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Feb 16, 2023 / 15:35

Eurocham Whitebook 2023 highlights green economy and sustainable development

The new edition of the Eurocham Whitebook presents policy recommendations to resolve regulatory hurdles and facilitate the growth of the country's economy.

The European business community and EuroCham will continue to be major supporters in helping Vietnam achieve a green and sustainable future.

 EuroCham Chairman Alain Cany at the launch. Photos: EuroCham

EuroCham Chairman Alain Cany made the commitment at the launch of its Whitebook today [February 16], themed "Working toward a green economy and sustainable development."

According to Cany, EuroCham's annual publication, the Whitebook, serves as a comprehensive guide to the regulatory landscape faced by European businesses in Vietnam.

It offers a nuanced understanding of the obstacles impeding the country's economic progress and sheds light on the adverse effects these challenges have on critical areas such as trade, investment, employment, and development.

With a focus on practical solutions, the Whitebook presents policy recommendations to resolve regulatory hurdles and facilitate the growth of the country's economy.

Cany noted that the Whitebook's emphasis on sustainability is not just about reducing the impacts of economic activity on the environment but also about creating new economic opportunities and building a more resilient future for Europe and Vietnam.

He said that a green economy and sustainable development are critical components of a brighter future, and the Whitebook provides a valuable framework for achieving these goals.

In addition, the White Paper also identified issues that should be addressed to realize the full potential of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EU-Vietnam FTA).

"The EVFTA has been a driving force for bilateral trade and investment and has facilitated the flow of technology and expertise. While positive results have been achieved to date, more can be obtained, especially if the Whitebook's key concepts are taken to heart," Cany said.

 Delegates at the launch of the Whitebook. 

While noting Vietnam's impressive economic progress is a testament to its potential as a leading player in the region, Cany said in order to ensure long-term stability and growth, it is imperative that the country prioritize sustainable development.

"Our latest white paper is a comprehensive guide to this future and provides practical recommendations to address the most pressing regulatory challenges facing European companies operating in Vietnam. By working together to overcome these obstacles and create a more conducive atmosphere for sustainable growth, we can help secure a brighter, more sustainable future for Vietnam and its people," he asserted.

Highlighting some of the key issues in the Whitebook, Vice Chairman of EuroCham Vietnam Jean Jacques Bouflet said a complex process of obtaining work visas for foreign experts is a major hurdle.

“Currently, foreign experts face numerous obstacles and need to get approval from various levels of authority to work in the country,” he said.

“If this process is simplified and made more transparent, foreign experts and investors will find Vietnam a much more attractive destination,” Bouflet added.

"2023 marks an especially important year for Vietnam in terms of digital with key instruments in the pipeline including, among others, the Draft Cybersecurity Sanctions Decree, Draft Personal Data Protection Law Decree, and Draft Amended E-Transactions Law.

The Whitebook reflects these dynamic developments while sharing our members’ viewpoints and practical recommendations reflecting international best practices. In particular, we recommended harmonization of local personal data protection provisions with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other jurisdictions’ laws; facilitation of free cross-border flow of data; and recognition of international certificates for e-signatures.

 Always appreciative of the government’s pragmatism, we hope that continued dialogue will remove unneeded barriers, better facilitate business, and ultimately thrust Vietnam in the direction of becoming a regional digital hub," Eunjung Han, Vice-Chairwoman of EuroCham’s Digital Sector Committee.

"Vietnam is positioning itself as a foremost food producer in Southeast Asia, with a proven track record in cultivating rice, fruits and vegetables, meat, and seafood. The goal of our Whitebook recommendations is to build on this success. The EVFTA's implementation presents a unique opportunity to bolster this trajectory, as it reduces trade barriers and supports Vietnam's adherence to international standards.

The entry of European food companies into the Vietnamese market is expected to elevate the quality of food products available to consumers. It is imperative, however, to approach food production with a One Health philosophy, to minimize the reliance on antibiotics and pesticides.

The growing global interest in green and sustainable food production presents a promising landscape for business ventures, as evidenced by the success of the Green Economy Forum and Exhibition (GEFE) 2022," Jesper Clausen, Chairman of EuroCham's Food Agri & Aqua Business (FAABS) Sector Committee.