Page 1

First Quarter 2011

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Bình Döông Province p.7

VND Depreciation p.8

Green-Biz 2011 is coming to HCMC p.11

EuroCham and Chairman receive awards p.16

EuropeanFood Festival in HCMC p.16

EuroCham AGM p.17

EU– Vietnam Free Trade Agreement p.18

Issue 19


Message from the Chairman Dear EuroCham Members, Chair Alain Cany, Jardine Matheson Vice Chairs Tomaso Andreatta, Intesa Sanpaolo Erdal Elver, Siemens Ltd. Vietnam Christophe Hirtz, Sanofi-Aventis Preben Hjortlund, HITC Le Duy Thanh, Shell Vietnam Treasurer Hielke Booijink, TNT Vietnam Committee Members Peter Born, Commerzbank AG Jean-Michel Caldagues, EADS Kristof Claes, Brand Partner Elmar Dutt, Tanner Vietnam Olivier Jacquet, Schneider Electric Wieger Otter, VC Invest Costantino Sambuy, Piaggio Vietnam Andreas Stoffers, Deutsche Bank AG Louis Taylor, Standard Chartered Bank Executive Director Dr. Matthias Dühn The EuroCham newsletter is published quarterly by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam with offices at: G/F, Sofitel Plaza Hanoi 1 Thanh Nien Road, Ba Dinh District Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: (84-4) 3715 2228 Fax: (84-4) 3715 2218 Email: info-hn@eurochamvn.org and: EuroCentre 49 Mac Dinh Chi Street, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Tel: (84-8) 3827 2715 Fax: (84-8) 3827 2743 Email: info-hcm@eurochamvn.org Hotline: (84-8) 3997 1263 Website: www.eurochamvn.org Editorial contact Jan Wiehler Marketing and Services Manager EuroCham (Ho Chi Minh City) Tel: (84-8) 3827 2715 Email: services@eurochamvn.org Cover photo by Christian Berg: www.christianbergphoto.de

In this Newsletter, we would like to focus on the recent Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index Report (PCI) that ranks the business climate in each of the country’s 63 provinces. We will also kick-start a series on different provinces in Vietnam with a focus on Binh Duong province in this Newsletter. As usual, you will find the latest updates on our advocacy efforts and other recent EuroCham events and activities. I am pleased to report that in January 2011, EuroCham has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Certificate of Merits for its "active contribution to the development of economic relations between Vietnam and European countries". This makes EuroCham the first foreign chamber of commerce in Vietnam to receive the prestigious award. At this year’s AGM held on March 3rd, a new EuroCham Executive Committee has been elected. We would like to thank our outgoing Vice-Chairman Ashok Sud for his precious support for the chamber over the years and wish him the very best for the future. We would also like to bid farewell to Executive Committee members Tim Baxter, Harry Beirnaert, Thomas Gruzke, Oliver Massmann, Michele Morichi and Jeffrey Alan Noble and thank them for all their great support over the last year. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to our new EuroCham Executive Committee members: Tomaso Andreatta from Intesa Sanpaolo, Erdal Elver from Siemens Ltd. Vietnam, Kristof Claes from Brand Partner, Elmar Dutt from Tanner Vietnam, Costantino Sambuy from Piaggio Vietnam, Andreas Stoffers from Deutsche Bank AG and Louis Taylor from Standard Chartered Bank. You can see the full 2011 Executive Committee on page 17. I would also like to draw your attention to Green-Biz 2011: Green-Biz 2011 will be the biggest ever exhibition showcasing European Green Business Solutions for Vietnam. Green-Biz 2011 will share knowledge and ideas on European Green Business Solutions for Vietnam and will focus in particular on sustainable cities and energy efficiency. Find more information about Green-Biz 2011 on page 11 of this Newsletter. Last, but not least, we would like to thank all our members and partners for joining us over the years and we hope you will continue to support us to make this year the our most successful yet! With kind regards,

Alain Cany, Chairman


The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) Report 2010 The PCI ranks the business climate in each of Vietnam 63 provinces based on a robust survey of the private sector business community the report is based on inputs from over 7,300 Vietnamese enterprises and - for the first time - also on inputs from over 1,155 foreign invested enterprises. 1. Overview The 2010 PCI Report was launched in Hanoi on 16th March and HCMC on 18th March. The PCI ranks the business climate in each of Vietnam 63 provinces. On occasion of the PCI Launch in HCMC, EuroCham has also held on 18th March a joint luncheon with AmCham, presenting the findings of the PCI 2010. Based on a robust survey of the private sector business community, the 2010 PCI Report is the sixth annual PCI and provides information valuable to many different audiences. The 2010 PCI Report is based on inputs from over 7,300 Vietnamese enterprises and – for the first time – also on inputs from over 1,155 foreign invested enterprises. What is the PCI’s main use? At the central government level, it can provide a valuable comparison of provincial performance in different parts of the country and help identify areas where the central government may wish to focus greater attention. At the provincial level, it provides information on where a province is excelling in economic governance, as well as, areas where improvement is needed to become more competitive and achieve greater economic growth. For investors and businesses considering investment or expansion of existing investments in Vietnam, it provides valuable information regarding the business climate in each of Vietnam 63 provinces. 2. The Ranking of Provinces 2010 Da Nang city continued its reign as the top-performing province with a weighted score of 69.77- its third year in a row at the top. But, Da Nang firms rated the province worse than the previous year on average, recording a weighted PCI score that was 6.19 points lower than in 2009. Lao Cai and Dong Thap round out the “Excellent” Tier with scores of 67.95 and 67.22 respectively. Surprisingly, after three consecutive years at the top of the rankings (from 2005 to 2007) and two subsequent years in second place, Binh Duong suffered an 8.28 point drop and fell to fifth place. This is also the first time since the PCI initiation five years ago that Binh Duong has fallen out of the premier group of performers in the country (the “Excellent” Tier). The Mekong Delta continues to amaze with its steady and consistent improvement across the region. If one includes Can Tho and Long An, the Mekong Delta accounts for 9 of the 22 provinces and cities that are ranked in the “Excellent” and “High” Tiers in the 2010 PCI. 3. Key Indicators for Economic Performance This year, a larger number of enterprises express optimism about the economy and their plans for increasing investment, although larger foreign and domestic firms are much more optimistic than sole proprietorships, which raises concerns about how to support small enterprises that are critical to job creation. In more detail: Labor: In the median province, the percentage of firms expressing satisfaction with general education and labor training increased steadily from 35.2 percent in 2008 to 45.45 percent in 2009 to 46.99 percent in 2010. Although there is no increase in the percentage of firms using labor exchange services (currently around 40 percent), the quality of these services have seen improvements - 62.5 percent of the firms claim they planned to use the service again, compared to 27.78 percent in 2009. These changes are welcome, as the most common complaint among employers is the low quality of the workforce, which they argue prevents upgrading. Business Support Services (BSS): The number of BSS providers in the median province leapt from one enterprise in 2008 to five in 2009. In 2010, the median province has 12 BSS providers. The percentage of firms using business information search services increased from 60.36 percent in 2009 to 64.35 percent in 2010.


