Business Europe, EU-Vietnam Business Network and spiritsEurope, which also counted on the presence of several officials. After an key note speeches by honorary guests, the first panel session featured many insightful remarks on the Agreement's possible impact on European enterprises. The second panel gathered speakers to comment the positive impact of European investment in Vietnam in terms of CSR, environmental and labour standards. The conference was attended by around 50 participants, enjoying a widespread representation of business and European business associations, as well as European institution officials. Earlier in the week, the delegation also attended the Vietnam National Day reception at the Vietnam Embassy to the EU and Belgium, at the invitation of Ambassador H.E. Vuong Thua Phong, who also spoke at business conference.
On 9 September, the delegation met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for a short exchange and report of the successful week.
During these meetings, EuroCham had the opportunity to discuss several relevant topics and to present its Whitebook, Greenbook and EVFTA report publications. Six EuroCham Sector Committee representatives participated in this delegation and were able to convey their topics and recommendations directly to the EU institution officials.
This week of meetings and encounters was a success. The Chamber was able to voice perspectives, concerns and recommendations of the European business community in Vietnam and its members, particularly towards a quick and efficient implementation of the EVFTA. One general conclusion that can be withdrawn from this mission is that from both the European and Vietnamese sides of the discussion there is a common desire to see the EU and Vietnam advance as close partners in business and as peoples. EuroCham was proud to have engaged in this visit and thank all those who participated in this programme, as well as the European counterparts for their always warm welcome and openness.