Message from the Chairman
Preben Hjortlund, HITC In this issue of the Newsletter, we would
like to focus on the Vietnam competitiveness
initiative, that looks at the latest trends in
Tomaso Andreatta, Intesa Sanpaolo
foreign direct investment. We will also have
Christophe Hirtz, Sanofi
a look at the recent ASEAN-EU Business
Thanh Le, Shell Vietnam
Summit in Phnom Penh and the impending
Louis Taylor, Standard Chartered Bank start of formal negotiations between Vietnam
Andreas Stoffers, Deutsche Bank AG and the EU about a free trade agreement. As
Treasurer usual, you will find the latest updates on our
Tom van der Lee, advocacy efforts and other recent EuroCham
FrieslandCampina Vietnam events and activities.
Committee Members At this year’s AGM held on March 7th, we saw a number of changes to
Nicolas Audier, Audier & Partners LLC the EuroCham Executive Committee. First and foremost I would like to
Simon Britsch, Bayer Vietnam Ltd. thank Alain Cany as the outgoing Chairman of EuroCham. Over the course
Jean-Michel Caldagues, EADS of his 7-years at the helm of EuroCham, Alain has made immeasurable
Luc Cardyn, BNP Paribas Vietnam contributions to the growth, profile and success of EuroCham, making
Kristof Claes, Brand Partner Co., Ltd the chamber what it is today in Vietnam. We thank Alain for all the time
Nicola Connolly, Adecco Vietnam and energy he spent on EuroCham and I have no doubt that Alain will
Erdal Elver, Siemens Ltd. Vietnam continue to raise the issues of the European business community as
Costantino Sambuy, Piaggio Vietnam Chairman of the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) and otherwise.
Quang-Hue Vo, Robert Bosch Vietnam
We also bid a fond farewell to Executive Committee members Peter
Executive Director Born, Elmar Dutt, Olivier Jacquet and Wieger Otter. We would like to
Paul John Jewell thank them for their continual support for the chamber over the years
and wish all of them the very best for the future.
The EuroCham newsletter is published
quarterly by the European Chamber of I would also like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to
Commerce in Vietnam with offices at: new faces on the EuroCham Executive Committee: Nicolas Audier -
Managing Partner at Audier & Partners Vietnam LLC, Simon Britsch -
Finance Director Bayer Vietnam, Nicola Connolly - General Director of
G/F, Sofitel Plaza Hanoi
Adecco Vietnam, Luc Cardyn - Country Head BNP Paribas - Vietnam
1 Thanh Nien Road, Ba Dinh District
and Quang Hue Vo - Managing Director Robert Bosch Vietnam.
Tel: (84-4) 3715 2228
On behalf of the EuroCham Executive Committee would like to say
Fax: (84-4) 3715 2218
farewell to EuroCham director Dr. Matthias Duehn. I would like to thank
Email: email@example.com him for all the work and effort he has dedicated to EuroCham over the
last two years and wish him all the best for his future plans.
We also welcome Paul John Jewell as the Executive Director of both
EuroCentre EuroCham offices in Hanoi and HCMC. Paul will be happy to meet you
49 Mac Dinh Chi Street, District 1 over the course of the year.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tel: (84-8) 3827 2715 Finally, I would like to thank all our members and partners for their
Fax: (84-8) 3827 2743 continued support and we hope you will help us making 2012 another
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org successful year for EuroCham.
Hotline: (84-8) 3997 1263 With kind regards,
Communication and Services Director
EuroCham (Ho Chi Minh City)
Tel: (84-8) 3827 2715 Preben Hjortlund,
Email: email@example.com Chairman
Why do foreign investors select Vietnam and how can
Vietnam attract higher value - added investors?
Foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises have increased their profitability in the past year but become less optimistic
about their business outlook in Vietnam for the next two years, according to a survey of 1,970 foreign-invested firms
released in February, 2012 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the United States Agency
for International Development’s Vietnam Competitiveness Initiative (USAID/VNCI). While this is not the only survey of
foreign investment in Vietnam, it is the largest and most comprehensive. In fact, the number of respondents in the FDI
module accounts for 16 percent of the entire population of foreign investors found in the General Statistics Office
(GSO) Enterprise Census. The survey analyzed factors that drive foreign investors’ decisions and provides insights
into the foreign business sector and how Vietnam can attract higher value - added investors to improve productivity
and economic growth.
Performance of FIEs in the 2011 FDI Survey
Although 2011 was a difficult year for the Vietnamese economy, the performance of foreign invested enterprises (FIEs)
is noticeably better than in the first iteration of the FDI in 2010. The median FIE in the FDI survey had gross revenue
of $1.3 million, up $300,000 from the previous year, with the strongest increases experienced in manufacturing. Of
course, profitability measures should be treated with caution on a self-administered survey, but compared to 2010, there
appears to be a substantial uptick in performance. FIEs report profits equal to 22% of capital investment in 2011 -
roughly twice the performance in 2010. Once again, the manufacturing sector stands out with profits equal to 25% of
Yet, while actual performance is improving, FIEs are actually becoming more pessimistic in their perceptions of
performance. Whereas in 2010 66 percent of operations planned to expand their operations in Vietnam, this year, only
38% were as optimistic. More puzzling still, pessimism was most pronounced among the relatively high performing
firms in the manufacturing sector (33%), compared to the under-performing service businesses. Probing a bit further,
the survey asked firms to speculate on what factors they perceived to be contributing to the performance. Sixty percent
of respondents credit/fault general market conditions over other factors, which is high by international standards, but
down from 70 percent in 2010. The decline likely reflects beliefs among some respondents that inflation is under
greater control. Once again, only about 10 percent of respondents believe their success or failure in Vietnam can be
attributed to government policy and labor. Managers receive the least credit for success or failure, cited by only 8.5
percent of respondents.
Profile of FIEs in the 2011 FDI Survey
As we reported last year, the median FIE in Vietnam remains relatively small, export-oriented, and operating a
low-margin business that is subcontracting for a larger multinational producer - and is therefore usually situated in the
lowest node in a product’s value chain.
Size: Foreign operations in Vietnam are quite small by international standards. Seventy-five percent of FIEs in Vietnam
have less than 300 employees. Indeed, 37% have less than 50 employees. Large firms remain a clear minority,
representing only 5.3% of the sample. We find similar results when we disaggregate by capital size - 63% of FIEs have
licenses that are less than $2.5 million, and only 13% of the sample is licensed for over $25 million.
Type of Investor: Eighty-four percent of the FIE respondents are 100 percent foreign owned. Very few foreign firms
have taken advantage of the 2005 Enterprise Law’s invitation to register as a domestic operation with foreign capital.
Sector: Sixty-five percent of operations are manufacturing, while only 30% of FIEs operate in the services sector. While
some analysts have raised serious concerns about a migration of FIEs into the real estate market, our data do not
show it. Less than 1 percent of FIEs were licensed for real estate activities (although more may be involved as sideline
Customers: Output of FIEs is primarily destined for export; 46.7 percent of all firms and 57 percent of manufacturing
enterprises export over half of their output directly or indirectly. Even the output sold within Vietnam is often sold to
foreigners, as 15 percent of FIEs list foreign individuals or companies in Vietnam as their primary market. One positive
development from 2010, however, is that a much larger share of sales (34 percent) is being sold to private individuals
in Vietnam, up from 15 percent last year.
Suppliers: Confirming concerns about the lack of domestic spillover raised last year, the survey finds that FIEs
purchase 57.5 percent of their intermediate products from overseas. Only about 40 percent of intermediate goods and
services are sourced domestically, with domestic, private operations counting for 2 percent of the total. The lack of
linkage to the domestic, private sector is worrisome, as it limits the opportunities for technology and productivity
Country of Origin: Similar to 2010, the findings revealed that investors from East Asia dominate the sample. Investors
from South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and mainland China alone account for 66 percent of the active businesses surveyed.
