BCI Q22018: European companies more positive about the Business Environment in Vietnam

New data from the Business Climate Index (BCI) of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) shows that European companies are more positive about doing business in Vietnam.

This growing confidence in Vietnam’s trade and investment environment can be seen in a 6 point jump from Q1 to Q2, 2018. The latest BCI results show that the sentiment of European business is at its strongest for 18 months, and just two points below the all-time high of Q3 2016.

EuroCham members also reported an optimistic outlook on a range of issues, from their own investment and profit projections to workforce levels and Vietnam’s macroeconomic outlook. Over 70% reported a positive situation for their enterprise in the last quarter, with 62% describing it as ‘Good’ and 12% as ‘Excellent’. Looking ahead to the next quarter, 64% believe their business situation will be ‘Good’ with a further 15% answering ‘Excellent’.

EuroCham members are also optimistic about Vietnam’s macroeconomic outlook, with 57% predicting ‘Stabilisation and Improvement’ in the next quarter and 34% believing that it will remain static, compared to just 10% anticipating a ‘Deterioration’. Meanwhile, over half (57%) believe that their business will see either a ‘Significant’ or ‘Moderate’ increase in staff next quarter, with a similar proportion (61%) anticipating either a ‘Significant’ or ‘Moderate’ increase in investment. Over three-quarters of EuroCham members (76%) believe that their orders or revenue will see a ‘Significant’ or ‘Moderate’ increase in quarter 3.

For the first time, EuroCham asked its members for their views on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Just under 9 out of 10 (87%) responded that CSR is important to their business operations in Vietnam. The main motivations for CSR include ‘Brand Reputation’ and ‘Customer/Environmental Concern’.

Commenting on the BCI, Nicolas Audier, Co-Chairman of EuroCham, said:  "These results show once again that European companies and investors remain confident in Vietnam. The fact that EuroCham has now reached over 1,000 members – making us one of the largest foreign business associations in Asia – reinforces this positive message and shows that Vietnam is open for business as an attractive trade and investment destination. Our data also shows that European companies are sustainable as well as successful. The fact that almost 90 percent of our members believe CSR is important to their business operations underlines their long-term commitment to Vietnam and its people.
These results come at an important time for EU-Vietnam relations. The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) should be ratified soon. On the cusp of this historic deal, which would boost trade and investment on both sides, we hope this positive message from EuroCham and its members will inspire the Government to continue opening its markets to foreign investment and improving its trade and investment environment.”

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