10:51 | 31/03/2016 Economy
(VEN) - According to this European Chamber of Commerce’s (EuroCham) annual White Book on Trade, Investment Issues and Recommendations, foreign investors saw Vietnam as a key center to provide goods and services for the region.
EuroCham’s 2016 White Book said Vietnam has become an attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) activities thanks to its golden population structure. In addition, gross domestic product per capita strongly increases as the middle-class is rapidly developing in the Southeast Asian region.
Thanks to fairly good academic standards, low salaries and a gateway to ASEAN, foreign investors see Vietnam as a key center to provide goods and services for the region. Vietnam currently has 2,162 valid investment projects with total registered capital of US$38.4 billion from the EU.
EuroCham Chairwoman Nicola Connolly said that Vietnam’s development and attractiveness to foreign investors were undeniable as the country has continuously improved the business environment. In particular, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is seen as a big step, promoting Vietnam’s integration into the world economy. The EU will be able to access Vietnamese high-quality goods, while Vietnam will be offered opportunities to promote development and innovations.
Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Bruno Angelet said that the EVFTA would encourage a new better quality investment wave into Vietnam and promote integration as well as increase added-value for the Vietnamese economy. The private sector will play a key role as they must supply goods and services for European companies, instead of imports. Vietnamese businesses will also see better development if they make most of the opportunities provided by the EVFTA.
High-level leaders of the EU and Vietnam are making greater efforts to review legal documents towards the signing and the effect by 2018.
Nicola Connolly said that there were improvements necessary in order to maintain these results and Vietnam needed to show profound considerations for trade and investment.
According to this year’s EuroCham White Book, regulations guiding the implementation of legal documents remained missing and the time to implement administrative procedures remained too long. EU companies expect improvements in the coming time after regulations guiding the implementation of legal documents take effect.
The Vietnamese business environment needs to further improve such as improving auditing standards, simplifying business registration procedures and facilitating business start-ups. In addition, problems related to tax declaration, customs clearance and the granting of licenses need to be resolved.
Instead of expanding core trade activities, businesses often spend time and costs for administrative procedures. According to EuroCham, Vietnam should resolve human resource problems via organizing vocational training, increasing labor productivity and improving capital allocation. The EVFTA will be an engine for Vietnam to further promote and effectively implement reforms. And the Vietnamese government needs to make the most of these opportunities.
Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Vu Tien Loc said that the EVFTA was seen as a fastidious agreement with many technical barriers that pose difficulties for Vietnamese businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. The Vietnamese government and the EU should establish technical support programs for Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises to make most of opportunities provided by the EVFTA.
The EuroCham 2016 White Book on Trade, Investment Issues and Recommendations is the general view of many European companies operating in different sectors. The main content refers to key issues in terms of foreign investment, business administration, nergy, green growth, human resource development and intellectual property rights. It’s also a handbook for ministries and departments providing recommendations to improve the Vietnamese business environment.