The results of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham)'s Business Climate Index (BCI) for the first quarter of this year shows that Vietnam's score is 78, one point up from the previous quarterly survey.
Compared to the last quarter, respondents stating that the business situation was “excellent” dropped almost ten per cent, with a seven per cent increase in responses describing the current context as “good”. Negative responses were at almost the same level as the previous quarter.
Based on the business performance of recent quarters, surveyed enterprises are quite confident in a positive business outlook in the second quarter. Besides, a stable and continuously improving macroeconomic scenario for Vietnam is expected with a nine per cent increase compared to the previous quarter.
Conversely, businesses that believe that the macroeconomic situation could deteriorate remains at exactly the same level as in the last survey while the number of respondents expecting no change in the next quarter increased by almost ten per cent.
Regarding headcount, the number of businesses expecting to maintain the current size of their workforce remains at around 40 per cent. On the other hand, the scores indicating an intention to increase the number of employees say that 12 per cent will significantly increase their workforce, while companies hiring moderately constitute 41 per cent of all responses that is the same as the last quarter.
Especially, the percentage of responses towards lowering headcount "a bit" has reduced from ten per cent to five per cent; and “reduce significantly” from three per cent to two per cent.
According to EuroCham, 45 per cent of its members said they intended to maintain their level of investment, a nine per cent increase.
However, intentions to increase investment also remains substantial, although with a seven per cent drop in those thinking about significantly increasing their investments and an 11 per cent hike in those that will so moderately.
According to co-chairman of EuroCham Nicolas Audier, the Business Climate Index (BCI) survey results for the first quarter of 2018 continue to show positive expectations from EuroCham members towards Vietnam, albeit not at the same levels of optimism that we saw in 2016.
"These BCI scores reflect optimism regarding fast and efficient reforms in the short term, also boosted by expectations towards a timely ratification of the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), as well as inspire the Vietnamese Government to improve the business environment further," said Nicolas Audier.