September 22, 2017

EUROCHAM ADVOCACY UPDATE (17 July – 20 September 2017)

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

17 JULY – 20 SEPTEMBER 2017

I. Advocacy in Events

1. The Dialogue between the Department of Customs of Ho Chi Minh City and European Business Community | Ho Chi Minh, 30 August 2017
On 30th August, EuroCham in collaboration with Department of Customs of Ho Chi Minh City (DOC) and Vietnam Business Forum co-organised The Dialogue between European Business Community and Customs Authorities – reliable partners for development with participation of nearly 200 participants, including representatives from EuroCham Executive Committee and Secretariat as well as its Transportation and Logistics Sector Committee. From DOC, Mr. Hoang Viet Cuong – Deputy Director General of General Department of Vietnam Customs, Mr. Dinh Ngoc Thang – Deputy Director of HCM DOC, Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan – Deputy Director of HCM DOC (in charge of Export & Import Tax), Ms. Phan Ngoc Mai Liem – Deputy Director of HCM DOC (in charge of Post-Customs Clearance Inspection) and other units of HCM DOC also joined the event to respond to businesses’ inquiries. The discussion focused on customs valuation with a total of 48 questions addressed by HCM DOC. This opens the opportunity for follow-up trainings on customs valuation and other customs-related topics for specific businesses which is expected to be held in September 2017.
More details about the event can be found here. 

II. Meetings with Government and Other Stakeholders

1. EuroCham met with National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien and Committees | Hanoi, 14 August 2017.
On 14th August, EuroCham delegation led by Mr. Jens Ruebbert, EuroCham Chairman had a courtesy meeting with the Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly (NA), Mr. Phung Quoc Hien and representatives from NA Committees, including International Cooperation, Legal and Budget – Finance. 
The meeting marked a milestone in EuroCham’s outreach to the policy makers in the country towards its goal of improving the business environment and promoting the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), following a series of interactions between EuroCham and NA in the past. Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien appreciated the positive development between Vietnam and the EU, especially after the establishment of the Partnership and Cooperation Framework of 01 October 2016, forming an important legal framework, bringing bilateral relations to a new stage. Further follow-up engagement with relevant Committees are also welcomed and will be facilitated by the National Assembly.
More details about the meeting can be found here.

2. EuroCham attended first meeting of Advisory Council of Administrative Procedures | Hanoi, 16 August 2017
On 16th August, Mr. Gellert Horvath, EuroCham Vice-Chairman, represented the Chamber to attend the first meeting of the Advisory Council of the Administrative Procedures Reform (“ACAPR”) chaired by H.E. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi. As one of the only four foreign business associations in the ACAPR, EuroCham had the opportunity to update the Prime Minister and colleagues on its activities, including promotion of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in Brussels in September and hand in the Whitebook 2017 containing EuroCham’s trade and investment recommendations.
EuroCham also met with Mr. Mai Tien Dung, the Chairman of the Office of Government to propose setting up a framework that allows more regular dialogues between EuroCham’s 16 Sector Committees and the Office of the Government for a more closely discussion to facilitate the implementation of EVFTA and improve the business environment in Vietnam.
More details about the meeting can be found here.

3. EuroCham met with leaders of Dong Thap People’s Committee | Ho Chi Minh, 18 August 2017
On 18th August, EuroCham had a meeting with a delegation from Dong Thap People's Committee led by Mr. Chau Hong Phuc, Vice Chairman. From EuroCham's side, there were Ms. Almut Roessner – Executive Director, Mr. Joshua James – EuroCham Board member, representatives of the business associations (Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam – ICham, French Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam – CCIFV, German Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam – GBA) and EuroCham Advocacy Team.
There were also discussion on key areas for investment in Dong Thap, which includes agricultural & aquacultural product processing for export, eco-tourism and real estate. With its location in the Me Kong Delta, Dong Thap has been facing challenges related to water supply and management for daily use and agricultural production which it needs investment and ODA. Currently, there are around 18 FDI projects with one in water management and one in food processing. EuroCham found the topics relevant to some of its Sector Committees, including the Food, Agri & Aqua Business, Green Growth, Tourism & Hospitality.
Dong Thap People's Committee also took this chance to invite European companies to visit the province to look for investment opportunities, which would facilitate the organisation of an Investment Promotion Conference in late November 2017. EuroCham appreciated the invitation and would like to support by coordinating Dong Thap People's Committee and its members to explore the possibility of organising a 2-day excursion to Dong Thap tentatively on 11th-12th November 2017 during the visit of the VietWater delegation, which could help European companies to learn more about potentialities in Dong Thap.

