EuroCham Vice-Chair Tomaso Andreatta delivered a speech at a special dialogue event to mark the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with VBI Fast Track this week in Hanoi.
The dialogue, entitled: “Joining Efforts To Improve Business Environment – Facilitate The Fast And Effective Promotion Of Private Investment & FDI In The New Era” took place on the 24th of September. It was attended by business leaders and policy makers who gathered to discuss Vietnam’s business environment, economic growth, and investment promotion.
In his speech, Mr Andreatta remarked: “EuroCham is working to support SME companies to come to and trade with Vietnam, taking full advantage of the EVFTA though an alliance with VCCI. Our cooperation with VBI Fast Track complements that endeavor by catering to larger enterprises.” He added that: “The full advantage of the EVFTA goes well beyond the tariff cut which, to date, should be on 71% of Vietnamese exports and 65% of European ones, as soon as the decree on tariffs is finalized. It will create Trade Facilitation programs, improve standards, and establish forums to discuss issues such as trade in sustainability and the environment. In addition, the ratification of the EVIPA will give comprehensive protection to companies investing in Vietnam.”
Mr Andreatta also highlighted that there are number of issues the Government could address to make Vietnam a more attractive investment destination, especially for companies coming from further afield like Europe or North America. These include more immediately applicable, selective and empowering education and training programs; access to clean and secure energy; a streamlined process for paying taxes and customs or for testing products; freedom to hire employees local or foreign as needed; a level playing field in, among others, automotive and healthcare industries; deeper capital markets; and more convincing protection of IPR.
Turning to Industry 4.0, EuroCham’s Vice-Chairman said that joining the 4th Industrial Revolution requires attracting larger international companies to Vietnam and offering them efficient internet and physical transportation services as well as a market open to their products. Setting rules for the rapid deployment of new technologies, such as new-generation Li-Si batteries or Hydrogen cells, should also make Vietnam more attractive for advanced investment.
Concluding his speech, Mr Andreatta said that the knowledge and understanding of Vietnam by EuroCham’s board and staff – which comes from the real-life experience of the more than 1,000 companies invested here – are a useful resource for VBI Fast Track. In his closing remarks, he said: “We hope to leverage the strengths of our MOU partners to smooth the process of investment of multinational and other larger companies that will increasingly need to consider serving the ever-more affluent and large Vietnamese market from inside and using Vietnam as the basis for ASEAN presence.”