When we add investors from neighbors in Southeast Asia, the figure approaches 75 percent. It is important to remember
that a great deal of U.S. investment is listed as originating in Hong Kong and Singapore for a variety of logistical and
tax-based reasons; so U.S. investment is probably understated.
Drivers of National and Provincial Site Selections
Similar to last year’s analysis of determinants of entry
into Vietnam, firms continue to select Vietnam for its labor
cost advantage and political stability, but heavily discount
other governance factors. Labor quality, tax incentives,
availability of industrial zones (IZs), and availability of
intermediate goods and services were also selected as
positive factors. These results follow from the type of
investor Vietnam has attracted thus far. Low cost production
in the lowest node of the value chain is primarily in search
of cost savings through labor and tax incentives. Higher
value-added production emphasizes good governance
factors such as property rights protection and high quality
According to the 2011 FDI survey, 32% of the FIEs currently in Vietnam considered other countries (most commonly
Thailand, Cambodia, and China) before investing in Vietnam. Among these firms, 72% selected Vietnam over the
competition, while 27% invested in Vietnam as part of a multi-country investment strategy.
Most important factors for selection of Vietnam by FIEs
Question B4 in the FDI survey asked firms to record the top 3 reasons for their selection of Vietnam. This figure records
the total number of first, second, and third place votes for each factor. (see graph on next page)
FIEs in Vietnam do not think highly of efforts to control corruption, which was the lowest ranked indicator with a
score only slightly higher than zero. Other governance factors, such as land allocation, intellectual property, access
to decision makers, investor protection, and enforcement of contracts also ranked very low. Performance of the
macro-economy, due to Vietnam’s recent inflationary crisis, also was considered a detriment to investment.
Forty-five percent of investors considered investing in another province (most commonly, HCMC, Ha Noi, and Bac
Ninh). What factors led these investors to choose a particular province in Vietnam? Similar cost-saving factors to the
national drivers appear at the top of the list. Labor costs, tax incentives, and the presence of industrial zones, which
save money on land clearance and infrastructure, are the top three determinants.
What are the top 3
reasons for your
Changes in firms’ perception in the Business Environment over time
Improvements in the Key Business Environment Indicators for FIEs in 2011. Significant reform momentum was
identified in the following areas: 1) The amount of time FIEs must wait for registration and licensing, especially in Binh
Duong province; 2) fears about expropriation risk; 3) bribes paid during customs procedures; 4) policy bias toward
State Owned Enterprises; and 5) assessments of infrastructure (particularly, the quality of roads and energy stability).
Additional Areas for Reform were identified by survey respondents in: 1) Transparency of legal, normative documents;
2) Possession of land use right certificates; and 3) Customs Hold-Ups. Reforms in these areas could improve the
efficiency and quality of foreign investment in Vietnam.
Better FDI policies while enhancing quality of labor force for the future
FDI companies continue choosing Vietnam because of cheap labor, political stability and incentives for land and taxes.
Up to 65% of these enterprises operate in industries with low labor costs such as textile, garment, leather, footwear,
electronics and food processing. This FDI has been critical to poverty reduction by creating productive employment for
To attract high quality FDI projects, Vietnam needs to train a skilled labor force, establish a dynamic, creative and
high-level local business community and improve the quality of the business environment, such as intellectual property
rights, greater transparency in the policy-making process, and property rights protection, as well as connectivity and
quality of infrastructure in line with international standards. Such factors will create more favorable conditions for foreign
investors and improve productivity and economic growth. A high quality workforce is always considered the prerequisite
to attract investment into high-tech and high value-added production areas.
The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Vietnam
Competitiveness Initiative (USAID/VNCI) have developed the Provincial Competitiveness Index since 2005 and the
Foreign Invested Enterprise Survey since 2010. Annual reports and related information is available at www.pcivietnam.org.vn
Sustaining Vietnam’s growth: The productivity challenge
By Marco Breu, Richard Dobbs, Jaana Remes (McKinsey Consulting)
During the past quarter century, Vietnam has emerged as one of Asia’s great success stories. A nation once ravaged
by war, its economy has posted annual per-capita growth of 5.3 percent since 1986, faster than any other Asian
economy apart from China. Vietnam has benefited from a program of internal restructuring, a transition from its
agricultural base toward manufacturing and services, and a demographic dividend powered by its youthful population.