There is a noticeable increase in the number businesses selecting private service providers over government, which is an excellent sign for future development. Moreover, many firms see the quality of BSS improving. In 2010, over half of the firms said they would continue to use the service, compared to only 16.44 percent in 2009. Entry Costs: Market entry is correctly considered the most important economic reform in Vietnam over the past two decades. Indeed, the sub-index measuring the costs of business entry has shown the greatest improvements and least cross-provincial variance among all PCI sub-indices. Between 2006 and 2009, average registration periods have been cut in half – an impressive achievement. However, reform progress stagnated in 2010 - the number of days required for registration and change of registration remain exactly the same as in 2009 (10 days and 7 days respectively). Businesses requiring additional documentation increased, and consequently the percentage of firms (in the median province) waiting more than a month to complete all steps necessary to start business jumped from 19.35 percent in 2009 to 24.39 percent in 2010. Likewise, the percentage of firms waiting more than three months increased from 4.44 percent to 5.77 percent over the same period. Transparency: The most worrisome trend in 2010 continues a pattern observed in 2009. Transparency is declining in Vietnam in dramatic fashion: The PCI 2010 findings show declines in nearly every transparency indicator compared with 2009. Accessibility of planning documents related to business enterprises and of legal documents both decreased noticeably. On a 1–5 scale (in which 1 is impossible to access and 5 is very easy to access), accessibility of planning documents averaged 2.31 points, falling from 2.44 in 2009 and hitting the lowest level in all six years of PCI. The best performing province scored only 2.62 points, against 3.08 points in 2009. Transparency of the legal documents is calculated at 3.05 on average, compared to 3.11 in 2009, which implies that transparency has declined to the 2007 level. As many as 78.64 percent of firms surveyed in PCI 2010 say that a “relationship is important to get access to provincial information,” an increase of more than 17 percent from the 2009 index. Infrastructure Quality: This year, the PCI research team continued to track the quality of infrastructure at the provincial level as business owners and policy makers continue to cite it as one of the most critical barriers to investment and growth in the country. Compared to 2009, the 2010 infrastructure witnessed positive changes in firm perceptions in road quality (the percentage of asphalted roads increased by 20% points and satisfaction of firms increased correspondingly). Firms are also marginally more satisfied with improvements in telecommunications quality and internet access. Nevertheless, rolling blackouts continue to be a problem actually growing in 2010: On average, the electricity outage hours of each firm in the month prior to the survey (June 2010) almost doubled from 50 hours in 2009 to 89 hours in 2010. 4. The PCI 2010 “Thermometer of Business Sentiment” In the 2009 PCI report, business sentiment was at its lowest level in five years. This year’s report indicates the onset of a trend of improvement: The percentage of firms intending to expand their business increased 6.3 percent in the past year, to 69% of the total sample. However, optimism still has not met the levels reached in 2007 and 2008. One key area of concern appears to be an increasing disparity in business sentiments. Sole proprietorships, typically small in size, tend to be much less optimistic than larger-sized firms, such as limited liability companies or joint stock companies. The percentage of sole proprietorships intending to expand operations in the next two years (43.25 percent) is about half that of joint stock companies (79.38 percent). By way of comparison, FIEs record a thermometer score of 67%, which approximates the domestic average. 5. The Results of the PCI “Survey of Foreign Invested Enterprises” The survey of 1,155 FIEs from 47 different countries located throughout Vietnam provides a valuable perspective on the current FDI footprint in Vietnam today. As Vietnam explores strategies to move to the next stage of development, the country needs to attract higher quality investment to increase productivity and prosperity. This will require improved contract enforcement and control of corruption to reduce the costs and risks of investing and doing business in Vietnam. Labor is a key area of concern for existing FIEs that experience labor shortages and high turnover due to in Vietnam.


Labor is a key area of concern for existing FIEs that experience labor shortages and high turnover due to low quality and inadequate supply of workers. Rethinking current education policy is essential to improve labor quality to retain existing FIEs and attract higher value-added investment. One key message of the PCI 2010 is that Vietnam currently does not yet have sufficient FDI investors that it hopes to attract: The current median investor in Vietnam is relatively small, export-oriented, and operating a low added-value margin business. These FIEs source a surprisingly small amount of intermediate goods and services from domestic producers, which implies that technological spillovers remain limited. For the most part, these investors are attracted to Vietnam for the cost advantages offered by Vietnam’s “cheap labor” and the political stability. There is no doubt that these FIEs have contributed remarkably to Vietnamese economic development through employment creation, revenue generation, and integrating the country into global export markets. Nevertheless, it is clear that Vietnamese economic strategists seek a different type of FIE to move the country to the next stage of economic development.

Final 2010 Provincial Competitiveness Index Rankings Ñaø Naüng Laøo Cai Ñoàng Thaùp Traø Vinh Bình Döông Baéc Ninh Quaûng Ninh Haäu Giang Vónh Long Beán Tre Ninh Bình Long An Caàn Thô An Giang Vónh Phuùc Quaûng Trò Soùc Traêng TT-Hueá BR-VT Bình Ñònh Yeân Baùi Thaùi Bình TP.HCM Tieàng Giang Ñoàng Nai Quaûng Nam Kieân Giang Bình Thuaän Laâm Ñoàng Baïc Lieâu Phuù Yeân Baéc Giang Taây Ninh Tuyeân Quang Haûi Döông Bình Phöôùc Haø Tónh Ñaék Laék Kon Tum Khaùnh Hoøa Ninh Thuaän Thaùi Nguyeân Haø Noäi Thanh Hoùa Nam Ñònh Quaûng Bình Ñieän Bieân Haûi Phoøng Haø Giang Gia Lai Caø Mau Cao Baèng Phuù Thoï Ngheä An Quaûng Ngaõi Haø Nam Lai Chaâu Baéc Kaïn Laïng Sôn Hoøa Bình Höng Yeân Sôn La Ñaék Noâng

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63

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69,77 67,95 67,22 65,80 65,72 64,48 64,41 63,91 63,40 63,11 62,85 62,74 62,46 61,94 61,73 61,61 61,49 61,31 60,55 60,37 60,16 60,04 59,67 59,63 59,49 59,34 58,90 58,45 58,26 58,20 58,18 58,02 57,93 57,90 57,51 57,24 57,22 57,20 57,01 56,75 56,61 56,54 55,73 55,68 55,63 55,22 55,12 54,64 53,94 53,65 53,57 53,55 52,47 52,38 52,21 52,18 51,77 51,49 50,20 49,89 49,77 49,26 48,91