4. EuroCham met with Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue | Hanoi, 29 August 2017
On 29th August, EuroCham Delegation led by Chairman Jens Ruebbert met with Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue to discuss EuroCham’s preparations for Brussels trip and common goal to promote and facilitate the early ratification and implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. 
Deputy Prime Minister Hue and Mr. Ruebbert also discussed sectoral topics such as: Food and Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals, Wine and Spirits, etc. Deputy Prime Minister Hue expressed his delight seeing EuroCham’s positive attitude towards Viet Nam’s business environment and suggested that the chamber should regularly update the Vietnamese policy makers with the insight and experience of European firms operating in Viet Nam to inform and alert for necessary policy adjustments. The EU and Vietnam should carefully revise legal framework before ratifying the EVFTA, and the voice of EuroCham and other European firms in Viet Nam would carry even more weight in helping Viet Nam towards reaching the goal. The Prime Minister also reaffirmed that EuroCham is the key factor facilitating the investment and trade cooperation between EU and Vietnam. 
More details about the meeting can be found here.

5. EuroCham Mission to the EU Commission and European Parliament | Brussels, 4-9 September 2017
From 4th to 9th September, EuroCham delegation of more than 25 members visited Brussels on a mission to promote and discuss the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) implementation and ratification, as well as other relevant topics. This delegation was led by EuroCham Chairman Jens Ruebbert, included 4 other EuroCham Executive Committee members and a number of Sector Committees and corporate member representatives, with the support of the Management team of the Secretariat led by Ms. Almut Roessner. EuroCham took the opportunity to present the Whitebook 2017 together with its newly published Greenbook and EVFTA report. 
Throughout the week, EuroCham met with several European Commissioners, including:

Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem (Trade)

Commissioner Guenther Oettinger (VP and in charge of Budget and HR)

Commissioner Tibor Navracsics (Education, Culture, Youth and Sport), and

Commissioner Phil Hogan (Agriculture and Rural Development)

EuroCham also met with several Heads of the Cabinet of other Commissioners (Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska in charge of Internal Market, Industry and Entrepreneurship, SMEs; Commissioner Neven Mimica in charge of International Cooperation and Development; Commissioner Carlons Moedes in charge of Research, Science and Innovation), as well as the EVFTA team at DG Trade and a team from DG Grow.
Another highlight of this mission was EuroCham’s participation in a Monitoring Group Hearing at the European Parliament on 5th September presided by the Vice-Chairman of the Parliament’s Committee for International Trade (INTA) MEP Mr. Jan Zharadil, with the presence of its Chairman MEP Mr. Bernd Lange, and the Vice Chairman of the EP Delegation for relations with Southeast Asia and ASEAN MEP Mr. Jeron Lenaers. Mr. Mauro Pettricione, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s DG Trade and Chief Negotiator for the EVFTA also participated in this session. 
The week closed off with a business conference on EVFTA- What’s in for European enterprises and Vietnam’s reform progress? co-organised with Business Europe, EU-Vietnam Business Network and spiritsEUROPE, which also counted on the presence of several officials. The event waso 7th September and gathered almost 80 participants and media. 
The visit concluded successfully with a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and also with European Parliament VicePresident Jan Liberadzki for a brief exchange and report of the week. 
More details about the meeting can be found here.