Vietnam has also prospered by joining the World Trade Organization in 2007, normalizing trade relations with the
United States, and ensuring that the economy is consistently ranked as one of the region’s most attractive destinations
for foreign investors.
The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates that the expanding labor pool and the structural shift away from agriculture
contributed two-thirds to Vietnam’s 7-percent GDP growth between 2005 and 2010. The other third has come from
improving productivity within sectors. But the first two drivers are now waning in their power to drive further expansion.
According to official Vietnam statistics, growth in the country’s labor force is likely to decline to about 0.6 percent a year
over the next decade, down from annual growth of 2.8 percent between 2000 and 2010. And given the extraordinarily
rapid pace of economic restructuring, it seems unlikely that further migration from farm to factory can boost productivity
sufficiently to compensate for weakening of labor inputs.
Instead, Vietnam needs to increase the labor productivity of its industries to achieve an economy-wide boost of some
50 percent - to 6 percent annually - if the economy is to meet the government’s own target of 7 to 8 percent annual GDP
growth to 2020. Without such an increase, we
estimate that Vietnam’s growth is likely to decline to
about 5 percent annually. The difference sounds small,
but it isn’t. By 2020, Vietnam’s annual GDP would be 30
percent lower than it would be if the economy continued
to grow at a 7 percent pace.
Achieving 6 percent annual growth in economy-wide
productivity is a challenging goal, but is not unprecedented.
Nevertheless, incremental change will not be sufficient
to achieve a productivity revolution of this magnitude.
Deep structural reforms within the Vietnamese
economy and strong and sustained commitment from
policy makers and firms will be necessary. (See
sidebar, “Implications for companies”) We have identified
four areas where significant policy changes could raise
the nation’s economic performance.
Stabilize the macroeconomic environment
The first priority for officials is to restore calm in the macroeconomy and ensure that Vietnam retains the trust and
enthusiasm of national and international investors. Surging inflation, repeated devaluations of the currency, a deteriorating
trade balance, and rising interest rates have undermined investor confidence. Looking at two metrics that have
prompted crises in other countries, Vietnam’s financial sector does appear to have a degree of fragility.
One metric is the rapid expansion in bank lending often accompanied by a parallel rise in non-performing loans. Total
outstanding bank loans have increased at a rate of 33 percent a year over the past decade, the strongest growth rate
recorded in any ASEAN country, China, or India. This year, the Vietnamese government introduced banking regulations
that include a 20 percent cap on annual credit growth and limits on loans to activities such as real estate and securities
Yet past experience suggests that these measures alone are unlikely to be sufficient to make sure banks are healthy.
Enforcement has been a challenge and Vietnam already faces a significant volume of bad debt. The government could
usefully develop a diagnostic of the state of individual banks, including realistic assessments of non-performing loans,
to monitor their viability and overall systemic risk. Vietnam should also ensure that sufficient supervision is in place to
intervene in banks whose portfolios are excessively risky and consolidate weaker banks when necessary.
A second measure of potential stress is Vietnam’s foreign exchange position. Vietnam has seen its trade deficit widen
despite multiple devaluations of its currency, the dong, and together with a flight to dollars and gold, these have contributed
to a drying up of foreign reserves. Vietnam needs to address the dual challenge of inflation and exchange rate policy in
a way that raises investor confidence and encourages hidden foreign reserves to be brought back and appear in the
official economy so these funds can be productively invested.
Strengthen productivity and growth enablers
To facilitate a transition to higher productivity activities, new sources of comparative advantage must be found that go
beyond low-wage labor. Vietnam has already established itself as an attractive investment location for foreign investors,
yet it lags behind many of its Asian peers in overall international competitiveness rankings. Government efforts to
simplify business start-up processes, improve permitting processes, and reduce tax rates have already helped to
improve Vietnam’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business survey by ten places. Vietnam now needs to institutionalize
processes to ensure continuing progress.