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For more information about the 2010 PCI report, please visit: www.pcivietnam.org


In Focus

In Focus: Bình Dương Province Among the top-5 performing provinces in the Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index 2010 is Binh Duong. Starting our new “In Focus” series, we would like to take a closer look at this province that is increasingly becoming a hub for European foreign direct investment. Overview Binh Duong is a trade gateway to Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam’s economic powerhouse, and is serviced by key highways such as National Highway 13, Highway 14, and the Ho Chi Minh street, Trans Asia street; 10-15 km to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, to seaports. In recent years, economic growth has been high with GDP achieving an annual average increase of 15%. The economic structure is improving, industry and services are growing rapidly. By August 2010, Binh Duong had 28 concentrated industrial zones, more than 9,600 domestic enterprises with total registered capital of more than US$65,000 billion, and nearly two thousand foreign-invested projects with total investment of over US$13 billion

EuroCham Executive Committee visit to European invested production facilities in Binh Duong

Development

Area :

There are a vast number of major construction projects currently underway in Binh Duong province to improve and develop infrastructure, education, housing projects, cultural and commercial centres, telecommunications and industrial parks. The provincial government is looking to develop the service sector from to 45% from 35% currently by 2020. Services are the fastest growing sector in Binh Duong with about 16% average annual growth. 2,695,5 Km²

Population (ppl.): Working adult :

1,500,000 800,000

Industrial Land: Industrial Zones:

18,000 ha 28

GDP growth / annum:

15%

Domestic investment:

9,600 projects with capital of VND 65,000 Bil

Foreign investment:

2,000 projects with capital of US$ 14 Bil from 34 countries & territories

* 2011 Becamex

Competitiveness The PCI 2010 states that Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and HCMC are the three powerhouse industrial provinces of the North Southeast, which alone account for a quarter of the non-oil gross domestic product in the country receive the three highest scores for infrastructure (industrial zones, road and transport, utilities, telecommunications and information technology.) Binh Duong did observe some backsliding in provincial competitiveness compared to previous years, mainly related to entry costs and business support services. More selective and strategic investment promotion policy of Binh Duong authorities, along with the increased expectations of firms operating in the locality, may have resulted in such changes in the province’s performance. Despite these changes, Binh Duong remains one of the most attractive provinces for doing business in Vietnam. Among the main reasons for investing there are still tax and land incentives, the wide availability of industrial zones and relatively low labour costs. With all the ongoing development, the province will continue to remain firmly in the focus of both domestic and foreign investors.

Vice Chairman of Binh Duong People's Committee Mr. Le Thanh Cung and EuroCham Chairman Alain Cany on a EuroCham Executive Committee visit to the province in January 2011.

On March 30 2011, Princess Máxima of the Netherlands visited FrieslandCampina Vietnam training centre in Binh Duong. EuroCham member FrieslandCampina has been active in the province since 1995 and has established a training centre where thousands of Vietnamese farmers have been trained in cow raising techniques as well as providing scholarships and building schools for poor children in remote areas. 7


VND Depreciation - A step in the right direction By Tai Hui

High inflation and currency devaluation have been concerning local business in the past three years. The Vietnamese dong (VND) has devalued by 30% against the US dollar (USD) since 2008 and we expect consumer prices to rise by 16% on average in 2011. This implies that the inflation rate is going to rise further by the summer before easing in Q4. The good news is that the authorities are taking the inflation challenge much more seriously, by raising interest rates as well as tightening their lending growth target. The attempt to de-dollarise the economy by reducing the usage of USD and gold should also help to shore up support for the VND in the medium term, although there may be some teething problems for the business sector as the authorities look to devise a suitable financial regime to increase the usage of VND while facilitating day-to-day trade. The bottom line is that Vietnam continues to be an attractive investment destination for Asian, and international, businesses. Many of the issues facing Vietnam today are those facing other emerging economies during their various stages of economic development. Risk diversification, cost advantage, attractive local demographics, urbanisation and rising household income are all positive factors that lead us to include Vietnam in Standard Chartered’s “7% Club”, a group of economies that can sustain growth at 7% for an extended period, which will double the size their economies every ten years.

We now expect inflation to peak at 18.6% in Q3, and a return to 2008 is unlikely Inflation averaged 15.7% in Q1-2011, higher than our previous forecast of 12.6%. The traditional decline in the consumer price index (CPI) did not take place this March. In fact, headline inflation rose 2.2% in March relative to February. A surge in transportation costs (+6.7% m/m) and in housing and construction materials (+3.7% m/m) were the two items responsible for the surge in the March headline, while food rose 2% m/m in March.

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For the overall Q1 inflation numbers, three Feb- Aug- Feb- Aug- Feb- Aug- Feb- Aug- Feb- Augone-off factors led to the average 2% m/m 07 07 08 08 09 09 10 10 11 11 number, which was last seen in Q2-2008. Chart 1. Inflation to rise further before stabilising in Q4 First, the surge in global food prices in late Sources: Bloomberg, Standard Chartered Research 2010 and early 2011 clearly contributed to the rise in headline inflation, as food is 40% of the CPI basket. Second, the 7.2% devaluation in the VND in February likely led to a rise in import prices. Third, the 15% increase in the electricity tariff in early March would also have started to show its effect in the preliminary figures. In August 2008, headline inflation reached 28.3% y/y, fuelled by a combination of strong growth and high global commodity prices. The circumstances seem similar this time, but we believe the risk of inflation returning to such a level is limited. To hit such a level would require headline inflation to rise by 2% each month for the rest of the year, which implies global food and energy prices to rise continuously throughout the year. While the situation in the Middle East and North Africa remains uncertain, hence creating more upward pressure on energy prices in the near term, food prices are expected to stabilise in H2 as supply, especially rice, improves. Lending growth is also expected to ease on the back of recent interest rate increase and the more stringent lending growth target.


