BizLIVE - A representative of EuroCham Vietnam has pointed out optimism of European companies in Vietnam and urged the Vietnamese government to speed up efforts to improve the investment climate.
Vietnam Needs to Act More to Improve Business Environment: EuroCham
Joaquim Torrinha, communications and marketing manager at EuroCham Vietnam. Photo: Minh Tuan.
The European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) has been ‘satisfied’ with the Vietnamese government’s efforts to improve the business environment, however, the process needs to be sped up with more specific actions, said Joaquim Torrinha, communications and marketing manager at EuroCham Vietnam.
Among the positive moves, the government has promoted the National Single Window, harmonized and eased the business registration, investment licensing, and extended visas for foreigners, Torrinha told local press on Tuesday.
EuroCham as well as its members and the EU business community appreciate the government’s measures and actions, including Resolutions 19 and 35, aimed at bettering the business environment, Torrinha stressed.
Many positive resolutions and decrees have been announced by the government. “We believe it’s now time to speed up their implementation,” he said, adding that EuroCham's recommendations have been included in the White Book, scheduled to be launched on March 2.
EVFTA Will Gain More Relevance in the Absence of TPP
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) can potentially help Vietnam grow its GDP by an additional 7.8% by 2025. Vietnamese products will have preferential access to the EU market as tariffs on virtually all the products will be reduced to zero until 2030.
The EVFTA gives Vietnam a great opportunity to speed up efforts to modernize its legislative framework, regulatory framework, the enforcement of laws, ease market access, and improve its competitive standards. “There are many actions in this direction, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” he said.
“We also believe that Vietnam takes the right steps in adapting to making the most use of the agreement. And this has to do mainly with increasing the standards of the products, harmonizing the standards, speeding up investment regulations,” he added.  
Before the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) had more relevance to Vietnam. But with the United State withdrawing from the deal, the EVFTA will gain more relevance for Vietnam, he noted.
European Firms Remain Upbeat about Vietnam
A Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey recently released by the EuroCham showed that up to 73.3% of the respondents described their current business situation as “excellent” and “good”.
In addition, 75.6% of the respondents showed optimism about the business outlook for their enterprises.
Nearly 90% of EU companies planned to either maintain or increase their investments in Vietnam in the short term. 56.6% of the firms said they would hire more employees in the next quarter while 6.7% planned reductions in their workforce.
European companies plan to expand operations in Vietnam in the fields that will benefit from the EVFTA, such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, textile, automotive, food&beverage, Torrinha tipped.