Hanoi - 25 May 2018, the Meet Europe 2018 conference gathered an audience of more than 700 attendees, including corporate representatives, Government officials and diplomatic corps. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc spoke at the event, praising the connection between European business and Vietnam and stressing the importance of Vietnam-Europe relations.
The conference was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam (MOFA), with the support of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).
The purpose of the event was to launch a broad discussion on the state of Europe-Vietnam relations, particularly regarding trade and investment, ahead of the coming into force of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). The Agreement is on its way to ratification, a process which both the EU and Vietnam have committed to speed up with the aim of making it effective later this year as scheduled.
The conference was marked by the presence of more than 200 Vietnamese Government officials, including more than 30 Provincial Government Leaders. Alongside Prime Minister Phuc, the Standing Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Bui Thanh Son also spoke at the plenary session, as well as the Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai, and the Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Duc Chung.
Meet Europe 2018 attracted more than 200 company representatives – mostly European-Vietnamese businesses – some of which were invited on stage to share their success stories and projects, as well as their development plans in Vietnam and its provinces. They were also heard by most of the European ambassadors to Vietnam, as well as a large number of international organisations.
The conference’s “Thematic Sessions” gave the stage to European companies that have been successfully doing business in Vietnam and in the country's provinces. The "case-studies" presented cut across several areas such as Automotive and Wine & Spirits (Piaagio and Diageo); Clean Energy and Smart Cities (Siemens Vietnam and ABB); Agriculture (Neovia and Nedspice Vietnam); Infrastructure and Logistics (Deep C Dinh Vu and CMA CGM), Industry 4.0 (Bosch Vietnam and Ericsson), Healthcare (Siemens Healthineers and Adamed Group), and Tourism and Hospitality (The Anam and Airbus Vietnam). They were delivered by the highest ranks of leading European enterprises in Vietnam. (see full event agenda here).
In the third part of the conference, companies met one-on-one with the leaderships of more than 30 provinces of Vietnam who travelled to Hanoi to attend the event. More than 70 B2G meetings dedicated to potential business and investment opportunities were organised at Meet Europe 2018, record number of encounters between the private sector and Chairs, Vice Chairs, and Party Secretaries from Vietnam’s Provinces.
Meet Europe 2018 was yet another landmark business-to-Government event in Vietnam, the result of cooperation between EuroCham Vietnam and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam under a longstanding agreement between the two entities.
A good example of the regular dialogue between the Vietnamese Government and the European business community, the conference showed that European business is strongly invested in Vietnam’s development, and wishes to be a key partner in its continued advancement. This message comes at a momentous time, as Europe and Vietnam are set to embark on an historic trade and investment connection under the EVFTA, a deal which has the potential to open a unique trade corridor that can produce historic benefits for citizens on both continents.
EuroCham Co-Chairman Mr. Denis Brunetti said: “...EuroCham is firmly convinced that European businesses are those partners because of the knowledge, skills and investment that they bring...”
Co-Chairman Mr. Nicolas Audier said: “...Prime Minister Phuc honoured us with his presence here today and we are certain that he accords the conclusion of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement process the highest priority...”
Ambassador – Head of the European Union Delegation Bruno Angelet said :"...I am strongly convinced that the FTA between the EU and Vietnam has an enormous potential to enhance trade and investment exchanges between us and generate growth and prosperity both in the EU and in Vietnam..."
President and CEO of Siemens Vietnam Dr. Pham Thai Lai said: “...Vietnam must reform its energy production and consumption and renewables are an inevitable piece of the puzzle. But the country cannot yet make such a shift alone, it needs partners...”
Vice President and Managing Director of Bosch Vietnam Mr. Guru Mallikarjuna said: “...For a company like Bosch, which serves national industries and has the development of its local staff all around the world as one of its highest priorities, this was a momentous occasion...”
General Manager of The Anam Mr. Herbert Laubichler-Pichler said: “As a hotel business at the forefront of sustainable tourism and concern about the preservation of our surroundings in Cam Ranh, we were happy to be able to show our business case before the Vietnamese Government and Provincial authorities...”