EuroCham speaks at the Vietnam Private Sector Economic Forum 2019

On the 3rd of May 2019, at the National Convention Centre in Hanoi, the Government and the Central Economic Commission co-organised the Vietnam Private Sector Economic Forum 2019, with the attendance of more than 2500 representatives including top leaders from the Central Communist Party and the Government, National Assembly, diplomatic missions, international organizations and thousands of experts and representatives from domestic and foreign business community.

The Forum included 7 thematic sessions, focusing on Start-ups, Agriculture, CPTPP, Tourism, Finance, Digital Economy and Women in Business; which are open dialogues between the public and the private sectors, devising and proposing the solutions for economic development in Vietnam and 1 plenary session chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Head of Central Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh. EuroCham Vice Chairmen Mr. Ywert Visser, Mr. Hai Minh Nguyen and Mr. Tomaso Andreatta delivered a speech at the plenary session.

In the opening speech, H.E. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stated that the state’s consistent policy is to build a multi-component economy. After more than three decades of Doi Moi reform, Vietnam has witnessed many achievements of the economy. In particular, 2018 was the 4th consecutive year witnessing the unprecedented number of newly established enterprises. Now the private sector accounts for 42% of GDP and many of which have affirmed their market standings. He also stressed that the private sector plays a very important role in the national economy, thus, Vietnam needs to devise solutions to further promote its role.

On behalf of domestic private sector, leaders of Vingroup, Vietjet Air, TH group, Vina Capital, T&T Group, and THACO spoke at the event, as well as representatives from various industrial associations such as VCCI, Vietnam Tourism Association, Vietnam Logistics Association, etc., proposing recommendations to the Government in order to develop the private economic sector.
From the international business community, representatives of WB, IFC, US-ABC, JCCI, KORCAM, AmCham and EuroCham delivered speeches, addressing common issues and challenges that the international business community faces in Vietnam.

On behalf of EuroCham, Mr. Tomaso Andreatta stated that more than one thousand members of EuroCham have recently reconfirmed their positive expectation for continued growth of trade and the economy for Vietnam in the latest quarterly Business Climate Index, convinced that there is a lot to gain from the EVFTA to be ratified and implemented soon.
However, there were still many issues that the Government needs to address in order to improve Vietnam's business and investment environment, such as coordination among ministries, from the central to local levels in implementing different regulations in practice. EuroCham recommended the formation of more ad-hoc, inter-ministerial committees or to ask multifunction Ministries, such as MPI or the Office of the Government, to help improve communication and shared decision making.

Other concerns are lot-by-lot homologation in the automotive industry, draft law on PPP for revision, compulsory Social Insurance for foreign workers, especially without a corresponding policy to allow them to become long-term residents of Vietnam, the inconsistencies of regulations for medical products and devices, customs clearance processes, and tax inspections. Mr. Andreatta reaffirmed: “If addressed, these issues would further improve the trade and investment environment in Vietnam, increase foreign direct investment and make the country an even more attractive place in which to do business”.
After the sharing of private sector representatives was the response session from Government. H.E. Mai Tien Dung - Minister, Chairman of the Government Office - chaired the response dialogue session from leaders of Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministries committed that they will continue to improve legislative framework and administrative reform, focusing more on private businesses.
In the closing remarks, H.E. Nguyen Van Binh affirmed that the state economy plays a key role, while the private economy is the driving force of the national development. Therefore, he asked the Party and the Government to continue to prioritize projects to bring the private economy into social development programs, implement Resolution 10 effectively, and regularly hold such dialogues to resolve the problems. As for private enterprises, it is necessary to proactively raise problems and propose recommendations to related departments and ministries to promptly update policies in order to develop a sustainable private economy.

Live on VnExpress - (EuroCham Speech starts from 01:54:00)

Hanoi - Forum: 3 May 2019

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