On 23rd March, EuroCham Vice-Chairman Tomaso Andreatta attended and delivered a speech at the “Meeting between Ho Chi Minh City leaders and FDI enterprises 2019: Harness the resources, Shape the future”. Secretary of HCMC Party's Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan and Chairman of HCMC People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong attended and co-chaired the conference.
The conference was held by the Investment & Trade Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City (ITPC) was attended by representatives of HCMC Departments and agencies, 25 business associations, international organisations and about 200 FDI enterprises operating in the City. The EuroCham delegation led by Vice-Chairman Tomaso Andreatta, was joined by board member Christoph Schill and representatives from EuroCham Business Associations.
In his opening remarks, Politburo member, Secretary of HCMC Party’s Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan emphasised outcomes of FDI investments, one of the main driving forces for the City’s economy, in 2018. Accordingly, total FDI capital attracted over US$7 billion, up 15 percent from 2017. The trend is growing as 1.55 billion USD had been poured into HCMC in the first three months of 2019, up 20.4 percent from the same period last year. Addressing several issues that the City needs to deal with in order to improve competitiveness and create a favourable business conditions for foreign investors, the municipal Secretary asked the City’s departments and agencies to focus on making reforms and building a facilitative administrative system for the City. On this occasion, HCMC introduced 255 projects calling for foreign investment.
Representing EuroCham at the conference, Vice-Chairman Andreatta congratulated the City on being an attractive trade and investment destination for foreign investors, reflected in the fact that so many European companies had chosen Ho Chi Minh City to establish their business in Vietnam. He underlined that Ho Chi Minh City had been given tools to further its own development using resources raised locally and affirmed EuroCham’s willingness to help the City make the most of its higher autonomy award in order to achieve the maximum results from fund raising to realizing of projects.
EuroCham fully supported the City’s efforts to enhance development planning works; speed up the progress of building a smart city; and develop its innovative, specialized zones in order to attract more knowledge rich as well as high-tech FDI, Mr. Andreatta noted while highlighting EuroCham’s recommendations for the City on sectorial issues including infrastructure, mobility and clean energy solutions.
Regarding sustainable development, Mr. Andreatta stressed that EuroCham was always active in bringing the circular economy to HCMC. EuroCham recommended the City to focus on enforcing wastewater treatment, air quality control emissions, promoting green buildings standards and energy efficiency, investing in an identification and recording system containing some traceability components. Mr. Andreatta also summarised other major trade and investment issues presented in Whitebook 2019 such as restructuring state-owned enterprises, regulations on contribution to social insurance of foreign employees working in Vietnam, tax and audits, etc.
Responding to EuroCham’s remarks, the attending HCMC Department of Planning and Investment, Department of Transport and Department of Social Insurance provided additional information on investment policies of Vietnam, regulations on social insurance for foreign employees and future infrastructure plans of HCMC in order to help businesses have a clearer understanding on some of the mentioned issues. The Departments added that relevant authorities had well noted EuroCham’s recommendations and would proceed to ensure foreign investors enjoy favourable business conditions in the Vietnam.
On the sidelines of the meeting, Mr. Andreatta had chance to speak to and present EuroCham Whitebook 2019 to Secretary of HCMC Party's Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan and Chairman of HCMC People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong.
Through the active participation in the annual Meeting between Ho Chi Minh City leaders and FDI enterprises along with other activities held by HCMC departments and agencies, EuroCham reconsolidated its commitment to further cooperate closely with the authorities to extend the scope of FDI support and to enhance the confidence of foreign investors doing business in the City. EuroCham is willing to share many more ideas to promote EU-Vietnam relations, like European Village Day in November 2019, and other upcoming Business-to-Local Government meetings with our key partners.