The European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) have today established a new bilateral forum to support the smooth and successful implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
This new forum, known as the EU-Vietnam Business Council (EUVBC), will bring together representatives of the European and Vietnamese business communities to share insights and discuss common challenges in the implementation of this historic free trade agreement.
First envisioned after the signing of the EVFTA in Hanoi in 2019, its establishment has received high-level support from former EU Trade Commissioners Celia Malmstrom and Phil Hogan as well as Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.
Founded on 22 October 2020 at the VCCI headquarters in Hanoi, the launch featured speeches from VCCI Chairman Dr. Vu Tien Loc, EuroCham Chairman Mr. Nicolas Audier, and the EU Ambassador to Vietnam H.E. Mr Giorgio Aliberti. It also attracted an audience of business leaders from Vietnamese and European enterprises, as well as ambassadors from across the European Union.
Jointly led by the chairmen of EuroCham and VCCI, the board of the EUVBC will also include eight other members – with four from each chamber of commerce. The EUVBC will also establish a number of working groups for companies in similar sectors, connecting Vietnamese and European enterprises to build stronger relationships and increase knowledge-sharing in specific industries, while also helping to smooth the path for the effective implementation of the EVFTA.
The Council will publish regular papers on the progress of the implementation of the EVFTA, and meet with high-level representatives of the European Commission in Brussels and the Vietnamese Government to share updates from companies on the ground.
In force since 1 August, the EVFTA is the most comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement ever signed between the EU and a developing nation, and just the second FTA signed with an ASEAN member state. Now it has entered into force, 65 per cent of EU exports to Vietnam are tariff-free, along with 71 per cent of Vietnam’s exports to the European Union. This will rise to almost 99 per cent over the next decade, giving Vietnamese enterprises privileged access to Europe’s large consumer market and EU business better access to Vietnam’s fast-growing sectors and industries.
“Throughout the past years, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) have been side by side, effortlessly promoted the process of negotiation, review, exchange information on the signing of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). We are delighted and grateful for the determination made by the Government of Vietnam and the EU authorities over the past years for the signing of the two Agreements” Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of VCCI told the Inside Out
“The EU – Vietnam Business Council was established from the desire to support the Vietnamese business community to “enter the EVFTA highway”. On that highway, Vietnamese businesses are sure to face many difficulties. It is inevitable to feel nervous, but that will not be the reason for them to not “going to the highway”. The Council will represent the voices of Vietnamese and EU businesses in the EVFTA implementation, and acts as a bridge to bring opinions of businesses to the Government and relevant agencies of both Vietnam and the EU.
Thank Eurocham for your joint efforts with us. Thank you for the trust and support of the business community. I believe you make good use of this Agreement.” Loc added
“The EVFTA is a once-in-a-generation free trade agreement. Over the next decade, it will help to boost trade and investment between Vietnam – one of the world’s fastest-growing and most attractive markets – and the European Union, the world’s largest trading bloc. It is a true ‘win-win’ for companies and consumers on both sides.
“Now the EVFTA has entered into force, it is up to business communities on both sides to make it a success and to ensure that our enterprises and societies can both unlock its full potential. EuroCham is proud to establish this new forum with VCCI, and to reaffirm the strong and effective relationship between our two chambers at the beginning of this new chapter of EU-Vietnam trade and investment relations.” Nicolas Audier, Chairman of EuroCham, added.
By Bui Thanh Son (firstname.lastname@example.org) @ This story was first posted on the Inside Out