ADVOCACY UPDATE (DEC 2020 - JAN 2021)

I. EUROCHAM ACTIVITIES

1. EVFTA Roundtable Seminar: First Success and Future Opportunities | 16 Dec, Hanoi

EuroCham board members Ywert Visser and Torben Minko joined a panel discussion and discussed the impact of the EVFTA on EU businesses in Vietnam, the link between Vietnamese and EU enterprises, and forecasts about investment flows and trends of European enterprises after EVFTA came in effect. Also in attendance were MOIT Vice Minister Tran Quoc Khanh and the EU Ambassador Mr Giorgio Aliberti.
   
    

2. EVFTA Roundtable Seminar: Improving the Business Environment | 18 Dec, HCMC

EuroCham board members Jean Jacques Bouflet and Tomaso Andreatta spoke at a panel discussion at the latest EVFTA roundtable seminar, which also included EU Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr. Giorgio Aliberti, and Director of Multilateral Trade Policy from MOIT Mr Luong Hoang Thai. Tomaso Andreatta said that the Government should improve the legal framework to increase the trust of investors. Jean-Jacques Bouflet added that the EVFTA will bring more opportunities for EU investors to Vietnam, especially businesses in industries like Pharma, Energy, Transportation and Logistics.
    
    

3. Meeting with Prime Minister organized by VBF | 10 Dec, Hanoi

EuroCham attended the VBF bi-annual forum in December, where the Prime Minister praised the VBF for its contribution to improving Vietnam’s business climate since it was first established in 1997.
Vice-Chair Tomaso Andreatta delivered a speech on behalf of EuroCham, focusing on taking full advantage of EVFTA and improving administrative procedures.
  
   

4. VBF Annual Dialogue | 22 Dec, Hanoi

EuroCham also attended the annual Vietnam Business Forum, and put forward various solutions and initiatives for local businesses to recover and develop faster in the period following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vice-Chair Tomaso Andreatta spoke at the event, with his speech focusing on facilitating pharmaceutical companies’ operations and supply of medicines to Vietnam, duration of work permit in human resources and training, mobility, energy, and PPP for infrastructure.
   

   

  
    

II. SECTOR COMMITTEE

Cosmetics SC: 

  • Removing CFS requirement for cosmetics imported from EU member states: In the last draft Circular revising Circular 06/2011, MOH accepted CFS removal for ASEAN countries but not EVFTA signatories. The SC will continue to advocate for the EU.
  • Removing advertising preapproval for cosmetics: The SC’s position has been submitted several times. MOH has verbally aligned but there has been no change in the regulations. The SC will push for an acceleration of the regulation review.

Digital SC:

  • 16 December: DSC member Loup Rouan spoke at the event “Vietnam Internet day 2020”, hosted by Vietnam Internet Association.
  • The SC continues to prepare for the Digital Chapter of Whitebook 2021: 3 issues (E-government, cyber security, digital transformation and the labour market)

FAABS:    

  • On 7 December FAABS elected a new board: Chairman Mr. Johan van den Ban ​(De Heus), Vice-Chairpersons: Mr. Rick van der Linden​ and Ms. Trang Le
  • On 9 December, the SC had a meeting with EU Delegation to Vietnam ​to discuss EVFTA implementation and potential collaboration.

Green Growth SC: 

  • 21 December 2020, GGSC held a board meeting to review the activities and discuss Whitebook 2021 preparation. GGSC will hold an extraordinary AGM preparation at the end of January 2021 to review and change the statues and plan upcoming activities.

HR& Training SC:

  • The SC continues to prepare for the Whitebook 2021:
  • HR issues: (1) Guidance on independent union and union fees; (2) Expansion of termination by employer ; (3) Collection of social security for foreigners
  • Education issues: (1) Expanding teacher training and professional training with more focus on online teaching and learning to ensure less disruption to delivery of education and training; (2) Address the issue of limit on work permit renewal and the impact on teacher retention and quality education; (3) Air quality and the impact on wellbeing/recruitment.

IQMED-G&B SC:

  • IQMED-G&B re-elected the following board members: Ms. Magdalena Krakowiak – Chairwoman; Ms. Van Ho - Vice Chairwoman; Mr. Moritz Mueller – Vice Chairman and Treasurer; Mr. Aleksandrs Parfjonovs – Vice Chairman
  • On 31 December 2020, Circular 29/2020/TT-BYT amending, supplementing and annulling a number of legal documents promulgated jointly by the Minister of Health has been published which solved significant issues from Pharma industry for instance: CPP, visa extension, and tendering.

Legal Sector Committee:

  • The SC provided comments on the Draft Decision to reduce and simplify business conditions of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
  • The SC also continues to prepare for the Whitebook 2021 Chapters: EVFTA & EVIPA, Commercial Mediation, Judicial and Arbitral Recourse, M&A, and PPP.

Medical Devices & Diagnostics Sector Committee:

  • On 23 December, MDDSC sent a letter to MOF and GDT to comment on the draft Circular for VAT for medical devices.
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  • Transportation and Logistics Sector Committee:
  • Preparation for election of new TLSC Board in mid-January

Wines & Spirits Sector Committee:

  • GDC has published comprehensive guidance for EVFTA tariff reduction:
  • On 25 November, MOF/GDC responded to the request of EuroCham via Official Letter 7457 to clarify the conditions to enjoy EVFTA tariff reductions. The letter provided guidance for declaration process for shipment via a third country.
  • Then, on 8 December, GDC issued Letter No.7735/TCHQ-GSQL providing guidance on certifying documents of goods’ origin under the EVFTA, including goods imported from the bonded warehouses into domestic markets, exporter’s signature on the self-certifying declaration on the goods’ origin, REX code checking, and verification of the legitimacy of the self-declaration document for goods’ origin.
  • Draft Circular on digital tax stamp for W&S and tobacco:
    • Introduced to the public in late September, without any consultation with relevant industries. The draft is not clear on  the necessity and benefit or quality of electronic stamps, while it brings additional costs for the use of e-stamping, given the difficult economic situation of businesses during Covid-19. WSSC and EuroCham sent a letter to MoF on 22 October, raising our comments and concerns.

 

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