Two specific categories where Vietnam
scores poorly on the World Economic
Forum’s competitiveness index are
infrastructure and education. Vietnam has
already invested significant amounts on its
infrastructure. The country’s road density
surpasses that of the Philippines or Thailand,
and investment in new ports and airports in
Da Nang and Can Tho have improved
connections to the rest of the world. Yet
interviews with executives and international
assessments of infrastructure strongly
suggest that more investment will be
necessary to support the economy’s transition
to increasingly productive activities.
Given that funding for infrastructure
projects will likely be limited, Vietnam
should assess which projects offer the
greatest economic benefit, linking investment
decisions more closely to the country’s
broader development strategies and
emphasizing stronger coordination between government agencies. Tourism offers a good example. Central government
can play a key role in ensuring that public-sector investment in infrastructure, transportation, and real estate is closely
tied to spending by the private sector in areas like hotels and resort developments and transit services. Exploring further
public-private partnerships, such as the Lang-Hoa Lac Expressway in Hanoi, may also be warranted.
As many employers report a shortage of properly trained workers and managers, another opportunity for Vietnam is to
facilitate transparency and quality control within the nascent private education industry. Simply by gathering and publishing
the performance statistics of such schools, running online assessment polls in which students can evaluate their school
programs, and requiring trainers to certify their own educational attainment would raise the quality of these institutions.
The state can also ensure that common standards are applied to all public and private institutions providing education
and training programs to increase transparency, and to issue certificates to those who graduate certified training
programs showing that they mastered a specified set of skills. These certificates would make it easier for employers to
identify qualified workers.
Create industry-specific policies to encourage productivity and growth
Getting economy-wide regulation right is a necessary condition for productivity and growth but is not sufficient to sustain
the broad-based growth from which Vietnam has benefited in recent years. Experience shows that variations in
industry-specific government action go a long way toward explaining divergences in how sectors perform across
economies. Vietnam’s next challenge is to establish an enabling environment at the level of individual industries and
sectors by enhancing domestic competition and helping industries to move up the value chain in industries like software
development and IT services.
Steps that Vietnam could take include:
1. Make targeted investment to raise agricultural quality and productivity
Vietnam has made notable strides in boosting the production and export of its valuable agricultural products. Now
Vietnam needs to help rural sectors develop greater expertise so that they can continue to increase yields and shift to
higher value crops . In seafood, for example, government regulation and standards can play a role but Vietnam can also
help to improve the quality of its fish farming by more actively promoting internal control systems in which international
organizations train local farming cooperatives to inspect for quality among their own members.
2. Focus on raising productivity-led growth in manufacturing
Vietnam would benefit from encouraging growth in sectors that are already expanding quickly because of domestic
demand and can move into exports, such as electrical equipment. To facilitate this transition, the government can play
an important role, particularly in segments where local players are fragmented and lack the scale to take on the export
challenge. It can also put in place programs to improve the quality of products being exported. Another priority is to help
companies develop longer-term strategies to facilitate the stage-by-stage transition to higher-value-added activities
across global business value chains in segments including electronics. Today, Vietnam’s exports are relatively
low-value-added in comparison with other Asian economies.
3. Help raise energy efficiency
The government could create explicit customer efficiency targets for utilities, establish efficiency standards for consumer
goods and industrial equipment, and deepen consumer understanding of energy efficiency by creating energy service
corporations and utility-executed demand-side management programs. Retrofits of existing industrial plants could also
generate significant returns.
4. Develop government capabilities
Reform in the ownership of, and management
incentives for, state-owned enterprises (SOEs)
can be an important institutional vehicle for
improving productivity and growth. While Vietnam
has already established a State Capital Investment
Corporation (SCIC) to energize the reform of
SOEs and improve the efficiency of the
economy’s capital utilization, the SCIC could look
at the governance and operational approaches
that other countries have used to improve the
performance of their public enterprises.
