16:51 | 11/09/2015 Cooperation
(VEN) - Chairwoman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Euro Cham), Nicola Connolly, in a talk with Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Huong, said that confidence amongst European businesses in Vietnam has continued to rise.
Would you share with us the progress of European investments in Vietnam in recent times? What about the results of the Business Climate Index (BCI) survey in the second quarter of 2015?
The results of the 19th quarterly EuroCham BCI survey, conducted in July 2015, showed that business confidence, outlook and expectations for the future among European businesses in Vietnam rose slightly from the previous quarter.
During the second quarter of 2015 the BCI rose to 77 points from the previous quarter’s score of 75. The score is in line and level with the results of the previous two quarters. Together this indicates stabilization at a higher rate than formerly, expressing an improved confidence in the business climate.
Do you think the conclusion of EU-Vietnam FTA negotiations would have an impact on the confidence of European businesses in Vietnam? How do you predict the BCI in the next quarter?
EuroCham is the chamber of all the European companies here in Vietnam and we have been very much looking forward to this result. EuroCham represents about 800 companies here in Vietnam it is the biggest chamber in the country. Recently about 20 or 30 central European countries joined. So it is getting bigger and bigger, and all of us were there and happy about this important result because it will strengthen the business relations between Europe and Vietnam. We are already one of your biggest business partners but it is time to give it a new energy, a new thrust and I think that’s the right moment to move ahead.
What is your assessment of Vietnam’s business environment? Do you have any recommendations to help Vietnam attract more European investors?
Actually, the treaty still needs to be signed, ratified and then implemented, so it is not going to happen today or tomorrow, but it is going to take maybe up to 10 years. But we have to keep the momentum and at the moment the relationship is growing and more and more companies are coming to Vietnam; because this is not only a hub or exchange between Europe and Vietnam, but you are already a very important country within ASEAN and you are now negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. So Vietnam becomes like the spider in the web it is very much in the center of focus, both for the Asian region, for Southeast Asia and for the whole pacific region. European countries understand that and that is why they have come here, that is why they are coming even stronger, because it is not only the Vietnamese market but it is 300-400 million people in the region and later on even more throughout the pacific region.
What do you think of the EU-Vietnam FTA’s impact on investment flows into Vietnam? Which sectors would be the most attractive to European investors?
Not only big multinational companies but also small and medium enterprises and specialized businesses can take the opportunities that the FTA might create.
The Vietnamese economy is growing, and we have to take care of the ecology and combine ecology and economy, for example, better building materials or cleaner engines. We should grow this business in the sense that Vietnam not only gets the same again, but gets new ideas and new types of business, small-sized, green businesses. So we are looking into the future and not only the traditional industrial companies as it was in the past.
And all of these topics were mentioned in The Whitebook, published annually by EuroCham. The EuroCham Whitebook was presented a few months ago to your prime minister with many recommendations that Vietnam and European companies can implement to grow the business.