Nine out of ten European companies want the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to be implemented in 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter, according to new research from the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).
EuroCham released the data at an event in Brussels to launch its latest report – The EVFTA: Perspectives from Vietnam – on Monday 8th October, together with amfori and BusinessEurope. This launch event, with 70 participants, is part of a EuroCham mission to the European Parliament and European Commission to push for a quick ratification of the EVFTA.
EuroCham’s report includes the results of a new survey of the Chamber’s members, who were asked how the EVFTA will affect their business operations. Over 130 responded – more than 10 percent of EuroCham’s membership – and the results were striking.
Just under 80 percent believe that the EVFTA will have either a ‘Significant’ or ‘Moderate’ impact on their business in the medium and long-term. Meanwhile, over 80 percent believe that the FTA will make Vietnam more competitive, while 72 percent said that it will help Vietnam to become a hub for European business in the ASEAN region.
On top of the positive economic benefits, EuroCham members believe that the EVFTA will help to improve a range of social and environmental issues in Vietnam, from ‘Knowledge Transfer and Local Workforce Advancement’ to ‘Workers’ Rights’. For example, a third (33 percent) of EuroCham members believe that the EVFTA will have a ‘Significant’ impact on improving ‘Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection’.
The report also includes the reflections of business leaders, NGOs, economists, entrepreneurs and workers. In their own words, each contributor shares their personal perspective on Vietnam’s progress since the Doi Moi reforms first opened Vietnam to foreign investment, and on how the EVFTA will help Vietnam to further integrate with the international community and global economy.
Nicolas Audier, Co-Chairman of EuroCham, said:
“This report provides clear evidence that the EVFTA is a ‘win-win’ for Europe and Vietnam. Our members paint a positive, optimistic picture of the agreement, with 85 percent anticipating a significant or moderate impact on their business and investment plans in the long-term.
Meanwhile, 80 percent of EuroCham members believe the EVFTA will improve Vietnam’s competitiveness compared to other countries such as China, Japan and Korea. And over 70 percent see Vietnam becoming a hub for European business in the ASEAN region.
This week, EuroCham is leading a delegation of business leaders to Brussels to take this positive message to the heart of Europe. Our delegation will meet with the highest levels of decision making in the European Parliament and EU Commission, to highlight the impact that the EVFTA will have not just on bilateral trade and investment, but on the entire economic, social and environmental fabric of Vietnam.”
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