November 30, 2023

2023 Vietnam – EU Trade Forum: a step forward in sustainable development and future value chains

The 2023 Vietnam – EU Trade Forum, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s (MOIT) European – American Market Department and EuroCham Vietnam, took place in Ho Chi Minh City on 27 November 2023. The event’s theme, “Sustainable development – the destination in the journey to create future value chains,” set the stage for meaningful dialogues and exchange of ideas. The forum was attended by various dignitaries, including the diplomatic corps from EU member countries, Vietnamese and European trade offices, representatives of local People’s Committees, and industry experts.

 

EuroCham Vietnam’s delegation was led by our Chairman Gabor Fluit, and also included:

  • Alain Cany, Chairman of the Advisory Board of EuroCham Vietnam
  • Tri-Mai Hoang, Board Member of EuroCham Vietnam, who represented Airbus Group at the event
  • Javier Mendez Repiso, Board Member of EuroCham Vietnam and Chairman of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam
  • Pavel Poskakukhin, Co-Chairman of the Digital Sector Committee of EuroCham Vietnam
  • Jean-Luc Voisin, Chairman of Les Vergers Du Mékong and a member of the EuroCham Food, Agri and Aqua Business Sector Committee (FAABS)

 

Highlights from Chairman Gabor Fluit’s address

 

The forum delved into the role of Vietnam in the EU supply chain, emphasizing the importance of sustainable bilateral relations and exploring the impact of new policy regulations on trade and investment. It also presented a platform for experts to discuss prospects in areas like the green economy, circular economy, and green agriculture.

 

 

 

Mr. Fluit’s keynote speech highlighted the transformation of global supply chains and the emerging focus on sustainability. He pointed out how advancements in technologies like AI, blockchain, and the Internet of Things have enhanced supply chain efficiency and resilience. Vietnam’s strategic location, skilled workforce, and integration into global markets through agreements like the EVFTA were emphasized as key strengths. Mr. Fluit also noted Vietnam’s commitment to environmental management and sustainable energy, which are crucial in securing its position in global value chains.

 

Mr. Fluit underscored Vietnam’s appeal to European investors, citing the country’s robust sustainability standards and initiatives in renewable energy. He mentioned the significant growth in EU investment in Vietnam, particularly in high-tech manufacturing, as evidence of the effectiveness of Vietnam’s free trade agreements. Mr. Fluit also touched on the importance of compliance with EU regulations like the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) for strengthening Vietnam-EU economic ties.

 

EuroCham plays a vital role in fostering collaboration and dialogue between European and Vietnamese businesses. Fluit highlighted EuroCham’s efforts in organizing capacity-building trips, publishing the Whitebook, and hosting high-level sustainability forums. The upcoming Green Economy Forum and Exhibition (GEFE) in November 2024 was also announced, promising to further expand the scope of dialogue and collaboration.

 

Click here to read Mr. Fluit’s full speech.

 

Contributions from other speakers

 

  • Ta Hoang Linh: The Director of the MOIT’s European – American Market Department highlighted the positive trade growth between Vietnam and the EU, crediting the EVFTA Agreement. He stressed the importance of Vietnam leveraging the EVFTA and EVIPA for enhanced trade cooperation, investment attraction, and technology transfer
  • Tri Mai Hoang: Representing Airbus Group, she spoke about the aviation industry’s efforts towards sustainability. Ms. Tri Mai highlighted Airbus’s initiatives in reducing carbon footprint and promoting eco-friendly aviation technologies.
  • Trinh Quoc Vu: As the Deputy Director General of the MOIT’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development Department, he discussed the pressures of green and sustainable development on the manufacturing industry. Vu emphasized the need for energy efficiency and sustainable practices in manufacturing to meet global standards.
  • Nguyen Quoc Khanh: The Executive Director of Vinamilk’s Research and Development shared the company’s experience in implementing a circular economy model. Khanh addressed the challenges of green production, including investment in technology and human training. He asserted that despite initial costs, the long-term benefits of green production are substantial.
  • Jean-Luc Voisin: He championed sustainable exports of agricultural and food products to the EU during his insightful panel presentation. His key areas of focus included supporting small-scale farming, navigating EU regulations such as EUDR, and investing and financing small-scale farmers to bolster their operations. His remarks resonated with the MOIT, who expressed their eagerness for continued EuroCham collaboration in attracting more investment and technical exchange to the sector. 

 

Conclusion

 

The 2023 Vietnam – EU Trade Forum highlighted the collaborative efforts and shared vision for sustainable development and resilient value chains. The insights from various speakers underscored the importance of sustainable practices, technological advancements, and regulatory compliance for the future of Vietnam-EU economic relationships.

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