June 26, 2019

EuroCham attended the Midterm Vietnam Business Forum (VBF)

On 26th June, EuroCham attended the Midterm Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) organised by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the World Bank and IFC at the Lotte Hotel in Hanoi. The theme of the VBF was: “Roles of business community in rapid and sustainable development ”. Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung attended and delivered a key-note speech while Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung chaired the conference.

In his speech, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised the vision of the Vietnamese Government in rapid yet sustainable economic development. The government recognizes and appreciates the role of enterprises in rapid and sustainable growth. The global economy has seen many unfavorable developments compared to previous years, but Vietnam is able to maintain its impressive growth rates. The goals of the Government is to balance the relationship between growth and development, to ensure the quality of growth, to have sustainable industrial development with green and environmental-friendly technology; to promote industrial 4.0; and to improve the efficiency of natural resource usage.

To accomplish these goals, the Vietnamese Government continues to implement major solutions including restructuring the economy with an appropriate growth model, developing a synchronous infrastructure system to enhance the competitiveness of the economy, and completing institutions towards creating a more transparent, competitive and more open business environment to mobilize domestic and foreign resources.
The Deputy Prime Minister highlighted that with various FTAs have been signed, Vietnam has huge opportunities to improve its business environment, its competitiveness, striving to bring the country into the group of leading ASEAN countries, aiming at the standards of developed countries (OECD) and further improving the international ranking of Vietnam.
Minister of Planning & Investment Mr. Nguyen Chi Dung added on that in recent years the Government has made a great deal of effort to address many challenges and difficulties of the business community. However, effort from one side is inadequate and it is necessary for the business community to take the initiatives in actions and engagement in developing policies on socioeconomic development and investment along with the Government.

EuroCham Vice-Chairman, Mr. Tomaso Andreatta singles out the environment and sustainability as pressing themes for the long-term success of Vietnam. EuroCham welcomes all the positive changes in the regulations of Vietnam but emphasised that further actions are still strongly recommended to ensure that the legal framework is completing and can facilitate the businesses in various industries, especially the energy, mobility, tourism, etc. EuroCham expects that unclear and unnecessary business conditions will be eliminated or simplified in a timely manner.
Mr. Andreatta highlighted the draft Law on PPP, stressing the importance of not only the timing but also the need to ensure the trust in the long-term relationship between the Government and the investors, especially in the context where the Government is focusing on infrastructure development.

At the end of his speech, Mr. Andreatta expressed the commitment of EuroCham’s member companies who have already chosen Vietnam as their home and intend to expand their business here as much and as long as possible. Therefore, EuroCham is looking forwards to cooperating more with the Government to ensure the open, fair and transparent market, especially in light of the upcoming EVFTA.Dr. Vu Tien Loc from VCCI appreciated the great and drastic efforts of the Government, repelling corruption, reducing unofficial expenses. Especially, since the end of last year, the Government has drastically cut administrative procedures and specialized inspections as well as business conditions.
However, besides the positive results, there are still difficult issues that need to be solved. Specifically, import-export taxation procedures still need to be simplified more; the burden of specialized inspection remains high, especially for SMEs.
Dr. Vu Tien Loc urged the Government to take more favorable measures for businesses to meet the increasing demand of enterprises, to strengthen legal institutions to ensure safety for businesses. Dr. Vu Tien Loc also mentioned twice on the cooperation with EuroCham to come up with a concrete action plan for preparing for the implementation of the EVFTA, without waiting for the ratification.
Comments and recommendations from the business community at the Midterm Vietnam Business Forum 2019 continued with proposals that promote stronger institutional and legal reforms, accelerate the improvement of the business environment, enhance national competitiveness, and give more priority to investment in science and technology, research and development (R&D), infrastructure, especially smart infrastructure, and digital infrastructure to promote and take advantage of Industry 4.0.
EuroCham Executive Committee members, as representatives of the leading European companies which have many years of experience in Vietnam, also gave various interviews with the press in which they shared their points of view on the latest updates of the EVFTA as well as the next moves in which their companies could make the most of the unprecedented benefits from the agreement.

The domestic and foreign business communities sent a very clear message: they want to not only be part of Vietnam’s growing economy and access opportunities but also be an important factor in promoting rapid and sustainable development.
The VBF will continue to be an important and effective policy dialogue channel between the Government and foreign enterprises: linking the ideas, proposals and recommendations of business with the policy strategy of the Government. Meanwhile, the Government will support all businesses to develop. It is committeed to creating an open, fair and low-cost business environment, facilitating greater trade in import-export activities, reforming management, as well as the modernisation of administrative procedures.

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