Downward pressure on the VND to persist, but crisis can be avoided with right policies The latest surge in inflation is expected to keep local investors unsettled and encourage them to look for protection to the US dollar (USD) and gold, and this is likely to remain the case in the months ahead, based on our projections. 0%

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Chart 2. Trade deficit gradually stabilising Source: Standard Chartered Research

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-25%

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Although the government has implemented measures to limit the use of the USD and gold in the local financial system, their efficacy is yet to be assessed. But we see this as an important first step to de-dollarisation in the medium term. An encouraging sign is that the trade deficit has been stable in the past two years. After hitting a high of USD 18bn in 2008, Vietnam’s trade deficit has corrected sharply to USD 12bn in 2009 and 2010. This correction is even more significant relative to the size of the economy. We expect the trade deficit to expand to USD 14bn in 2011, in line with the pace of the USD 3bn trade deficit we have

seen in Q1-2011. This implies that the trade deficit as a percentage of GDP should remain the same as in 2010, at 11.5% In addition, inflows from inward remittances and foreign direct investment (FDI) should be relatively strong in 2011 given the global recovery. However, Vietnam’s balance of payments’ (BoP) dynamics remain challenging given the country’s dependence on imports for capital investments. We forecast further VND weakness in 2011 and we pencil in an additional one-off devaluation in Q3. However, a full-blown balance-of-payments crisis can be avoided by appropriate monetary and economic policies, some of which have already been adopted by the authorities in the past two months. An alternative to currency devaluation would be to further enhance investor confidence in the VND. Local investor sentiment could act as a lynchpin since the foreign investor position on VND assets is very light. If the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is able to exhibit resolve in maintaining price stability – and subsequently the value of the VND – investors will be less inclined to sell VND in favour of the USD and gold. Compensating investors with a higher interest rate would also achieve the same result. These measures should help to prevent further losses of FX reserves.

Vietnam in the “7% Club” While foreign businesses often find it difficult to meet the challenge of currency devaluation, foreign currency shortage and high inflation, investors around the world continue to seek investment opportunities in Vietnam. The rising cost of doing business in China, especially with regards to labour cost, is encouraging businesses to explore alternatives and Vietnam regularly features on their radar screen. These investors are also looking for risk diversification as they are concerned with rising protectionism from the west against products made in China. Meanwhile, urbanisation and the rise of the middle class are attractions drawing businesses to enter into this market. These two factors are critical to our concept of the global Super Cycle, where emerging markets are likely to contribute to a period of superior global growth in the next two decades. We believe Vietnam will be one of emerging markets contributing to this phenomenon. With a population of 90mn people, rising middle class and higher income, Vietnam’s economic growth is able to reach 7% on average provided that the government is able to better maintain price stability and local confidence in the VND. The latest measures are a step in the right direction in achieving this long-term goal.

Tai Hui is the Regional Head of Research, Southeast Asia, of Standard Chartered Bank 9


Ministry of Finance (MoF) clarifies invoice presentation requirements under Circular 153 Under Circular 153, all invoices are required to be displayed in “Vietnamese language”. This had recently been interpreted as including correct Vietnamese accents on all characters. This requirement had caused many of our members problems, as on the preprinted invoice, there is no space to display Vietnamese with full accents. Also, members’ customers currently use invoices without accents. For the adjustment and using Vietnamese with full accents, our members would have to fix all management data software of goods, customers and suppliers. Also, under Circular 153, after the digit of billions, millions, thousands, our members have to use a separator dot (.). However, due to use of foreign software and for the purpose of integration of data into the global system, most of our members are currently using a separation comma (,) after the digit of billions, millions, thousands. Being required to change the software that is employed globally by their headquarters for group reporting purposes would have been a great challenge both for local management and headquarters. EuroCham has had a meeting with the General Department of Taxation (GDT) under the MoF, to address these issues on 22 March 2011. At the meeting, our members METRO and Unilever have explained in detail the problems and costs they are facing due to the recent interpretation of Circular 153. In an effort to resolve this dilemma and to enable foreign invested corporate taxpayers to operate in line with their global management systems, the MoF has issued Official Letter (OL) 4016/BTC-TCT on 28 March 2011, providing more lenient rules in respect of the legitimacy of official invoices. The most important changes under OL 4016 are: Official invoices are now permitted to use “simplified” Vietnamese typing, i.e. Vietnamese wording without accent marks. Internationally recognized practice for numerical separators is now permitted on Vietnamese official invoices, i.e. the use of commas (,) as thousands separators and a full stop (.) for the decimal mark in digit grouping. In this case, it is required that to avoid any confusion, the total amount of the invoice must be restated in words. In order to adopt the new relaxed ruling in respect of invoice presentation, prior documented registration with the tax authority is required. This is a great success for EuroCham. We believe that the clarifications under OL4016 should have a positive impact on a large number of foreign invested enterprises in Vietnam. Companies should now proceed quickly with the required registration to enable them to enjoy the new and more favorable rules on invoice presentation.

EuroCham - Tourism and Hospitality Sector Committee (TH SC): Advocacy Commitment for 2011 The TH SC Kick-Off Meeting - 25th April 2011 - is an encouraging signal that EuroCham businesses are committed to improve the business climate in this area. The “Travel & Tourism (T&T) Competitiveness Report 2011” evaluates Vietnam, ranked 14th in the region and 80th overall, up nine places since the last assessment in 2009. It benefits from its rich cultural resources ranked 36th, with several World Heritage cultural sites, several inter-national fairs and exhibitions, and strong creative industries. Another attraction are Vietnam’s natural resources, ranked 24th for its World Heritage natural sites, and with very diverse fauna in the country. These attributes are reinforced by the country’s price competitiveness ranked 16th. In order to strengthen its T&T competitiveness, it is recommended that Vietnam further develops its transport infrastructure and its tourism environment, while ensuring that the sector is developed in an environmentally sustainable way. At EuroCham we understand the importance of this sector that currently accounts for nearly 5% of the country’s GDP and is employing approximately 10% of the labour force in the service sector, thus making the tourism industry one of the country’s key employment industries. En par with the objectives of the European Union, EuroCham is dedicated to work with the Vietnamese National Administration of Tourism to promote stronger responsible tourism services through public private dialogue, improved tourism planning and regional tourism product development. EuroCham Tourism and Hospitality members are committed to advance good business climate creating a win-win situation for all participating stakeholders. One particular advocacy focus will be improving the current visa regulations, in particular allowing for a more comprehensive “visa-on-arrival” procedure.


GreenBiz 2011

GreenBiz 2011 is on its way! ›› Vietnam’s No.1 Event on Green Solutions ›› 2nd GreenBiz Conference & Exhibition

Six months to go before GreenBiz 2011-European Green Business Solutions for Vietnam comes back with a larger scope and scale. Are you ready for Vietnam’s No.1 Event on Green Solutions? GreenBiz 2011 has so far drawn huge attention to its prestigious two-day Conference and Exhibition, on the 15-16 September 2011 at White Palace Convention Center in HCMC. It is our great honor to have significant support from the Government and from our two main partners; Vietnam Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (VCCI) and the Trade and Investment Information Center (ITPC), as well as from foreign and domestic business associations and private companies. This has been obviously shown in our list of confirmed sponsors, including:

Also, the conference, with particular focus on Sustainable Cities, Green Manufacturing and Climate Change-Energy Supply, has been enlightened with the participation of key figures from public bodies and private businesses, Government, academia and other institutions. Our confirmed keynote speakers include so far Professor Peter Droege, Mr. Brien O’Brien, and Professor Steffen Lehman. Keeping the same momentum, the exhibition floor plan has been greenly filled up with the engagement of different European and Vietnamese companies. Some sponsoring opportunities are still available to enhance your organisation’s visibility. Exhibition and Conference space are filling up quickly...

