ADVOCACY UPDATE (4th October 2018 – 31st December 2018)

I. EVENTS

NOTE: This refers to Eurocham events (usually already reported about in the website, so please insert a link to an existing related Event article) but this update should refer to the elements that are relevant to advocacy action. Structure should be as below: a paragraph on background of the event | main topics related to advocacy per SC/industry/topic| one paragraph with complementary information i/a.

1. EuroCham proudly receives a Certificate of Merit from H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc – Prime Minister of Vietnam
Hanoi, 4th October 2018
On 4 October 2018, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) organised a conference in Hanoi to celebrate 30 years of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Vietnam and highlight new strategies and policies for the future. During this conference, the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) was honoured to receive award with a Certificate of Merit by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for its contributions to FDI attraction in Vietnam and the country’s overall economic development, international integration. EuroCham was represented by Co-Chairmen: Mr. Nicolas Audier and Mr. Denis Brunetti.
Speaking at the “30 Years of FDI Mobilization” conference, EuroCham Co-Chairman Nicolas Audier said that increasing FDI has opened up the economy and improved economic policies. In the future, the business environment and strong growth of the middle class will help Vietnam remain an attractive destination for foreign investors. EuroCham is committed to working with the Vietnamese Government to advocate for the quick ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is estimated to boost GDP and Vietnam’s economic growth through investment and export expansion.
More details of the event can be found here. 

 EuroCham Co-Chairmen Mr. Denis Brunetti and Mr. Nicolas Audier

2. Eurocham EVFTA Report 2018 released
Brussels, 8th October 2018
EuroCham released the data at an event in Brussels to launch its latest report – The EVFTA: Perspectives from Vietnam – on Monday 8th October. 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. 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.
More details of the event can be found here.

3. EuroCham Leads Mission to Brussels to Push for EVFTA Ratification
Brussels, 8th – 18th October 2018
EuroCham led a delegation of almost 20 European companies and Business Associations to Brussels to advocate for a quick ratification and implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

 Eurocham delegation led by Co-Chairman Nicolas Audier met with Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom

EuroCham’s delegation met with four EU Commissioners and senior EU officials as well as with stakeholder organisations. EuroCham’s delegation provided on-the-ground updates on Vietnam’s progress in a range of areas.

EuroCham’s delegation participated in and spoke at the European Parliament of Enterprises 2018. This conference reaffirmed Europe’s commitment to common trade policies and free, fair and rules-based international trade. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom announced at this event that the EVFTA will be approved by the Commission and submitted to the Council and European Parliament on 17th October.

The highlight of the first week in Brussels was a public hearing organised by the European Parliament’s International Trade (INTA) Committee. EuroCham Co-Chairman, Nicolas Audier presented at this hearing. Combining his personal reflections with the views of European businesses, he highlighted how far Vietnam has come over the last few decades and emphasised the importance of the EVFTA in helping Vietnam to continue its process of reform and liberalisation.

In the second week, Eurocham lead delegation of 20 EU companies to welcome Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to Brussels on the 17th of October with a business luncheon. On the 18th of October, the Prime Minister, in his speech, has referred to EuroCham’s latest Business Climate Index at the Asia-EU Economic Forum, highlighting the strong demand of European companies to grow their investment in Vietnam and called for the ratification of EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.
Concluding the visit, EuroCham Advocacy also attended the EU-ASEAN Business Council’s meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and will continue to update on Vietnam’s positive progress in reforming its legislative framework to ensure a smooth implementation of the EVFTA.
More details of the event can be found here.

4. EuroCham Celebrates 20 years in Vietnam with a Gala Dinner and Business Awards
Ho Chi Minh City, 16th November 2018 Max: 250 Words
Nearly 600 business leaders, investors and ambassadors from across Europe gathered at the InterContinental Hotel to celebrate two decades of EuroCham in Vietnam with a special Gala Dinner.
This Gala Dinner was the highlight of the European business calendar in 2018. And it attracted some of the biggest and most successful companies as enthusiastic sponsors. The calibre of companies attending this event, alongside ambassadors from 10 European countries and representatives from the People’s Committee of HCMC and VCCI highlighted the success of EU-Vietnam trade and investment over the last few decades and EuroCham’s crucial role in this blossoming relationship.
EuroCham has been an essential bridge between Europe and Vietnam, helping to build new relationships between domestic and foreign business communities, representing the voice of business to the Government of Vietnam and the highest levels of decision-making in Europe.
In recognition of this important work, EuroCham has received a number of honours, including a ‘Certificate of Merit’ from the Prime Minister of Vietnam at the ‘30 Years of Foreign Direct Investment’ conference in October in Hanoi. The Chamber is also a proactive member of the Advisory Council for Administrative Procedures Reform (ACAPR), under the direction of the Prime Minister, as well as the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF), helping to streamline and reform Vietnam’s legal framework.
EuroCham also published the 10th edition of its Whitebook in 2018, marking a decade of positive efforts to improve the trade and investment environment for domestic and foreign companies alike. In 2018, the Chamber’s strong growth continued apace, and it now counts over one thousand members – making it one of the largest foreign Chambers of Commerce in Asia.

