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Jan 16, 2024 / 22:29

Working together to shape a business-friendly future: EuroCham's Whitebook

By informing discussions between different stakeholders, the Whitebook plays an important role in shaping future initiatives and investment strategies between Vietnam and Europe.

The European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) on January 16 launched its 15th annual Whitebook, which presents practical solutions to the challenges facing European businesses in Vietnam and provides guidance to policymakers and business leaders on navigating the Vietnamese landscape and driving business growth.

The 2024 edition of the Whitebook, themed "Boosting investment for a green and more sustainable economy", is enriched with input from EuroCham's 19 Sector Committees.

 Launch event of the EuroCham Whitebook 2024. Photos: EuroCham

As one of such committees, the EuroCham Green Growth Sector Committee recommended focused cooperation on streamlining clean power investments and purchase agreements and swiftly delivering effective regulations to enable and maintain the delivery of green energy growth that maximizes Vietnam’s potential in this area whilst supplementarily supporting a socioeconomic boost to the supply chain and labor force. 

“Allowing greater private sector participation is critical for realizing a fossil fuel-free future that preserves enduring prosperity,” Erik Contreras, Chairman of the EuroCham Green Growth Sector Committee, said. “Through the Green Growth Sector Committee’s Whitebook chapters, we aim to partner with Vietnam to champion next-generation sustainability solutions across key industries. We stand eager to share global expertise on everything from waste management innovations to energy-efficient building designs.”

By addressing the issues and hurdles highlighted in the document, EuroCham believes that it will greatly support the effective implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and contribute to the full ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA). These efforts are crucial to strengthening economic relations between Vietnam and the European Union in a mutually beneficial way.

"This Whitebook aims to help shape a future where responsible business drives innovation and positively benefits Vietnam's people and environment. Despite the obstacles ahead, Vietnam and Europe share a strong determination to achieve ambitious sustainability goals," said Gabor Fluit, Chairman of EuroCham, at the launch, adding that "past achievements combined with future focus signal exciting prospects".

 European Union Ambassador to Vietnam Julien Guerrier said that since its first edition, the Whitebook has served as a practical barometer and a conduit for policy dialogue between the public sector and the European business community. Through its 15 editions, it has stimulated numerous discussions and facilitated the joint development of many policies by government and business. 

Julien Guerrier, European Union Ambassador to Vietnam, speaks at the event.

"European businesses are very keen to invest in Vietnam. They are doing so massively. We have billions in foreign direct investment. We are one of the most important investment partners for Vietnam," he told The Hanoi Times.

"So again, with the free trade agreements with Europe and with many other countries, Vietnam provides an enticing environment for our businesses to invest here. There are still a number of barriers and obstacles in a number of sectors," the ambassador added.

He pointed out why this whitebook launched by EuroCham today is important: "It provides recommendations on how to make the business environment even more conducive, not only for European business, but also for Vietnamese business support, growth, jobs and investment attractiveness here in Vietnam."

"This shows how committed European business is to Vietnam's growth and development, and especially to its sustainable development, which is what we are focusing on today," he underlined.

The European Union Ambassador to Vietnam stressed that the European Commission is committed to the green transition, as reflected in the sustainable development chapter of the FTA. European companies are also investing in sustainable initiatives, such as the Just Energy Transition Partnership, which will invest $15.5 billion in renewable energy in Vietnam.

This partnership aims to support Vietnam's goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 by creating the necessary legal framework for private investment in the green transition, he said.

 Delegates share their views at the event.