BOOK NOW!

Contact us, to get involved in this not-to-be-missed green event!

www.greenbiz2011.com +84 8-38272715 greenbiz@eurochamvn.org


New year reception with the Ambassador on Jan 16th, 2011 On 16 Jan 2011, Beluxcham was honored to receive the Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam for a new years reception with all Belgians in HCMC invited. The Belgian community came together in large numbers to welcome the New Year 2011. Vietnam Achievement Award – 18th Feb 2011 On 18 February 2011, Belgian/Luxembourg businesses and entrepreneurs gathered to mark business excellence at the Belgian/Vietnam Achievement Awards in the presence of the Belgian Ambassador, Mr. Hubert Cooreman, the Belgian Honorary Consul in Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Dominique Casier, and a delegation from VKW Limburg in Belgium. The award, which was organised by Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, honoured achievements with a senior management award and an academic Award. As successful Belgian/Luxembourg businesses or leaders operating in Vietnam for several years with best business practices, innovations and significant contributions to company growth, candidates were selected by the jury panel and received their awards at the 18th February event. The award ceremony is followed by a networking dinner with the VKW Limburg group from Belgium, who is exploring new business opportunities in Vietnam. The Beluxcham/Vietnam Achievement Awards provide enterprises with an opportunity to gain recognition of their successes, increase their profile in the community and network with other ambitious business owners.

The Annual General Assembly of the French Chamber of Commerce was held on March, 24th 2011. Members elected Pierre-Jean Malgouyres as the new chairman of CCFV. This AGM was the occasion for members to review the 2010 activities and to exchange on 2011 upcoming projects. Members also thanked Marc Villard, the outgoing president, for his strong commitment in the past four years. Since the beginning of 2011, CCIFV has been working on improving relations with other foreign business associations in collaboration with EuroCham through the organization of a monthly networking with different Business Associations. The latest events in HCMC were co-hosted by the Youth Businessman Association and the BBGV. In Hanoi, CCIFV, CanCham and EuroCcham will start to organize a monthly combined networking event at Movenpick Hotel. In the coming weeks, CCIFV will also organize an event with the Singapore Business Association in HCMC, a “Construction Night” with different B.A. and an event dedicated to new members co-hosted by EuroCham.

Trade Mission in Hanoi and HCMC The mission with more than 80 companies visited Hanoi and HCMC from the 28th and 1st of April. After a day with interesting seminars and exchange, a dinner was held in the Melia hotel in Hanoi. The Royal Highnesses the Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands were present at the dinner. Dinner started after a speech of the Minister of Agriculture and Foreign Trade, Mr Bleker and Prince Willem-Alexander, emphasizing the importance of the five selected sectors for both countries: Water, Transport and Logistics, Maritime, Oil and Gas and Food and Agriculture. The succes of the mission reflected in contract signed by Dutch and Vietnamese firms in these sectors. On Wednesday March 30th a network cocktail was held at the Reunification Palace in HCMC where the Dutch community of HCMC also attended. There were around 400 guests. The Palace was beautifully decorated and the guests had the opportunity to listen to various speeches and meet many interesting people from all sectors.


◄ The GBA Annual General Meeting (AGM): On 17th January, 2011, the AGM took place and elected the GBA Board Management for 2011. Up-coming events: HanseTag 2011: As every year, GBA together with Scandinavian friends from NordCham, are going to organize this popular annual event on Saturday, 16th April. Once again, the event will bring members of both business associations the best time of enjoying fresh air from the river, live music and the unsurpassed northern-style buffet, as well as a thousand bottles of beer sponsored by Flensburger from Germany. ◄ Oktoberfest in Saigon 2011: GBA and its co-organizer Windsor Plaza Hotel are preparing for this biggest event of the year, The Oktoberfest Saigon 2011. The festival will run from October 7th to October 15th (with a break on October 9th and 10th) and will again offer the foot-stomping music, refreshing German brew and delicious food which everyone has come to expect. More than 14,000 people are expected to participate. The Oktoberfest Saigon 2010 with 14,000 guests joined was recognized as the largest Oktoberfest celebration in Vietnam. Please sign up before 1st of May as our event sponsors to get the early bird discount program. If you have any question, please feel free to contact GBA office at +84 8 3823 9772 and email: oktoberfestsaigon@gba-vietnam.org for more information.

On 22. January, Icham held its General Assembly for year 2011. ICham’s Members voted to elect the new Board for the year 2011, and Mr. Massimiliano Guelfo (PIAGGIO VIETNAM) as the new Chairman. On March 9th 2011 the new elected Chairman, Mr. Guelfo, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HBA – Hanoi Business Association. ICham believes that, after becoming associated with Eurocham and opening a Hanoi office last year, signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the Hanoi Business Association is another successful step in expanding the reach and effectiveness of its work in Vietnam; The ceremony was attended by various newspapers, television channels and distinguished guests, among them were HBA President, Mr.Nguyen Hong Son, the Deputy Ambassador of Italy in Vietnam and Mr.Tomaso Andreatta - Deputy Chairman of Eurocham. ICham, represented by Mr. Michele D’Ercole, took part to the “Area Meeting APAC, EAU and SOUTH AFRICA of Assocamere Estero", the official association of the bilateral Italian Commerce Chambers in the world. ICham is working hard to be officially recognized in Assocamere, the invitation to attend the Area Meeting and the received praises for the important role that ICham plays already in bilateral promotion, rewards the big effort ICham is putting to reach that goal.

Nordic Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Hanoi Branch)

www.nordchamhn.org.vn

Activity update from NordCham Hanoi ◄ On April 2., Nordcham Hanoi organized its 6th annual Spring Ball at InterContinental Hotel. Some 100 guests attended the ball and enjoyed an evening with great food, live jazz music and a cozy atmosphere. On March 18., Nordcham Hanoi arranged a charity event ► at National Pediatrics Hospital. Members of the board handed over a total of VND 20 million to five poor families with children fighting serious pediatric diseases (cancer). The children aged between 5 and 14 years come from families living in rural areas. The charity was organized in collaboration with the volunteer Group – “Making Dreams Come True” in Hanoi. On March 4th, a Business Mixer event was organized for members as well as other Nordic businesses in Hanoi and Hai Phong. The event took place the Rooftop Bar allowing a large group of Nordic businesses to network. For an update on coming events in April and May, please visit the Nordcham Hanoi website - www.nordchamhn.org.vn.