More details of the event can be found here.

5. EuroCham attended the annual Vietnam Business Forum (VBF)
Hanoi, 4th December 2018 
On 4th December, EuroCham attended the annual Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) organised by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the World Bank and IFC. The theme of the VBF was: “Sharing Opportunities in the World of Changing Trade”. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended and chaired the conference.
EuroCham Co-Chairs, Nicolas Audier and Denis Brunetti, led the EuroCham delegation. Mr. Audier updated the VBF about the Chamber’s activities in Brussels to advocate for the quick ratification of the EVFTA.

Mr. Audier outlined that ratification of the EVFTA is not a foregone conclusion: Challenges remain, and the upcoming vote in the European Parliament will be crucial. The EVFTA’s merits as a free trade agreement are undisputed – but its broader social impacts also need to be considered. Issues like labour, social and human rights are high on the agenda of the European Parliament, and EuroCham will continue to highlight the Government’s progressive reforms in order to prove Vietnam’s readiness to implement the EVFTA. The insights and recommendations of 16 Sector Committees will help Vietnam unlock the full potential of the EVFTA. However, the market-access issues raised to VBF and the Government still need to be resolved. These include issues in the Pharmaceutical sector, Medical Devices & Diagnostics, Mobility and Wines & Spirits as well as matters related to Human Resource & Training, ICT and the implementation of the Law on Cyber-Security.
Mr. Brunetti highlighted EuroCham’s commitment to the Government’s strategic agenda on embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, enabled by 4G, 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) network infrastructure, knowing that Vietnam seeks to accelerate the digital transformation of all industries. EuroCham wants to support the Government and its enterprises to create an innovation ecosystem under the ‘National Innovation Network Program’ launched by the Prime Minister in Hanoi. The Chamber recognises the pivotal role of ICT and high-tech innovation in driving Vietnam’s phenomenal socio-economic development over the past 25 years since the inception of mobile communications.
The VBF will continue to be an important and effective policy dialogue channel between the Government and foreign enterprises: linking the ideas, proposals and recommendations of business with the policy strategy of the Government. Meanwhile, the Government will support all businesses to develop. It is committed to creating an open, fair and low-cost business environment, facilitating greater trade in import-export activities, reforming management, as well as the modernisation of administrative procedures.
More details of the event can be found here.
 

II. ​SECTOR COMMITTEE UPDATES
 
1. Food, Agri, Aqua Business Sector Committee
November 15, HCMC | Conference on Investment Promotion in Food Processing Industry (Vietnam Foodexpo)

Mr. Jean-Jacques Bouflet attended and delivered opening speech on behalf of EuroCham. FAABS’s Chairman Mr. Thierry Rocaboy joined the panel discussion to share his insight on the Food and Agriculture industry in the context of the EVFTA

2. Human Resources Sector Committee
28-29 August | Hanoi | MOLISA - ILO consultation workshop
EuroCham was invited to MOLISA-ILO workshop in revised Labour code. This consultation focused on the issues of industrial relation chapters which has strongly linked to the ratification of ILO fundamental conventions. EuroCham Executive Director and HR&T SC co-chair Sarah Galeski attended the workshop
 
30 November, HCMC| HMCC PC & Investment Trade Promotion Center- Conference on Decree 143/2018/ND-CP on statutory insurance applicable to foreign employees working in Vietnam.

5 December, HCMC| MOLISA consultation workshop on ILO Convention No. 98 |
Co-Chairwoman Sarah Galeski delivered a speech supporting ratification of the convention in the light of EVFTA
 
6 December, HCMC | Information session for female expats on impacts of the new Social Insurance policy
Co-Chairwoman Sarah Galeski joined as expert speaker for 1st women’s networking event co-hosted by EuroCham and Co-space

3.  Tourism and Hospitality Sector Committee

Introduction of new Co-chairs of Tourism and Hospitality Sector Committee
 
 
 
 
 

 
Mr. Martin Koerner – The Anam               

Mr. Minh Anh Vu - Terraverde Travel
The Tourism & Hospitality SC will work on long-term advocacy in Sustainable tourism, Tourism & Hospitality marketing and trainings

4. Wine & Spirits Sector Committee

Introduction of new Co-Chairman of Wine & Spirits Sector Committee
 
Mr. Patrick Castanier – Pernod Ricard
 
5. Medical Devices and Diagnostics Sector Committee

Introduction of new Chairman of Medical Devices and Diagnostics Sector Committee
 
Mr. Torben Minko – B.Braun
 
 
6. International Quality Generics Sector Committee
Introduction of new Chairman of International Quality Generics Sector Committee


 
Mr. Stephane Langevin – Baxter

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