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.
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 1st 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.
Nicolas Audier, chairman of EuroCham said that 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.
In that context, chairman of VCCI Vu Tien Loc affirmed that the council was established from the desire to support the Vietnamese business community to "enter the EVFTA highway". However, 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", said Loc.