HCMC 14th January - Special Dialogue on “The Future of The Vietnam Dong” At this special Business Luncheon, Dr. Duong Thu Huong, General Secretary of the Vietnam Banks Association shared her views on development of interest rate and the Vietnam Dong. Dr. Huong addressed recent obstacles that European and Vietnamese enterprises have been facing in Vietnam, particularly in the banking sector. Among the concerns of businesses were future reduction of interest rates, whether the VND will be devalued a 3rd time this year and the status of foreign currency reserves in Vietnam. Standard Chartered Bank CEO for Vietnam Mr. Louis Taylor offered his views on the outlook for the Vietnamese currency from the perspective of a foreign financial institution.

HCMC 19th January - Business Luncheon on “A Vision for Education in Vietnam Building the future talent pool” At this business luncheon, the speakers Madame Ton Nu Thi Ninh, Founding President of the Tri Viet University Project and Former Ambassador to EU as well as Mrs. Vu Kim Hanh, Executive Director of the Center for Business Study and Assistance (BSA). Both offered insights on how Vietnam can improve it’s higher education system to meet its future human resources needs and what role the business community can play in building a future talent pool in Vietnam. Within ASEAN, Vietnam ranks in the lower half of human resources development. Therefore, improving and upgrading the skills of its human resources is one of Vietnam’s key tasks to achieve sustainable long-term growth for the country.

Hanoi 18th February - Business Luncheon on Vietnam’s Economy in the Year 2011 EuroCham kicked off the New Year of the Cat with a special event on Vietnam’s Economy in the Year 2011. Madam Pham Chi Lan, senior economist of Vietnam and Mr. Benedict Bingham, Senior Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund shared up-to-date information on Vietnam’s Economy in the new year such as key challenges facing, the best policy to tackle inflation, priorities the Government should focus on in 2011.

Hanoi 24th February – Business Luncheon on Vietnam’s Devaluation of the VND Vietnam’s the sixth and largest devaluation of the dong for the last 3 years has been one of the hot issues in the first quarter. Our distinguished guest speaker, Dr. Le Xuan Nghia, Vice Chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission offered an inside perspective on the positive and negative impacts of this issue. At this unique event, a large audience were really provided a comprehensive overview of the changes in Vietnam policies and their impacts in the economy.

HCMC 17th March - EuroCham Networking Night ay Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar

HCMC 8th March - EuroCham welcomes Vice President of ADB - Mr. Lawrence Greenwood Asian Development Bank Vice President Lawrence Greenwood with EuroCham Chairman Alain Cany and EuroCham ViceChairman and MNC Member Erdal Elver.


HCMC 18th March - Luncheon on “The Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2010 – FDI in Vietnam Today and Future Opportunities” This luncheon co-hosted by the VCCI – USAID – EuroCham and Amcham introduced the findings of the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2010. Speakers at the event were Dr. Edmund Malesky, UCSD Professor and USAID/VNCI Advisor and Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Van, Deputy Director of Foreign Investment Agency - MPI. To read more about the PCI report and its findings, please turn to page 4 of this Newsletter.

Hanoi 28th March – Business Dialogue on Taming Inflation: Slowing Growth? EuroCham invited Dr. Vo Tri Thanh, Vice President the Central Institute Economic Management (CIEM) to address this dialogue to share with EuroCham’s members and friends some insights on current policies and strategies to stabilize the economy and secure the healthy development in Vietnam. Vietnam is expected to take action to curb inflation as the government recently faces increasing pressures to bring greater stability to price levels, the Vietnamese Dong and the overall economy.

Hanoi 30th March – Special Dialogue on Vietnam’s anti-inflation fight – MOIT’s view and policies EuroCham organized a business dialogue with Vice Minister of Ministry of Trade and Industry of Vietnam, Mr. Hoang Quoc Vuong. This event provided a rare opportunity for members to engage directly with one of Vietnam’s high ranking official to be shared his views about Vietnam’s management situation on key products, especially the situation of electricity shortage in Vietnam and what are the Government’s policies.

HCMC 31st March - Business Briefing with Vice Minister Dang Huy Dong - (MPI) on “Vietnam’s FDI Trends and Policies 2010 – 2015” After a private meeting with EuroCham (MNC) representatives, H.E. Vice Minister Dang Huy Dong, Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) addressed members and elaborated on government plans for attracting investment in the years to come. The minister stated that most of the funds needed for developing the physical infrastructure of the country will come from foreign businesses. Therefore the future aim is to simplify the procedures and establish a ‘one-stop-shop’ for foreign investors willing to participate in PPP projects. Vice Minister Dong also stressed that there is an intention to move away from merely labour intensive investments to more value added products and services and also to facilitate the development of industrial clusters.


Event Update Hanoi 30th March - Award Ceremony An official ceremony was held at the Government Guesthouse in Hanoi to mark the receipt of two prestigious awards: The Prime Minister’s Certificate of Merits was awarded to the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam for its "active contribution to the development of economic relations between Vietnam and European countries". This makes EuroCham the first foreign chamber of commerce in Vietnam to receive the prestigious Award. The prestigious Vietnam Friendship Medal was awarded to EuroCham Chairman Alain Cany, for his "Remarkable and active contribution to investment and economic development between Vietnam and European countries". Awarded to few foreign nationals, the Friendship Medal confers the highest recognition available for outstanding contributions to economic and social development in Vietnam.

HCMC, 9th April - European Food Festival


EuroCham AGM Hanoi & HCMC 3rd March - EuroCham Annual General Meeting The EuroCham Annual General Meeting was held on the 3rd March in Hanoi and HCMC simultaneously. At the meeting, members voted on statute changes and other initiatives as well as for the 2011 EuroCham Executive Committee. It consists of the following members:

Meet the EuroCham Executive Committee 2011

Alain Cany Chairman

Preben Hjortlund Vice Chairman

Erdal Elver Vice Chairman

Christophe Hirtz Vice Chairman

Le Duy Thanh Vice Chairman

Tomaso Andreatta Vice Chairman

Hielke Booijink Treasurer

Peter Born Committee Member

Jean-Michel Caldagues Committee Member

Kristof Claes Committee Member

Elmar Dutt Committee Member

Olivier Jacquet Committee Member

Wieger D. Otter Committee Member

Costantino Sambuy Committee Member

Andreas Stoffers Committee Member

Louis Taylor Committee Member

To contact a member of the EuroCham Executive Committee please email o.mgr@eurochamvn.org and we will forward your message.


