It's matter of time more European investments will come to Vietnam
The Hanoitimes - Representatives of European organizations explained to Hanoitimes what the future holds for Vietnam–EU business cooperation on the sidelines of the “Hanoi 2020 – Investment and Development Cooperation” conference on June 27.
Björn Koslowski, deputy chief representative of the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK):
It really surprised me that the conference has attracted such a huge number of participants. I have never seen many ministers, high representatives of companies, and foreign diplomats in one place. It truly shows the importance of this event and, of course, Hanoi as an attractive investment destination.
For me, the event is a celebration for Hanoi’s achievements over the last few years in terms of reform and promotion of businesses. Moreover, speakers also gave some hints about how to help the city develop further and make the city even more attractive for investors and businesses.
Tax incentives are very important to Vietnam to attract foreign investors, however, the overarching investment environment here in is much more important.
For one, you have many European companies coming to Vietnam because of all the free trade agreements that Vietnam has been a part of, for example the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is set to take effect in August.
Second, Vietnam is located in a strategic position right between China and the rest of ASEAN countries, the labor force is very highly qualified, among others.
In my opinion, education is what really important for Vietnam to continue staying ahead of others. For example, we, as foreign firms, would need technical experts, engineers, IT staff to do business here. I think the Vietnamese government has recognized this issue, and the emphasis should be on the development of human resources.
There have been quite investments from Europe, including Germany, to Vietnam. At AHK, we recognized a lot of German investors’ interests to Vietnam, many are considering to diversify production facilities out of China to serve the whole Asia Pacific and European markets.
Nevertheless, some German firms may hesitate to come to Vietnam as they are not as familiar with the country as with China, or Eastern Europe. But it should change in the next few years, as more and more European investors are satisfied with the quality of the investment environment. So I think this is only a matter of time until we see more investments from European countries to Vietnam, especially as the EVFTA is coming into force.
Ywert Visser, vice chairman of European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Eurocham):
It is actually very amazing that we have such a conference, especially as many parts of the world are still in lockdown or limited economic-socio conditions because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here, we have a safe environment and a conference to discuss the investment opportunities and the future of Hanoi.
I have been attending several investment promotions events, including some from Hanoi in previous years, but this one has been the largest so far.
What impressed me the most was the speech of Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung, as he talked about the specific targets the local authorities have for the development of Hanoi, and also the targets for the development of e-government and other crucial fields.
Hanoi is also very hard working in ensuring smooth business activities.
For foreign investors, especially from Europe, the most important factors for them in assessing a potential investment destination is the education system, the availability of skilled workforce and infrastructures.
Vietnam pays very strong attention to how it compares with other countries in the region, this is very helpful in improving its business environment. For example, the World Bank has made a lot of assessment in doing business in Vietnam, and the country is very actively working to improve its ranking in the report.
One of the key factors to ensure greater investment capital from European countries is to push for stronger economic cooperation and trade relations with Europe, and the EVFTA is going to exactly address this. The EVFTA would make it easier for both Vietnam and European companies to cooperate and do business.
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