The Advocacy Update, posted regularly, is dedicated to updating our members and visitors about EuroCham's advocacy action on behalf of its members and Sector Committees. For general information on events which might be referred to in this section, kindly follow the links or check our Events section. This Update includes information on: 1. Advocacy in Events / 2. Meetings with Government and other Stakeholders / 3. Sector Committee Updates.


1. Advocacy in Events

Industry 4.0 Summit 2018 Conference
Hanoi, 12th – 13th July 2018

EuroCham Co-Chairman Mr. Denis Brunetti and Board Member Mr. Thue Thomasen spoke at the “Industry 4.0 Summit 2018” conference and attended the “Vision and Development Strategy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” exhibition. This high-level forum opened the series of thematic sessions, with the participation of leaders from the Government, ministers, sectors and international experts focused on implementing Industry 4.0 technologies in Viet Nam.

EuroCham Co-Chairman Denis Brunetti, participating in Session 2: “Building Smart Cities Sustainably in the Context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, said: “Policies to support the application of Smart Cities sustainably should be unified, coordinated and finalised in term of its nature; to combine comprehensive resources from IT, Education and all other industries to gear towards digital convergence. Relevant ministries and sectors need to coordinate a comprehensive plan, a step-by-step roadmap and plan to implement Smart Cities in a clear and detailed way (…) The Government increasingly focuses on simplifying administrative procedures and regulations to help easily track the application of innovations, beginning with advanced and modern Smart Cities initiatives. Cooperation, Simplicity, Innovation, Education and Security are keys to building sustainable Smart Cities in Vietnam”.

Representing EuroCham members, Mr. Thue Quist Thomasen also participated in the panel discussion of Session 4: “The Next Generation of Banking & Finance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” on how European enterprises could support the State Bank in creating a sandbox environment for new FinTech startups. More details of the event can be found here.

Co-Chairman Denis Brunetti (2nd from the right) and Board Member Mr. Thue Thomasen(1st from the left) took a picture with PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (middle)

EuroCham Vietnam joins with the European Union and Government of Vietnam to promote the EVFTA
Hanoi, 27th July 2018

On 27th of July 2018 in Hanoi, EuroCham Co-Chairman Denis Brunetti, Vice-Chairman Jean-Jacques Bouflet, Chairman of GBA Thomas Debelic, representatives of EuroCham’s Human Resource & Training SC and Legal SC, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry Portugal – Vietnam had a meeting with Mr. Bernd Lange, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) and Ms. Miriam Garcia Ferrer, Head of Trade and Economic Section, EU Delegation to Vietnam.

The meeting covered how the European business community can cooperate with the Government of Vietnam and the European Union to review and improve legal policy to bridge the gaps between legislation and its implementation when the EVFTA come into effect.

During a meeting with Mr. Bernd Lange on 26th of July, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasised that the upcoming signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) would be an important milestone and stressed the role of EuroCham’s consultations in administrative reform. Co-Chairman Denis Brunetti discussed policy with Mr. Bernd Lange, including the new Cyber Security Law. Later, Vice-Chairman Mr. Jean-Jacques Bouflet provided updates from Sector Committees such as: Mobility (Automotive), Healthcare (Pharmaceuticals) and Wines and Spirits.

On 25th of July, Mr. Bouflet presented at the “Business and Human Rights in Trade Relations and Global Supply Chains in Vietnam” conference, chaired by Mr. Bernd Lange, and discussed the role of business in promoting the implementation of the UNGP on business and human rights. Mr. Lange rounded off his trip with a factory visit to van Laack – a German apparel company – with EuroCham delegates. Mr. Lange was impressed with the design and operation of the factory, along with its commitments to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and hoped that EuroCham and van Laack can work together to promote good CSR practices to other factories in Vietnam. More details of the event can be found here.

EuroCham Delegates met with Mr. Bernd Lange at the office of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam

EuroCham event "Vietnam Renewable Energy: Challenges and Practical Solutions"
Ho Chi Minh City, 13th August 2018

On 23 August 2018, The Vietnam Renewable Energy Conference: "Challenges and Practical Solutions" was organised by EuroCham and Stoxplus to discuss the present and future of renewable energy in Vietnam, providing a platform for insight sharing on the current market landscape and project implementation. It touched upon key issues related to the topic, particularly from the perspectives of project development, financing, M&A and equity investments.

Speaking at the seminar, Mr. Stefano Pellegrino, general secretary of EuroCham Viet Nam, said that renewable energy development “is more and more important, and EuroCham would like to promote clean and sustainable energy in Vietnam”. Mr. Oliver Behrend, principal investment officer for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), also said: “Vietnam has a lot of projects, but has a low conversion rate because of lack of funds. It is complicated and requires considerable structuring, risk arbitrage and limited availability. Vietnam should lower costs of power and provide financing for 12GW of solar and 6GW of wind, with would require international debt and equity capital”. More details of the event can be found here.

