May 23, 2017

ADVOCACY UPDATE – MAY | Week 1-2

The Advocacy Update, posted regularly, is dedicated to updating our members and visitors on 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 mentioned links or check our Events section. This Update includes information on: 1. Advocacy in Events / 2. Meetings with Government and other Stakteholders / 3. Sector Committee Updates

MAY | Week 1-2

I. Advocacy in Events

1. Events on Renewable Energy in Hanoi | Hanoi, 8-10 May 2017

EuroCham Green Growth Sector Committee members joined a Networking event co-organized by the Asia Wind Energy Association (a leading trade association for the wind energy sector in Asia-Pacific), international law firm DFDL and the German development agency GIZ on 8 May 2017. In the event, there were presentations on Vietnam Wind Market from GIZ as well as Wind Solar Hybrid (WiSH) systems from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. One day later, EuroCham Green Growth Sector Committee members also participated in Vietnam Renewable Energy Summit 2017, a platform to learn more about key investment and development opportunities in Vietnam’s emerging renewable and other clean energy sectors. There were exhibitions and workshops in this 2-day event with the presence from Government officials, offtakers, sponsors, financiers and other key relevant stakeholders.

 

2. Unlocking the Potentials – A New Model of Living and Manufacturing in the North | Hanoi, 11 May 2017 

EuroCham Vice Chairman Gellért Horváth attended and gave a speech on opportunities that the EVFTA will bring for the investors in Vietnam in the event Unlocking the Potentials – A New Model of Living and Manufacturing in the North organized by Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) Bac Ninh. From the Government side, there was the participation and presentation from Mr. Do Nhat Hoang, Director of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

3. New Customs and Taxation Framework in Vietnam | Hanoi 16 May 2017
EuroCham and its Sector Committees organised a workshop to discuss the customs and tax framework, as well as related implementation measures in Vietnam. The Sector Committees expressed their concerns about customs audits and penalties applicable to administrative inconsistencies in tax declarations. 
Shivam Misra, Chairman of the Wines & Spirits Sector Committee, raised his concerns on the customs framework and its manner of execution. Mr. Misra's remarks focused especially on administrative errors bing used to open up valuation methods, or impose non-merit based heavy penalties. The Chariman mentioned that such practice undermines the confidence that businesses have in Vietnam and its investment environment, with companies potentially being forced to reconsider investments and downsize operations if the environment is not conducive to business operations. 
Thomas McClelland, Chairman of the Taxation and Transfer Pricing Sector Committee mentioned that “Vietnam’s Tax Framework is increasingly focusing on substance over form, as indicated in recently issued tax regulations, for example the recent Decree 20 on Transfer Pricing. However, in practice, our members have experienced that administrative breaches (i.e. form) seem to be increasingly the focus of many tax and customs audits in recent times. The nature of the administrative breaches, such as inconsistencies in a customs declaration or what is considered a failure to follow a non-tax procedure is simply an administrative mistake. Te latter should not be used as the legal basis for the customs or tax authorities to apply tax arrears and penalties, or deny a tax refund. We see more reasonable and positive treatment when the matter is considered at the higher level of the authorities e.g. Ministry of Finance/GDT level. However, by this time, taxpayers have often already incurred in significant time spent to try and resolve the issue."

Read more about this event here.

4. Prime Minister meets Businesses | Hanoi 17 May 2017

On 17th May, EuroCham Chairman Jens Ruebbert and delegation has attended the meeting with the Prime Minister and have deliver a speech, raising also key recommendations from Eurocham Sector Committees covering issues of Green Growth, Healthcare (Pharma Group and Medical Devices and Diagnostics), Green Technology, Taxation & Transfer Pricing, Transportation & Logistics, among other. On the same date, EuroCham  also submitted the detailed recommendations to the Prime Minister’s office and the organisers.
After the conference, the Prime Minister will issue new direction (Document No.20) regarding the limitation of the re-audits which should not be more than once a year. EuroCham also got feedback from Ministries:

The Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr. Tran Tuan Anh, updated that in order to reflect Resolutions 35, 19 and 01, MOIT has implemented tadministrative procedures, licensing reforms, and issued the respective action plans.

Specifically, MOIT has reviewed and removed outdated regulations in order to support businesses. In the last year, over 40 circulars have been issued/submitted for issuance, 6 Decisions and MOIT proposed to revise 15 decrees. The MOIT considers that the main concerns of businesses have been resolved: Circular 37/2015 dated 30th October 2015 of MOIT, stipulating the limits and inspections of formaldehyde and aromatic amines contents derived from azo colorants in textile products is hereby omitted by Circular 23/2016 / TT-BCT dated 12th October 2016, valid since 26 November 2016; Circular 40/2011/TT-BTC on chemical declaration, issuing Circular 36 on solar energy on energy labeling for vehicles and equipment; Circular 24 reducing administrative procedure for energy accessibility; amending and supplementing Circular No. 20/2011 / TT-BCT providing for the import of passenger cars of 9 seats or less, issued a decision to annul the planning of traders legitimate to export rice in order to create favorable conditions for the businesses and producers.

MOIT is in the process of reviewing the laws and decrees such as Decree 19 on gas businesses, Decree 94 replacing the Decree 107 on business of liquefied petroleum gas, etc.

The recommendations raised by the foreign chambers of commerce, including EuroCham’s will be considered in order to move forward the principle of the market economy and supporting the businesses.

