EUROCHAM ADVOCACY UPDATE (21 September - 04 December 2017)

The Advocacy Update, posted regularly, is dedicated to updating our members and visitors on EuroCham's advocacy action on behalf of its members and Sector Committees. For general information on events which might be referred to in this section kindly follow the mentioned links or check our Events section. This Update includes information on: 1. Advocacy in Events / 2. Meetings with Government and other Stakteholders / 3. Sector Committee Updates
I. Advocacy in Events

1.MUTRAP Workshop on Assessment of Long-term Impacts of EVFTA | Ho Chi Minh, 28 November 2017
On 28th November 2017, Mr. Jean-Jacques Bouflet, EuroCham Board Member, and the Secretariat joined the Workshop on Assessment of Long-term Impacts of EVFTA organised by European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP) and Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) in Ho Chi Minh City.   
In the workshop, EU-MUTRAP experts shared the findings from their research on the impacts of EVFTA, from the angle of poverty reduction, wage changes by gender and environmental protection, etc. The final report will be published in the upcoming weeks and available on EU-MUTRAP website.
In the discussion session, Mr. Jean-Jacques Bouflet, EuroCham Board member raised that EVFTA ratification should not be taken for granted and there will be split or mixed text of EVFTA to be ratified. He also mentioned EuroCham’s efforts in promotion of EVFTA in Vietnam and even Brussels and what are the key important issues that EU Parliament will look onto: impacts on economy, sustainability, labour and social conditions, equality at work, etc.
Mr. Phan Chi Hieu from Central Institute of Economic Management commented that Vietnam has put efforts in improving its competitiveness through implementation of Resolution 19 to increase trade facilitation and reforms. In addition, Vietnamese enterprises should be well prepared to compete with other companies coming to Vietnam to benefit from the FTAs. CIEM has also asked MUTRAP to request MOIT to set up a full-time helpdesk dedicated to EVFTA to provide information on EVFTA.

2.Fruit Processing Seminar | Ho Chi Minh, 23 November 2017
On 23rd November 2017, Mr. Jean-Jacques Bouflet, EuroCham Board Member, and Food, Agri & Aqua Business Sector Committee’s members attended the Fruit Processing Seminar co-organised by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, and Rieckermann and supported by EuroCham. Mr. Bouflet delivered a presentation on the EVFTA, its current status and benefits, with specific focus on processed fruits, i.e. concentrates, juices, purees, dried fruits, especially on the tariff reduction for machinery imported from Europe and processed products exported from Vietnam.

3.Event on Investment Promotion in Food Processing Industry | Ho Chi Minh, 15 November 2017

On 15th November 2017, Ms. Almut Roessner and EuroCham Food, Agri & Aqua Business Sector Committee’s members joined and presented at the event on Investment Promotion in Food Processing Industry organised by Vietrade, Ministry of Industry and Trade in Ho Chi Minh City at the sideline of Vietnam International Food Industry Exhibition (Vietnam Food Expo 2017). Theexhibition and conference gathered around 300 Vietnamese leading food and drink companies and 100 international businesses from Vietnam and Asia. EuroCham’s topics covered included EVFTA, food quality, safety, traceability and challenge of access to funding for farmers and also sharing experience of EuroCham enterprises in Vietnam

4.EuroCham Green Day | Ho Chi Minh, 09 November 2017
On 09th November 2017, EuroCham has organised the launch of its Greenbook, a publication presenting the overview related to renewable energy, water and waste treatment, smart cities and green buildings and raising issues regarding policies and recommendations, to improve the green business environment in Vietnam. In addition, there are success stories of projects run by EuroCham member companies, European businesses as well as other foreign investors in Vietnam. On this occasion, EuroCham also launched its first Greenbook website to support the provision of information, especially policy mechanisms and programmes to facilitate the European and Vietnamese business communities with their investment and operation activities.
Following by the Launch, EuroCham Green Growth Sector Committee, represented by Chairman Mr. Tomaso Andreatta and ViceChairman Otto Manfred organised the Smart Cities Event: Water Solutions in Vietnam with nearly 60 participants to discuss the legal frameworks, relevant intellectual property strategies, solutions in the area of waste and water treatment in Vietnam.

5.Ho Chi Minh City Investment Promotion Conference | Ho Chi Minh, 11 October 2017
On 11th October 2017, EuroCham members and Secretariat and 20 members joined the Ho Chi Minh City Investment Promotion Conference organised by the Investment & Trade Promotion Center. At the sideline of the event, EuroCham representatives had a brief discussion with the leaders of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee regarding its Greenbook & Smart Cities event and the proposal on energy solutions to be tested in the City with holistic and systematic approach, which was positively supported and welcome. EuroCham has taken this chance to present its Greenbook to the EuroCham’s former Board member, Mr. Nguyen Le Quang Minh, currently Director of Authority for Urban Railways.