EU – Vietnam FTA: summary of findings of a MUTRAP study By Claudio Dordi and Federico Lupo Pasini

Over the last few years Vietnam has been increasingly engaged in negotiations with trade and investment partners on a number of Free Trade Agreements. While the only FTAs in force are only with ASEAN or Asian partners, nonetheless, Vietnam is actively exploring the opportunity to negotiate FTAs with also non-Asian strategic commercial partners, such as the US, Chile and also the European Union. In this respect, one of the top priorities for the Government is the negotiation of a FTA with the European Union. A recent MUTRAP research analyzed the potential impact on Vietnamese economy brought about by this agreement. This article reports the main output of the research, which will be published soon in the MUTRAP website (www.mutrap.org.vn). EU-Vietnam trade relations. As it is well known, Vietnam is an export-driven economy, with 69% of GDP exported in 2008 (64% in 2009 and 61% in 2005); the European Union is one of the most important commercial partners for Vietnam. Indeed, 16% of the GDP value is exported to the EU, for a value of 14.9 bn. USD (14% in 2009 for 12.6 bn.) and it represents the 17% of all Vietnamese exports (constant from 2005)*. The five main exported products from Vietnam to the EU exports are footwear (4.5 bn.), apparel and clothing (2.3 bn.), coffee (1.4 b.), seafood (1.1 bn.), and furniture (1 bn.). Together those products represented in 2008 the 70% of total export to EU. The European Union applies relatively law tariff on imports. In this respect, the average tariffs applied by the EU on imports from Vietnam are constantly decreasing and in 2009 were around 4.1, although higher average tariffs are applied to some relevant products (e.g. apparel and clothing: 11.7%, seafood: 10.8% and footwear: 12.4%). This means that the elimination of tariffs expected on substantially all the trade with the FTA will provide important advantages for Vietnam in comparison to other competitors in the EU markets. With regard to the tariff on import, Vietnam applied substantially reductions after WTO accession and now the simple average tariff is 9.3% (from 13.7% in 2005); the tariffs applied to the most exported products from the EU into Vietnam are quite low, with the exception of automotive (24.2%) and, in part, electronics: 8.9%. The tariffs on other relevant exports from the EU are quite low: mechanical (3.4%), pharmaceuticals (2%), Iron (2%), optical and medical apparatus (1.3%) and aircraft (0%). In all the mentioned categories excepted aircraft, however, there are quite high tariff peaks (from 10% of pharmaceuticals to 90% for automotive). What Vietnam should expect from an FTA with the EU: the lessons from recent FTAs concluded by the EU Free Trade Agreements are complex treaties that go well beyond pure preferential tariff reduction. Indeed, modern FTA negotiated by the EU, besides eliminating import duties on nearly all products, stipulate also far-reaching liberalization of trade in services and investment, promote best practices in environmental policy, procurement policy and in the protection of intellectual property rights. Indeed, in recent EU FTAs the counterpart has to reduce the customs duties gradually and within a deadline of 10 years, with the possibility of excluding from the liberalization specific identified sectors. Regarding the technical and sanitary barriers the negotiation of an FTA is an important opportunity to discuss and deal with any problem faced by Vietnamese exporters in accessing the EU market. Other rules have been agreed on specific commitments to eliminate and prevent non-tariff obstacles to trade in specific, such as automobiles, pharmaceuticals and electronics. *The analysis has been mainly conducted taking into consideration 2008 data to avoid the distortions brought about by the economic and financial crisis which distorted the 2009 and, partially, the 2010 data.


Business Update The FTA include also provisions on investment both in services and industrial sectors and strong disciplines in relevant areas, such as protection of intellectual property, public procurement, competition rules, transparency of regulations and sustainable development (i.e. environment and social rights). From an economic point of view, the countries participating to a FTA with the EU showed, in general, positive results. Another research (conducted by VCCI) analyzed the impact of some selected FTAs concluded by the EU on the economy of the EU partners. The research shows that the former EU FTA agreements with Chile, Mexico and South Africa brought about very positive trade results to these countries and, in the case of Mexico, there had been even a huge inflows of foreign direct investment from the EU. Indeed, EU companies considered Mexico an important platform to export products in the US, benefiting from the NAFTA agreement (participated by Mexico, US and Canada). The Impact on Investment and Future Investment Opportunities The Vietnamese market is by one of the most attractive destination for FDI and is already receiving substantial amount of FDIs. Indeed, the total amount of FDI in 2010 is estimated to be around 11 Billion US$, up to 10% compared with 2009. Vietnam has a lot to gain from a free trade agreement with the EU in terms of increased investment. From a qualitative analysis it seems that the biggest gains for Vietnam (in terms of volume and quality of FDIs, but also in terms of general economic benefits) would come from services liberalization. Indeed, the expected inflows of service providers from the EU will increase the efficiency of the market (through better technologies, procedures, and management attitudes) and will be beneficial for the entire economy as it is well known that an effective tertiary sector boosts the productivity and it is at the basis of an efficient and competitive economy. The competitiveness of the manufacturing sector of Vietnam is undoubted. The combination of cheap labour force and free market access to the ASEAN+ area render Vietnam a potential export hub to the whole region. A free trade agreement with the EU will increase the propensity of foreign firms (EU, but not only) to invest in Vietnam bringing additional benefits to the Vietnamese economy. These benefits resides in an increased appeal of Vietnam as a productive and export facility (cheaper and better goods from Europe; larger market of 3.5 billion people, taking into consideration the ASEAN + FTAs; increased technology transfer to Vietnam), which in turn will attract more and of better quality investments from within and outside the FTA region. The impact of the future agreement: The quantitative analysis The analysis conducted by MUTRAP shows that Vietnam has a lot to gain from an FTA with the EU. The biggest gains for Vietnam would come from increased EU investment in services industries in Vietnam, from increased Vietnamese exports to the EU, and also from cheaper strategic imports from the EU that would enable Vietnam to upgrade its technology. Moreover, the liberalization of trade will improve the fiscal revenue (the revenue from the increased imported products exceed the losses due to the reduction of tariffs), the trade balance (+ 500 million USD annually, as the increase of exports – at least 4% -exceed that of imports - +3.1%) and the even the boost on the GDP will be substantial (2.7% annually). 19


EU – Vietnam FTA: summary of findings of a MUTRAP study Trade Remedies and other Negotiating Issues The negotiation of an FTA with the EU is expected, besides reducing and eliminating EU tariffs, to smooth the application of non-tariff barriers, too. The biggest non-tariff challenges affecting Vietnamese exports to the EU are connected to the EU’s use of trade defense instruments, notably anti-dumping, and the EU’s SPS and TBT measures. The EU is unlikely to make concessions on anti-dumping and countervailing duties to Vietnam and the FTA will probably not have any significant impact on the EU’s resorting to anti-dumping and countervailing action against it. However, the negotiations will be an important opportunity for Vietnam to discuss its status of non market economy. Indeed, it should be pointed out that, according to the WTO agreements, other WTO members shall recognize the market economy status to Vietnam at latest in 2018; the worrying issue is that China shall obtain this status in 2016. The risk is that in the period 2016-2018 Vietnamese exports could be under stronger pressure from antidumping procedures than Chinese ones.

