December 19, 2023

EuroCham’s constructive engagement at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ 21st National Conference on Provincial Affairs

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ 21st National Conference on Provincial Affairs, held on 18 December in Hanoi, the “Meet Diplomatic Corps and Foreign Business Associations” session was marked by significant contributions from various international and domestic stakeholders. The theme, “Strengthening high-quality investment attraction with the aim of green and sustainable development of provinces,” ran throughout the conference.

 

 

 

 

EuroCham was represented by Vice-Chairman Torben Minko, Board Member Tri-Mai Hoang, Board Member and Green Growth Sector Committee (GGSC) Vice-Chair Stuart Livesey, and Head of EuroCham’s Hanoi Office cum External Relations Manager Van Nguyen. An insightful speech was delivered by Vice-Chairman Torben Minko.

 

 

 

Mr. Minko emphasized the role of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), ratified more than three years ago, in enhancing trade and investment between Vietnam and the EU. He highlighted Vietnam’s burgeoning status as a prime investment hub for European enterprises, underpinned by its commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. 

 

A key aspect of Mr. Minko’s address was the necessity for Vietnam to align with the EU Green Deal. He specifically mentioned the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). Compliance with these regulations demands substantial investment from businesses, and EuroCham pledges to facilitate this transition. Through initiatives like our Whitebook, which will be launched on 16 January 2024 in Hanoi, our Green Economy Forum (GEF) and Green Economy Forum and Exhibition (GEFE) events, and partnerships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EuroCham stands ready to advocate for and support businesses in these endeavors.

 

Mr. Minko also presented several recommendations:

  • Sustainable Tourism: Address the management of waste at tourist attractions to enhance the appeal of destinations for tourists who are increasingly concerned about environmental issues.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): Support the government of Vietnam’s EPR initiative, but advocate for EuroCham’s involvement to provide assistance and recommend a pilot phase before full implementation.
  • Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP): Encourage cross-ministerial dialogue and collaboration to ensure the effectiveness of the JETP Resource Mobilization Plan and offer EuroCham’s support to overcome barriers to attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
  • Private Investments in Energy Transmission: Develop specific regulations to attract private investment in the energy transmission sector, which has the potential to unlock significant foreign and national investment.
  • Investment in Energy-saving Measures: Implement clear and efficient methods to promote investment in energy-saving measures, aligning with Vietnam’s national energy efficiency goals. This includes reducing subsidies on electricity prices, facilitating access to clean energy sources, improving grid and transmission management, and encouraging initiatives like Direct Power Purchase Agreements (DPPAs) for clean energy procurement.

 

The session also featured a speech from Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Hang. She described the conference as a “special session,” highlighting its role in fostering dialogue and future cooperation opportunities between localities and international representatives. Hang noted the global transformational trends affecting investment cooperation and emphasized the importance of green investment in the current international scenario.

 

Deputy Minister Hang also provided an optimistic outlook on Vietnam’s foreign investment landscape. She underscored Vietnam’s strengths, such as its robust economic growth, macroeconomic stability, and proactive adaptation to new global trends and regulations. She further noted the ongoing efforts to improve the investment climate, affirming the government’s commitment to protecting investors’ rights and promoting green economic initiatives.

 

The session also contained valuable insights and discussions from leaders of Vietnamese provinces and municipalities, Vietnamese ambassadors and consul generals abroad, the diplomatic corps in Vietnam, international organizations, and members of the business community.

 

EuroCham expresses gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the opportunity to contribute to this significant event, which helped deepen their relationship with Vietnam’s provinces and municipalities. For a comprehensive Vietnamese-language overview of the event, readers are directed to the Báo Thế Giới Và Việt Nam’s report, accessible here.

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