Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ met with Chairman of The European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) Jens Ruebbert yesterday to discuss bilateral trade and upcoming economic co-operation.
Huệ praised EuroCham’s efforts in advocating trade collaboration between Việt Nam and the European Union (EU). The Deputy PM stressed the effectiveness of EuroCham’s policy suggestions, notably in increasing business competitiveness and improving corporate legal framework.
These propositions coincide with the Vietnamese government’s commitment to enhancing the business environment and national competitiveness.
Namely, EuroCham published their 2017 Whitebook to detail issues affecting European businesses in Việt Nam and participated in dialogues and policy consultation with the Vietnamese government, especially during the recent biannual 2017 Vietnam Business Forum.
‘The Vietnamese government considers EuroCham the driving force behind Việt Nam – European Union trade and investment collaboration,’ said Huệ.
Deputy MP Huệ and Ruebbert discussed issues relating to Vietnamese animal quarantine regulations, as well as rules and standards for dairy products exported to Europe, as well as pharmaceutical products and alcohol and spirits tariffs from the EU to Việt Nam in the future.
The Vietnamese government plans to instruct the corresponding departments to cut customs inspections procedures by half, as well as publicise the procedures, standards and requirements for European firms as well as other foreign businesses operating in Việt Nam, said Huệ.
Huệ also expressed his delight in members of the EuroCham’s positive attitude towards Việt Nam’s business environment and suggested they help provide Vietnamese policy makers with knowledge of European firms operating in Việt Nam, in order to keep the government well informed and alert of market fluctuations so as to make necessary policy adjustments.
EuroCham Chairman Ruebbert told the Vietnamese delegates that both sides should hasten the signing process of the Việt Nam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and that EuroCham would strive to advocate the agreement before the European Council for the benefits of both sides.
The Deputy PM asserted that in the near future, the two sides should carefully revise legal procedures before reaching an agreement on the EVFTA, which means the voice of EuroCham and other European firms in Việt Nam would carry even more weight in helping Việt Nam.
Huệ promised that the Vietnamese government would improve administrative procedure reconstruction, in order to cut down on production costs for businesses and reduce trade fraud and harm toward consumers.
According to Ruebbert, European firms appreciate the results of the Vietnamese government’s efforts in policy improvement to establish a transparent business environment. In addition to the 2017 Whitebook publication, they expressed their interest in green and sustainable economic growth, as well as in the upcoming Vietnamese diplomatic Bluebook.
Việt Nam hopes to become the EU’s largest trade partner in ASEAN with the EVFTA coming into effect in 2018, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that in 2016, year on year bilateral trade turnover between Việt Nam and the EU grew by 8.93 per cent to US$45.07 billion. The number expanded by 16.2 per cent in the first half of 2017, with expectations of reaching $100 billion worth of annual trade turnover in the near future.
Of the figure, Việt Nam’s exports to the EU rose 4.2 per cent, exporting mostly apparel, footwear, agro-forestry-aquatic products and computers, while its imports from the EU rose 14 per cent, including machinery, equipment, pharmaceuticals and dairy products. — VNS