II. Meetings with Government and Other Stakeholders
1.EuroCham meeting with MPI, OECD, UNIDO experts | Hanoi, 09 November 2017

Upon the request from National Center for Economic Forecast and Information under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, on 9th November 2017, EuroCham and representatives from Legal Sector Committee, Pharma Group, Food, Agri & Aqua Business Sector Committee participated in the meeting with OECD, UNIDO experts, who are currently conducting a research on business environment in Vietnam and the participation/barriers of Vietnamese firms on the global value chain. Inputs of EuroCham will be utilized in the research, which will be published and sent to the Government of Vietnam for further business environment reform. The draft report is expected to be shared with EuroCham in Quarter 2/2018.

2.EuroCham & EU-ABC’s engagement with Ministries | Hanoi, 11-12 October 2017
On 11th and 12th October 2017, EuroCham and EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC)’s members have had a series of meetings with several Ministries, including the General Department of Vietnam Customs, National Steering Committee on Combating Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Goods (Steering Committee 389), Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Team, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Planning & Investment, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
These events are a part of EU-ABC’s regular interaction with ASEAN and its Member States, where it organises delegation visits to various ASEAN countries to promote increased understanding between the European business sector and the governments of the region. In the meetings, EuroCham and EU-ABC members raised their concerns related to trade facilitation in ASEAN countries and promotion of foreign direct investment to the country, particularly from Europe with a focus on the EVFTA. EuroCham received appreciation for the support from the Ministries and encouragement to continue to be the bridge and facilitator of the Vietnamese Government and  many other partners.

​III. Sector Committee Updates

1.Green Growth Sector Committee
  • On 8th November 2017, GGSC joined the event in Da Nang to support Renewable Energy co-organized by AmCham and USAid, where +10 EuroCham members have signed the declaration. 
  • On 11th October, GGSC meet with Ministry of Planning and Investment in Hanoi to discuss facilitating private sector for Climate finance and climate investment. The participants have explored ideas for a roadmap on cooperation with the private sector especially in regards to the Green Climate Fund and the next steps.
  • On 5th September 2017, GGSC co-organised a Webinar with SEA IPR SME Helpdesk which outlined the basics for European SMEs who wish to expand their business in Vietnam’s Green Building sector.

2.Transportation & Logistics Sector Committee

With the initiative resulted from the last dialogue between Ho Chi Minh City Department of Customs (DOC) and the business community 30th August, on 11th October 2017, TLSC organised a Training on Customs Valuation with participation from Sub-Departments of Export/Import Tax, Airport & Express Delivery of DOC. There were many several questions regarding valuations methods, inconsistent application of regulations by DOC, etc. With the positive response from enterprise, DOC proposed to hold another training on HS Code, which is expected to be in late 2017.

3.Intellectual Property Rights Sector Committee
On 15th November 2017, IPR SC co-organised an event on IP considerations in Technology Transfer to Vietnam and South-East Asia with around 30 participants in both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. The audience was also quite engaged during the Q&A session and the experts showed an interest to collaborate again in the near future.
4.CropLife Vietnam
On 2nd November 2017, CLVN in cooperation with Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development organised workshop on Enhancement of export capabilities of Vietnam Agri-products with around 80 participants to provide information on Maximum Residue Level (MRL) for agri-products and suggestions on development & management of MRL to support enhancement of Vietnam’s export capabilities.

5.Human Resources & Training Sector Committee

​On 25th September 2017, HR&T SC joined the panel discussion in the ICS's “Work with Pride” event in Ho Chi Minh City and expressed the EuroCham’s position on how to effectively implement LGBTIQ-inclusive policies in the workplace. Following this event, HR&T SC is planning to co-host with ICS an event on diversity at work in early November.

On 25th October 2017, HR&T SC delivered a speech at Conference on Enhancing the quality of Vietnamese workforce in the context of EVFTA accession. EuroCham Co-Chairman Gellert Horvath and Ms Mai Lan Anh, HR&T SC Chairwoman spoke on the opportunities and challenges that EVFTA may bring back for EuroCham business community, as well as policy suggestions

6.EuroCham & Pharma Group signed the MOU on Pharmacy Excellence Project | Da Nang, 09 November 2017

On 09th November 2017, EuroCham & its Pharma Group, together with Hanoi University of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, RMIT University Vietnam, AmCham Healthcare Committee signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the sidelines of the APEC week in Da Nang to pledge their commitment on cooperation with a view to providing free, continuous medical training to pharmacy students, pharmacists, and pharmacy owners and staff in Vietnam through a mobile application (app). The app will be purely focused on further developing the knowledge and skills of pharmacists and therefore be free of charge, non-promotional and non-political. 


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