The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Industry 4.0 are two significant factors that should be utilized to help guarantee success in the next phase of Vietnam’s development, heard a conference held in Hanoi on March 14.
Delegates discuss key opportunities and challenges arising from EVFTA.
During the conference the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) launched the 11th edition of its annual Whitebook.
Taken together, these two issues are expected to spur on the country’s integration into the global economy and the international community.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) in particular, which will see digitalization spread to all sectors and industries, would help make Vietnam more competitive, innovative, and better prepared to embrace future opportunities.
In conjunction with Industry 4.0, the EVFTA, once ratified and implemented, is set to boost trade and investment between the EU and Vietnam. The impending agreement will enable consumers to gain better access to high-quality European goods and services.
The Whitebook covers noticeable issues and recommendations from EuroCham members, focusing on three main themes, including healthcare, tax and customs, and sustainability.
Representatives from the EuroCham, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ministry of Planning and Investment highlighted the key opportunities and challenges which are expected to arise from the EVFTA.
Increased digitalization and incoming boom to the country’s e-commerce market in particular were said to pose various challenges to the domestic workforce who are urged to keep pace with development trends in order to stay competitive.
Several European business leaders and representatives from the ministries also mentioned topical issues, including logistics and infrastructure, green growth, tax and transfer pricing, human resources, health, and legal regulations.
EuroCham members voiced their belief that the detailed recommendations outlined in the Whitebook would help create a more competitive, attractive, and business-friendly trade and investment environment in the country.
Nicolas Audier, Co-Chairman of the EuroCham, said that over the last three decades, the Government has successfully transformed Vietnam from one of the poorest countries globally into a fast-growing, modern, middle-income nation.
The country now has the opportunity, largely through new-generation free trade agreements like the EVFTA, to take the next step up the value chain. Vietnam can become more open, and grow into a successful leader within the region and on the world stage.
“If taken on board, the insights and recommendations of our members will help the Government unlock the full benefits of the EVFTA and go further and faster on its path of growth and development; reforming Vietnam’s legal framework and business environment and, in the process, improving the chances and living standards of millions of Vietnamese citizens.”
Denis Brunetti, Co-Chairman of the EuroCham, added that “Building on the phenomenal socioeconomic journey experienced by Vietnam over the past 30 years, which has been mainly driven by labor intensive manufacturing, the jobs and growth of the future, will predominantly come from the digital economy and high-tech jobs related to digitalization of all sectors and industries.”
He noted that as European enterprises had played a key role in the development of the country’s earliest telecommunications and ICT networks, significantly increasing internet usage across the country, they remain committed to helping the nation take advantage of a new wave of inclusive and sustainable digital innovations.
“The Whitebook is designed to help Vietnam adapt to the new opportunities that Industry 4.0 will bring, and in so doing, make the country increasingly more competitive in the global economy and more attractive to international trade and investment,” Brunetti said.