 III. Sector Committee Updates 

1. Green Growth Sector Committee
On 3rd August, Mr. Gavin Smith, Vice Chairman of EuroCham Green Growth Sector Committee (GGSC) and its members met with Mr. Pham Quang Huy, Deputy Director General of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam in Hanoi to explore the latest developments in the clean energy sector in Vietnam. EuroCham's GGSC's advocacy has focused on creating more space for private sector energy developers, financiers and investors in the medium sized power plant market while ERAV have been very productive lately, preparing improvements in the energy market. 
More details about the meeting can be found here.
On 28th August, Mr. Bao Nguyen, Vice Chairman of GGSC had a meeting with Dr. Dirk Schwede (University of Stuttgart) and his research team for introduction on the Climate-Adapted Material Research for the Socio-Economic Context of Vietnam (CAMaRSEC). The project partners include the Fraunhofer Institut for Building Physics in Germany (Fraunhofer IBP) and with the National University for Civil Engineering in Hanoi (NUCE), as well as with the Vietnamese Institute for Building Material (VIBM) as our main research partner. The meeting aimed to explore any opportunity for cooperation, engagement and support of GGSC in the project.
 
2. Transportation & Logistics Sector Committee
In August, Transportation & Logistics Sector Committee (TLSC)’s members joined several meetings under the frameworks of APEC Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 3), including:

Workshop on Enhancement of Stakeholder Engagement in Implementation of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement on 16 August

Single Window Mechanism Conference on 17 August

APEC Customs-Business Dialogue on 22 August

From September, Mr. George Berczely will resign from the position of Chairman of TLSC and Mr. Juergen Weber (currently the Vice Chairman of TLSC) will temporarily be the acting Chairman until there is an election of the new TLSC Board.

3. EuroCham Healthcare Forum signed the Multi-stakeholder Consensus Framework | Hanoi, 7-8 September 2017
On 8th September, under the platform of the 2017 APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Forum, EuroCham Healthcare Forum (International Quality Generics, Medical Devices & Diagnostics, and Pharma Group) are committed to high standards of ethical practices in order to promote integrity, transparency and enable an efficient development of the healthcare system by signing the Multi-Stakeholder Consensus Frameworks for Ethical Collaboration (“Consensus Framework”). Other signatories include Viet Nam Medical Association, Viet Nam Women's Union, Vietnamese Pharmaceutical Association (Pharmacists), Vietnam Pharmaceutical Companies Association, Vietnam Medical Equipment Association, Healthcare Group (American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam).
The Consensus Framework is now open for additional signatories. The EuroCham Healthcare Forum believe that the development of such Consensus Framework is essential and would enable Vietnam to follow the success of its APEC counterparts from North and South America. Vietnam becomes the first country in the Asia region to strongly state, with one common voice from all healthcare stakeholders groups, its commitments to Integrity and Transparency in the field of healthcare industry, in line with the APEC goals.

4. Innovation Forum | Ho Chi Minh, 22 August 2017
On 22nd August, EuroCham Pharma Group, RMIT, University of Medicine and Pharmacy and Australia Embassy co-organised the one-day Innovation Forum covering 4 key industries Pharmaceuticals, ICT, Green Growth and Education to discuss pressing issues and initiatives that are shaping growth in Vietnam and around the world.
5. HR&T SC met with Ministry of Justice | Hanoi, 18 August 2017
On 18th August, representatives from EuroCham Human Resources & Training Sector Committee (HR&T SC) met with Ministry of Justice (MOJ) together others foreign business associations to discuss the Draft Decree on compulsory Social Insurance for foreign workers in Vietnam.
HR&T SC representative raised its position of EuroCham on social insurance for foreign workers and looked forward to a follow-up on this topic with MOJ.

6. Provincial Activities | August, September 2017
On 18th August and 21st September 2017, EuroCham has received many visits of Peoples Committee of Dong Thap and Can Tho Provinces, inviting EuroCham members to join the upcoming investment conferences in the provinces and explore more investment opportunities.
The Specific schedule of all Investment Conferences in the Provinces are below:

Hau Giang

28 September 2017

Ho Chi Minh City

11th – 12th October 2017

Dong Thap Survey Trip

11th -12th November

Dong Thap Conference

Tbc November

Can Tho

23rd – 24th November

Should you want to register, please kindly contact our Advocacy team at: advocacy@eurochamvn.org and Seccoms: sec.comms@eurochamvn.org

 

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