Bigger wave of European investment
Mr. Bruno Angelet forecast a new wave of European investors coming to Vietnam following a recently-concluded trade pact between the two economies.
The ambassador said that EU is currently the second-largest trading partners of Vietnam after China and the second-biggest export market of Vietnam after the U.S.
The EU has become the third-largest foreign investor in Vietnam in 2015 from the sixth position in 2014. “That is something encouraging for the good of Vietnam.”
“Vietnamese leaders are repeatedly telling us that they would like to see much more European investment coming to Vietnam,” he tipped.
He highlighted that European investment is of high quality as it increases added value. “EU investors care about corporate social responsibility, working conditions of laborers. They do not only assemble, but also transfer technology, know-how and management,” the ambassador added.
“It is very much hoped that, through the Indicative Roadmap even before early 2018, it [the FTA
] will trigger a bigger wave of European investment coming into Vietnam,” the ambassador noted.
“The Indicative Roadmap is really a key question because it is a market signal that the EU and Vietnam together will send to European investors and other investors. I think it is the market signal that Vietnam will send before 2018 through implementing the Indicative Roadmap. It’s also a very strong signal to other investors in the area looking for the best place to invest.”
“I am convinced that then the preparation of the implementation of the FTA is ready, the competitive edge of Vietnam within ASEAN will increase. Many people might think that the best place in ASEAN to invest is possible Vietnam,” he added.
“For European investors and traders, it is very important to see how the Vietnamese government is moving towards the entry into force.”
Vietnam and the EU finalized the EVFTA on December 2 during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
’s visit to the EU.
Up to 99% of export products on the Vietnamese and European sides will enjoy zero import duties. Vietnam will have 10 years to organize this transition and lift the import duties while the EU will do it in a seven-year timeline.
EU technical assistance for Vietnam
He affirmed that the EU has been helping the Vietnamese government enhance its capacity and prepare for the implementation of the EVFTA.
The EU has two packages to aid Vietnam in increasing Vietnam’s trade sector. The first one is the MUTRAP (the EU-Vietnam Multilateral Trade Project). The second one is technical assistance to ASEAN members so that they can enhance capacity to implement the ASEAN Economic Community and this program will be calibrated in particular for Vietnam.
The EU is working with Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance to help the latter deal with fiscal imbalances as budget revenues from customs duties will fall when Vietnam implements the FTA.
The EU side is also helping the Ministry of Industry and Trade enhance its capacity to implement the FTA, particularly in food safety.