World Economic Forum (WEF) ASEAN 2018 and Vietnam Business Summit 2018
Hanoi. 13th September 2018

The World Economic Forum (WEF) ASEAN, with the attendance of world leaders and almost 1,000 delegates from multinational corporations, is the largest multilateral foreign affairs event organised by Vietnam in 2018. The conference took place from the 11th to the 13th of September under the theme: “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

EuroCham was well represented at the event. Co-Chairman Denis Brunetti gave a speech on the Internet of Things (IoT) and moderated a discussion on Digital Access (5G) as an enabler for Industry 4.0. In addition, EuroCham delegates, led by Vice-Chairman Tomaso Andreatta, attended the Vietnam Business Summit 2018, linked to the high-level summit, which brought together over 1,000 foreign and Vietnamese businesses. The summit, held on the last day of the WEF ASEAN 2018 in Hanoi, was an opportunity for local and international firms to share experiences and spot opportunities to invest in the country. Hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the event was chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and WEF President Borge Brende. More details of the event can be found here.

Event: “Business Update and Networking”
Dong Nai, 20th September 2018

On 20th September 2018, EuroCham organised the first event in Dong Nai, "Business Update and Networking", with the support of the Sonadezi Corporation, aiming to provide the local business community with enriching discussions on crucial topics and an opportunity to gather and network. The Business Update session focused on Labour regulations, cybersecurity, staff skills and development, and CSR certification. The EuroCham delegation was led by Deputy Director Mr. Joaquim Torrinha and Executive Committee Member Mr. Christoph Schill. EuroCham Southeastern Vietnam Delegates Ms. Uyen Tran (Deloitte Vietnam) and Mr. Brian O'Reilly (Vietnam – German University), as well as other member representatives, were also present.

This Business Update and Networking event was organised within the framework of EuroCham Southeastern Vietnam Chapter (ESV Chapter), gathering more than 30 European, Europe-related and other interested business professionals in Dong Nai around an interesting agenda. The networking session was supported by Sonadezi, also allowed for further informal exchanges and connection-building. More details of the event can be found here.


EuroCham Vietnam met with ECCK
Seoul, 13th August 2018

The EuroCham Secretariat met with the team of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK) in central Seoul. The meeting’s purpose was to create an experience-sharing exercise between the executive teams of the two organisations and an informal discussion on Chamber operations in the context of Vietnam and South Korea. The ECCK-EuroCham meeting was part of the agenda of a Secretariat offsite activity. The ECCK delegation was led by Vice President Mr. Bo Sun Kim and the Director for Legal and International Affairs Mr. Sven-Erik Batenburg, as well as 7 other staff members. On EuroCham’s side, 12 Secretariat members were present including Executive Director Ms. Almut Roessner.

The discussion covered many topics relevant to the Chambers’ operations. The focus of the session was on advocacy and Government relations. There was a marked interest in knowing more about EuroCham Vietnam’s annual Whitebook, and ECCK’s equivalent in Korea: the White Paper. Another topic of interest was the work of the ECCK regarding promotion of the ongoing EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement as EuroCham focuses heavily on promoting the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). The afternoon meeting covered stakeholder management and relations with EU institutions while touching upon topics related to EU project management. More details of the event can be found here.

EuroCham Secretariat took a picture with ECCK Delegation

EuroCham Vietnam and EuroCham Indonesia discussed advocacy approach and cooperation
Ho Chi Minh City, 17th August 2018

EuroCham Indonesia, represented by Executive Director Mr. Samuel Siahaan, met with EuroCham senior officers and Vice-Chairs to discuss future cooperation between the two organisations. The meeting covered approaches taken by the Chambers in the two countries to improve the business environment, as well as methodologies adopted in advocacy work. Indonesia and Vietnam are different realities when it comes to supporting European business communities and the meeting served to compare the two and draw from the experience of both organisations. The two organisations are also seeking to cooperate in more concrete ways in the near future, both bilaterally and through their participation in the  European Business Organisation Worldwide Network (EBO-WW) of which both are members. More details of the meeting can be found here.

From left to right: Ms. Nora Bihari (IPR Helpdesk Project Manager), Ms. Almut Roessner (Eurocham Executive Director), Mr. Samuel Siahaan (EuroCham Indonesia Executive Director), Mr. Tomaso Andreatta (Eurocham Vice Chairman), Mr. Jean-Jacques Bouflet (EuroCham Vice- Chairman), Mr. Joaquim Torrinha (Deputy Director).