As far as SPS and TBT measures are concerned, it seems improbable that a reduction of SPS and TBT barriers will take place as their final aims is to protect the health and the security of consumers and they do not have a protectionist intent. What is more probable is that the EU-Vietnam FTA will provide a framework for technical assistance, discussion and further co-operation on SPS and TBT issues. Vietnam may consider requesting targeted technical assistance from to the EU in the context of its FTA negotiations. Finally, Vietnam, in order to reduce the costs of compliance with the EU SPS and TBT requirements Vietnam should actively seek the conclusion of mutual recognition and ad hoc equivalency agreements with the EU. Independently of the complexity to achieve these instruments of trade facilitation, it is clear that their pursuit, especially within the confines of an FTA, should be prioritized. Their conclusion, particularly in those sectors where Vietnam’s exports have actual or potential market access opportunities on the EU market, stands to offer Vietnamese producers, exporters and traders considerable comparative advantages and “preferential” market access conditions which are comparable to or greater than the tariff concessions that will shape the EU-Vietnam FTA. These tools of trade facilitation could also allow Vietnam to become an important processing center (for example, as it already happens, to import third countries’ fisheries, such as Bangladeshi products, for processing in Vietnam under strict application of EU standards, and re-export to the EU) and take advantage of its ability to comply with relevant EU standards and its future FTA preferences vis-à-vis the EU. Conclusions In a nutshell, the signing of a free trade agreement with the European Union will bring only positive benefits to the Vietnamese economy. Besides increased market access opportunities for Vietnamese exporters, the FTA will allow Vietnam to buy cheaper European technological products and to receive substantial amount of investment in both the manufacturing an services sectors that will create more jobs and, in the long run will produce additional benefits to the Vietnamese economy. It should be pointed out, however, that the Vietnamese producers, to fully exploit the benefits of the agreement, shall increase the quality and the standard of their products to satisfy the taste and the strict requirements of European consumers. The conclusion of the FTA with the EU will provide some tariff advantages to Vietnamese producers compared to other competitors in the EU market (especially China), or reduce the tariff disadvantages towards other competitors (east European – even within the EU, African-Mediterranean) and, in future perspective, will protect Vietnam from the risks of “graduation” of its exports to the EU (i.e. Vietnam, at present, benefit from tariff preferences in the framework of the Generalized System of Preferences as it is a developing country. However, as it happened for the footwear sector since 2009, sectors -or even the entire exports- could be denied the preferential treatment in case of EU competing producers are injured). 20


Project Update As part of the Multiateral Trade Assisstant Project EU – Vietnam Mutrap III (MUTRAP III), EuroCham has been assigned bu the European Union a project on “Capacity building on Trade policy for Vietnamese Business Associations“. ◄ A training course on “Strengthening service provision capacity of Vietnamese Business Associations“ was held at the EuroCentre in HCMC on 10th – 11th March, 2011. EuroCham shared its experience as a business association with a number of Vietnamese business associations. On this occasion, EuroCham also signed MOU with Dong Nai export club to increase cooperation in activities between exporters in Dong Nai and European firms. There were 13 Vietnam Business associations (VBA) attending this training course. A workshop on “Improving Export and Marketing Skills for VBAs and ► Vietnamese enterprises” was held on 24th March in Hai Phong. This workshop aimed to provide guidance to EU market access and to understand in more detail the impacts of FTAs for Vietnam, technical requirements, standards and non-tariff barriers to trade with the EU. The event was pleased to have the presence of former MOIT Minister Mr. Truong Dinh Tuyen, MUTRAP’s team leader Prof. Claudio Dordi, EuroCham’s Executive Director Dr. Matthias Duehn, Deputy General Director from Investconsult Group Ms. Ho Ngoc Lam and Manager on Product and Mobility from TÜV Rheinland Vietnam Co., Ltd Mr. Truong Le Tien Dzung.

“Helping Vietnamese SMEs Adapt and Adopt Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for Improved Linkages with Global Supply Chains in Sustainable Production” The objective of the project is to enhance the integration of Vietnamese SMEs into global supply chains through an increased awareness, understanding and adoption of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice based on the triplebottom-line (economy, environment and society). As one of the project partners, EuroCham’s role is to act as a bridge between transnational corporations (TNC) and Vietnamese SMEs: Major buyers of Vietnamese products, including EuroCham’s member TNCs, are tightening their procurement guidelines to comply with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requirements. EuroCham helps the project identifying and consolidating TNC guidelines and policies so that Vietnamese SMEs have better awareness and knowledge of TNC practices. This will help Vietnamese SME improve CSR practices, in particular labour practices and environmental performance. The project has already held numerous workshops and seminars, as part of the “CSR Calendar” that addresses the six (6) core CSR areas over the course of the year: Environment, Labour Practices, Fair Operating, Consumer Issues, Governance & Human Rights and Community Involvement. Please find details of scheduled events on the project website: http://www.csr-vietnam.eu/en/Home.html. As part of the project, UNIDO has also published a guide on private standards “How to make private standards work for you”, as these private standards are becoming increasingly important for export oriented companies in developing countries. Please find the guide here: http://www.unido.org/index.php?id=5815 21


EuroCham Membership Directory 2011

Discount Handbook 2011 Enjoy the latest discount offers exclusive to EuroCham members at some of Vietnam’s leading lifestyle venues in the new 2010 pocket-sized annual EuroCham Discount Partner Handbook, which is delivered to all members throughout Vietnam in April 2011.

The latest 2011 edition of the annual EuroCham Membership Directory has been released. Member representatives will receive one copy each and additional copies are available at EuroCham offices. Members can view complete member profiles and update their own company profile online by visiting www.eurochamvn.org/Directory.

We will change our bi-weekly e-bulletin to a weekly format to keep our members up to date on all events and to reduce the overall number of emails sent out. EuroCham will restructure its sector committees in the coming months. Some new committees will be set up, while others will be relaunched or closed. We encourage all members to get involved and give their input into our sector committees. Please check our website for updates. Please Note that the EuroCham offices in Hanoi and HCMC will be closed from April 30. - May 3. 2010 for public holidays.

Corporate Partners 2011

Good Food, Good Life

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Provincial Competitiveness - Improving Economic Governance for Investors  

Newsletter of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam -Issue Q1/2011

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