On the 14th of March in Hanoi, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) launched the 11th edition of its annual Whitebook of trade and investment issues and recommendations. The event featured high-level speeches from Mr. Bui Thanh Son, Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Pham Cong Tac, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Science and Technology; and Mr. Bruno Angelet, EU Ambassador to Vietnam and Head of the EU Delegation.
The Whitebook is EuroCham’s flagship annual publication, bringing together the insights and recommendations of the Chamber’s over one thousand members. The publication includes 20 chapters, covering sectors and industries from Healthcare to Wines & Spirits, and ICT to Human Resources & Training. In the Whitebook, EuroCham members raise the three issues most important to their business operations, and highlight specific actions that the Government could take to improve Vietnam’s business environment and legal framework, increase trade and investment from Europe and make the country even more competitive in the global marketplace.
Joining EuroCham members at the event were almost 300 attendees including over 90 officials from the Government of Vietnam, 25 representatives of EuroCham Sector Committees, 25 guests from European embassies and other organisations, and 90 members of the press.
Opening the event, EuroCham Co-Chairmen Nicolas Audier and Denis Brunetti discussed the two issues most critical to ensuring the success of the next phase of Vietnam’s development: The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Fourth Industrial Revolution – through the digitalisation of all sectors and industries – will make Vietnam more competitive, innovative and better prepared to embrace the jobs and opportunities of the future. Meanwhile, the EVFTA – once ratified and implemented – will grow trade and investment between the EU and Vietnam still further, and give consumers better access to high-quality European goods and services.
These themes were further developed in the next session of the conference, as the audience first heard from Mr. Bui Thanh Son about the EVFTA, and then from Mr. Pham Cong Tac, who shared the Government’s initiatives on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The conference also heard from the EU Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr. Bruno Angelet, who discussed both these topics, and then from the Vice-Chairman of VCCI Mr. Hoang Quang Phong. Then followed a high-level panel session bringing these two issues together, featuring speakers from VCCI, EuroCham, Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), and the EU Delegation.
In the second session of the event, EuroCham Vice-Chairman Jean-Jacques Bouflet presented the insights and recommendations of EuroCham’s 16 Sector Committees as outlined in the Whitebook, before moving on to three thematic panel discussions featuring representatives from EuroCham’s Sector Committees and officials from the Government of Vietnam: “Healthcare in Vietnam”, “Tax & Customs Environment” and “Sustainability”.
The Whitebook Launch was held in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam (EU Delegation), the EU-Vietnam Business Network (EVBN), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). Three hundred copies of the report were distributed to guests and Government Ministries. On Wednesday 20 March the report will also be launched in HCMC at a special Whitebook Briefing and free copies of the report can be downloaded from the EuroCham website.