EuroCham in Central Vietnam Q3: Networking and Danang Hi-tech Park Visit
Danang, 28-29th September 2018

EuroCham marked the end of the third quarter of 2018 with its quarterly networking (28 September) and a field trip to the Danang Hi-tech Park (29 September), hosted by Investment Promotion Agency of Danang (IPA Danang). Beyond these flagship activities, the activity plan for these two days also included individual meetings with members and an update meeting with IPA Danang, where EuroCham was represented by Deputy Director Joaquim Torrinha and EuroCham Central Vietnam (ECV) Delegate Mr. Jose Sanchez-Barroso.

The meeting was dedicated to future cooperation between the two entities, namely in establishing a series of sectoral events in 2019 and in regards to the Agency's support to the third edition of the ECV Business Forum. This annual event, launched by EuroCham in 2016, has been successfully creating a dialogue between the Governments of Danang, Quang Nam and Thua-Tien Hue and the central region's private sector. It is scheduled to take place in the coming 23 November in Danang.

On 29 September, EuroCham organised a field trip to the Danang Hi-tech Park. In an introductory meeting, the EuroCham delegation learned about the Park's goals, incentives for industrial tenants and service providers, and potential for prospective companies and investors looking to Danang as their next business destination. The meeting was followed by a field visit around the park, passing by already functioning units, projects in progress and completed infrastructure.  More details of the event can be found here.

3. Sector Committee Updates

a. Medical Devices and Diagnostics Sector Committee

Medical Devices and Diagnostics SC, ADVAMED, VIMEDAS Partner Workshop: Business Code of Ethics and Compliance
On July 16th, 2018, Medical Devices & Diagnostics Sector Committee of EuroCham, ADVAMED and VIMEDAS successfully organised an awareness and training workshop on compliance for local Partners in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh. This workshop provided first-hand information from experienced foreign and Vietnam-based speakers on the topic of compliance, typical pitfalls and on how to establish compliance systems even in small to medium enterprises. The workshop was full with around 100 participants and the training had a great impact on the audience, for them to fully realize how important compliance is for Healthcare community, especially Medical Devices Sector, and also to understand the practice of it. More details of the event can be found here.

b. Human Resources and Training Sector Committee

8th August | Members of HR&T SC to meet with Standing Committee on Social Affairs regarding foreigners working in Vietnam
In the meeting, representatives from HR&T SC raised the question on Social insurance for foreigners working in Vietnam. Mr. Le Quang Trung, Deputy Director General of Department of Employment, confirmed that the draft decree on Social Insurance for foreign workers is under the review of the MOLISA. MOLISA confirmed that the scope of application is foreign workers but they will consider the timeline and the procedure taking the recommendations from enterprises into consideration.

16th August | HCMC & Hanoi | Meeting with UN Women Vietnam
Co-Chairwoman of HR&T SC Sarah Galeski met with UN Women Vietnam Country Office and Regional Office Asia Pacific on “Promoting women’s economic empowerment at work in Asia” (fact-finding & scoping mission of an international expert for a project in 2019-2021)

16th August | HCMC | Meeting with ILO Vietnam
Co-Chairs of HR&T SC Sarah Galeski and Joshua James met with Chang-Hee Lee, Director of ILO Country Office Vietnam and team alignment on Labour Law/ILO Convention activities and EU-funded project on Responsible Supply Chains in Asia (Vietnam)

c. CropLife Vietnam
CLVN initiated a coalition to encourage the Vietnamese Government to embrace agricultural innovation to protect Vietnam's Economy and Food Security
The creation and responsible use of innovative plant science is a key component for sustainable agricultural growth in Vietnam. The industry shares concerns of Vietnamese Government and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) about the increasing numbers of crop protection products registered for use in Vietnam. However, to ensure the competitiveness of Vietnamese farmers as well as the future investment in innovation, we call on the government to assess crop protection tools in a consistent, scientifically rigorous and transparent process in line with internationally accepted methods and standards. In this collaborative spirit, the Join Statement signed by a coalition of local and international bodies across agriculture, commerce and trade on encouraging to embrace agricultural innovation to protect Vietnam’s economy and food security. Full text of the Statement can be found here.

d. Legal Sector Committee
The article “Making Vietnam's M&A framework more efficient and attractive” provided by Legal Sector Committee was published on Vietnam M&A Outlook 2018
The article provided information on the trends and opportunities for M&A transactions in Vietnam in recent years and in the future, especially if the EVFTA is ratified and comes into effect. However, as there are some legal barriers remaining, the Sector Committee also provided recommendations to ensure a faster and smoother process.
The full article can be found here.

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