06:00 | 18/02/2021 Cooperation
(VEN) - Effective control of Covid-19 and successful hosting of significant events in 2020 have strengthened Vietnam’s global position. With annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.91 percent, Vietnam was one of the economies with the highest growth in 2020 despite the pandemic, bolstering business and investor trust in its prospects for 2021. Several leading foreign representatives in Vietnam offer their perspective of the country’s development.
Ambassador Pier Giorgio Aliberti, Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam: Vietnam is a very important partner of the EU in Asia
I congratulate Vietnam on its successful accomplishment as ASEAN Chair 2020 at a difficult time when the entire world strived to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. As a close partner of the EU, Vietnam has promoted and supported the EU’s greater participation in ASEAN. Currently, we are working actively with the Vietnamese Government to further promote the EU’s participation in ASEAN’s activities.
Over more than three decades, Vietnam and the EU have strengthened development cooperation in a wide variety of fields, from politics, security and national defense to economics, trade, science, technology, and culture. Notably, trade between the two sides has increased tremendously from US$200 million in 1990 to US$50 billion in 2020. This is a highlight of bilateral trade relations. Vietnam is a very important partner of the EU in Asia. Currently, Vietnam has the largest number of trade agreements among Asian countries. Therefore, we wish to promote a multilateral trade system with Vietnam.
Vietnam and the EU will increase cooperation in important areas, such as in sustainable economic, environmental and social development; digital transformation; and implementation the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). I believe the EVFTA will not only benefit Vietnam through tariff cuts but also help it accelerate economic reforms and attract foreign direct investment (FDI). To attract FDI, in my opinion, the Vietnamese Government should make greater efforts to improve its policies and increase transparency.
Kyle F. Kelhofer, Senior Country Manager for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, International Finance Corporation: Reforming to seize opportunities for investment expansion
Vietnam’s success in combating Covid-19 has strengthened the nation’s position as a safe destination for investors in the fields of manufacturing, high-tech farming, smart logistics, information and communications technology, and services. This is a favorable start for Vietnam, creating opportunities for the country to implement necessary upgrades and policy changes in order to run the economy more effectively, remove obstacles for doing business and promote sustainable development in the long term.
However, along with creating a favorable environment for private sector development, Vietnam should accelerate reforms to seize opportunities for investment expansion and reallocation, as well as to improve added value and encourage existing investors to expand their business in Vietnam.
Dr. Jacques Morisset, World Bank Lead Economist and Program Leader for Vietnam: Vietnam is resilient in combating the pandemic and recovering the economy
Among the few countries achieving positive economic growth in 2020, Vietnam and China are taking the lead with growing industrial indexes and number of flights. Work and life have returned to normal in the spirit of disease prevention.
Compared with other East Asian economies, the situation in Vietnam is more positive. The World Bank forecasts that Vietnam will achieve positive GDP growth in the 2020-2022 period, but “recoverable” does not mean “invulnerable”. In fact, Vietnam is coping with problems such as employment risks, income declines, and cash burnout in many companies. At the same time, Vietnam is also facing fiscal, financial and social risks.
To overcome these “bottlenecks”, Vietnam needs appropriate policies to effectively manage taxes, public investment and debts. It should ensure transparency of the Bankruptcy Law and intensify the restructuring of the banking sector. To deal with social issues, Vietnam should have a targeted social assistance program along with a suitable tax policy.
Pannakarn Jiamsuchon, Minister Counselor, Office of Commercial Affairs, Royal Thai Embassy in Vietnam: FTAs are Vietnam’s economic integration highlight
The Covid-19 pandemic had a heavy impact on global trade in 2020, leading to a considerable decline in imports and exports between Vietnam and Thailand. The annual bilateral trade target of US$20 billion set by the two governments was not achieved. However, the two sides are striving to maintain exchanges in a bid to improve bilateral trade in 2021 and boost economic relations.
Vietnam has successfully controlled the spread of Covid-19 and is integrating more deeply into the global economy as a signatory to a number of free trade agreements (FTAs). This makes it more attractive to foreign investors. Thai companies are aware of these advantages. Current Thai investors in Vietnam want to expand operations in this market, while new ones are very interested in investment opportunities here in order to benefit from FTAs.
Recorded by Thu Phuong & Hoa Quynh