The Minister of Technology and Science (MOST), Mr. Chu Ngọc Anh reported that MOST has dealt with 118 recommendations out of 123 received, and 7 at the conference itself. Regarding the EuroCham and its  Transportation & Logistics Sector Committee recommendations on specialized customs control for the products with small value through the IMS delivery; the MOST stated that these have been resolved in the spirit of direction 02. The exemption for these goods have been made. There is only the consideration for the goods delivered which may contain high risks

Read more about this event here…

II. Meetings with Government and Other Stakeholders

1. Meeting with representatives of Hau Giang Province People’s Committee | HCMC, 11 May 2017

On 11 May, EuroCham Executive Director Ms. Almut Roessner and Advocacy Manager Ms. Le Thanh Binh welcomed the delegation of Hau Giang Province People’s Committee to a meeting at EuroCham office in Ho Chi Minh City. Visitors from Hau Giang authorities included Ms. Le Thuy Trang, Director of Foreign Affairs Department, People's Committee of Hau Giang Province, and the heads of the departments for Planning and Investment, as well as the Industrial Parks Management Board. The meeting aimed to strengthen the good relationship between the Hau Giang People’s Committee and EuroCham for further trade and investment cooperation opportunities. Hau Giang Province’s delegation briefed EuroCham about the Investment Conference which will be held in Ho Chi Minh City in June 2017. The province welcomes European companies to engage more in its projects of: agriculture hi-tech development, infrastructure investment, solar system, water supply, waste water system field.  

Executive Director Almut Roessner and Advocacy Manager Le Thanh Binh with the Hau Giang Province People's Committee Delegation

 

2. Meeting with Hanoi People’s Committee | Hanoi, 10 May 2017

On 10th May, EuroCham delegation led by EuroCham Chairman Mr. Jens Ruebbert, including Mr. Gellert Horvath – Vice-Chairman – and Mr. Soren Roed Pedersen – Executive Committee Member; and together with Mr. Marko Moric – Chairman of the Central and Eastern European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (CEEC); met with Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung and Mr. Pham Quy Kien, respectively Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee (Hanoi PC). The meeting also had the participation of several representatives from several departments of the authotrity. The meeting served to officially introduce the newly elected Chairman of EuroCham, as well as exchange greetings and information on potential areas that EuroCham could offer support and cooperate. Mr. Jens Ruebbert and Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung discussed several relevant topics for both sides, including building up and managing the City, and how to make it efficient and smart. Moreover, Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung shared existing projects in hi-tech agriculture, water and waste treatment, energy saving, infrastructure, as well as the City’s socio-economic development plan. Special emphasis was placed on the latter's focus on administrative procedure improvement, human resource training and transportation system. Mr. Chung also invited EuroCham representatives to join an investment promotion conference, to take place in mid-June 2017.   
Read more about this meeting here.

EuroCham Chairman Jens Ruebbert and the Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Delegation, Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung

3. Meeting with VINASA | Hanoi, 5 May 2017

On 5th May, 2017, EuroCham Vice Chairman Gellért Horváth and members of EuroCham Information and Communication Technology Sector Committee met with Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA) to discuss cooperation of the two organizations at upcoming activities on Smart City topics, VINASA Smart City Summit, ICT COMM. The two organisations exchanged information on events and advocacy work on topics of common interest, with a particular focus on "smart cities".

EuroCham Vice Chairman Gellert Horvath with members of the ICT Sector Commitee and VINASA

 

 

III. Sector Committee Updates 

 

[17 May 2017] Announcement of newly elected Chairman of Legal Sector Committee: Mr. Antoine Logeay. 

Mr. Logeay was born in 1985 in France, he is the Attorney-at-law registered with the Paris Bar and currently he works at Audier & Partners Vietnam LLC. Antoine has contributed to the EuroCham Whitebook 2017, advocacy events with Central Institute of Economic Management under Ministry of Planning and Investment, participated in the meeting with the Minister of Justice H.E. Mr. Le Thanh Long. Antoine’s plans are to support EuroCham and its Sector Committees for with implementation roadmaps of the EVFTA, strengthen the relationship with MOJ, MPI, MOIT and other key authorities. In order to efficiently work on the key advocacy topics, Antoine also proposes to restructure the Legal SC and develop the Working Groups (Corporate Governance, Judicial Recourse, M&A, PPP, etc.). The Legal SC will be mainly in charge in the EuroCham advocacy new projects: EuroCham being a member of Advisory Committee for Administrative Procedures (ACAPR) which will report to the Office of the Government of Vietnam.

 

    [7 May 2017] Announcement of newly elected Chairman of Food, Agri & Aqua Business Sector Committee: Mr. Thierry Rocaboy from Techna Nutrition Vietnam

Since its foundation the Food, Agri and Aqua Business Sector Committee (FAABS) sees the possibilities for Vietnam to develop a sustainable, strong and competitive food, agri and aqua business sector when various obstacles have been overcome. The current livestock crisis emphasizes the need for the FAABS to continue its efforts to improve food safety, create sustainable food supply chains and a level playing field for all companies in the sector.This may occur through a continuous dialogue involving all stakeholders of the sector. The dialogue has been used in the past and, as the newly elected Chairman, I intend to continue on this path in order to drive the sector to the next level. Please read our e-brochure with information on how to join the FAABS here and visit our page.

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