January 26, 2024

EuroCham and VAFIE Discuss EU Investment Trends and Challenges in Vietnam

On 24 January, EuroCham Vietnam hosted a meeting with the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE) at the EuroCham Hanoi Office. The agenda focused on evaluating the investment landscape for European enterprises in Vietnam, a precursor to VAFIE’s FDI Report 2023. The discussion encompassed investment trends, growth forecasts, prospective sectors, and the impact of free trade agreements, among other critical issues.

VAFIE was represented by Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Standing Vice-Chair of VAFIE and former Deputy Director of the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), along with other notable members and experts. From EuroCham’s side, Vice-Chair Minh Nguyen and Van Nguyen, Head of the Hanoi Office cum External Relations Manager, led the discussions.

Vice-Chair Minh Nguyen kicked off the discussion by presenting EuroCham’s Business Climate Index (BCI) figures, indicating a sense of optimism among European businesses despite acknowledging the long road to full economic recovery amid global challenges. He highlighted major difficulties faced by EU businesses in Vietnam, notably the varied and inconsistent implementation of administrative procedures across different localities. Other concerns raised included issues surrounding electricity and clean energy resources, green regulations, public-private partnerships, and the circular economy.

The conversation also centered on the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). While acknowledging its successful enactment and mutual benefits, participants agreed that Vietnam needs to focus more on the rule of origin to fully leverage the agreement. Vice-Chair Minh Nguyen also emphasized the need for Vietnam to establish regulations for pilot energy projects, conduct thorough site surveys, and concentrate on energy security, infrastructure development, and nurturing high-quality human resources.

The details of the recommendations and insights shared during the meeting are comprehensively documented in EuroCham’s 2024 Whitebook. This report serves as a crucial guide for both EU enterprises operating in Vietnam and Vietnamese policymakers, aiming to enhance the investment environment and strengthen economic ties between Vietnam and the European Union.

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