Moving the economy toward more productive
growth opportunities will be complex and
demanding, and the government needs stronger
organizational effectiveness and managerial
skills to execute a comprehensive policy agenda.
Several approaches have proved successful
elsewhere. Malaysia, for instance, has made good
use of a government delivery unit to coordinate
key reforms. Public-private partnerships are another vehicle, although they must be well designed to deliver on their
promise. Vietnam has already engaged private firms to help build and operate the Phu My 2-2 and Phu My 3 power
generating stations, and can broaden its use of such partnerships. Another institutional tool that has proved effective in
Singapore and Ireland, for instance, is an agency dedicated to attracting foreign investment. If Vietnam were to set up such
an agency, it could forge partnerships with cutting-edge firms to attract advanced factories and technology. To do so,
however, will require an understanding of what these firms are looking for in the Vietnamese market.
Implications for companies
Many companies have prospered in Vietnam because of the country’s strong and stable growth and inexpensive and
abundant labor. In the future, they may no longer be able to rely on either, so they will need to ensure that their business
and financing models are sufficiently robust to sustain a period of lower growth rates and potentially economic volatility.
Marco Breu is a principal in McKinsey’s Hanoi office. Richard Dobbs is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI)
and a director in McKinsey’s Seoul office. Jaana Remes, based in San Francisco, is a senior fellow at MGI.
Article is an extract from McKinsey Quarterly article “Taking Vietnam’s Economy to the Next Level”.
Full article available at www.mckinseyquarterly.com.
ASEAN-EU Business Summit
2012 ASEAN-EU Business Summit
in Cambodia a “Great Success”,
says EU Commissioner De Gucht
The 2nd ASEAN-EU Business Summit, held on Sunday the 1st of April has come to a close with a list of recom-
mendations in 4 key business sectors that was handed over to the 10 present ASEAN Economic Ministers during a
two-hour session in the afternoon (please visit www.asean-eubizsummit.com to view and download the final position
papers and recommendations).
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen welcomed participants and officially opened the event, acknowledging the importance
of trade and investment between the two regions and promoting the establishment of more free trade agreements
between the regions. EU Commissioner De Gucht has announced the start of bilateral talks on a free trade agreement
with Vietnam (more information on next page) at the summit and confirmed that regional free trade agreements remain
a priority for the European Union.
Organised by the Cambodian Ministry
of Commerce, the European Chamber
of Commerce in Cambodia, the EU
Delegation to Cambodia and the
Cambodian Chamber of Commerce,
the 2012 ASEAN-EU Business Summit
brought entrepreneurs, investors and
public policy-makers from both the EU
and ASEAN to Phnom Penh, where
they discussed key issues related to
ASEAN-EU trade relations while
identifying new business and investment
opportunities on both sides.
The summit convened over 350 regional
and international business leaders.
With an eye on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) planned for 2015, the private sector panels and working groups
made concrete recommendations to the responsible ministers to move forward with an open and improved ASEAN
market in logistics (customs documentation procedures, open sky agreements), manufacturing (standardisation of the
ASEAN regulatory regime in the sector), services and ICT (a common ASEAN visa for foreign workers was stipulated,
more investment in education and skilled labor, alignment of regulatory procedures, telecommunications) and Agri-
business (capacity building in food security, food inspection). Please visit our website for a complete update on the
ASEAN Secretary General Dr.
Surin Pitsuwan, EU Commissioner
for Trade, Karel De Gucht and
Cambodia's Minister of Commerce
and Chairman of ASEAN Economic
Ministers, Cham Prasidh hosted
the event which has been called a
“great success” by the participants
Cambodia's host to the event, H.E.
Cham Prasidh, thanked the summit
organisers and participants for their
expert input into the policy making process, and promised detailed answers to
the discussions from the ASEAN economic ministers within the coming two months.
ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan
B2B Summit held on 2nd April
On the 2nd of April, a Business2Business (B2B) meeting with ASEAN and European business leaders as well as leading
Cambodian businessmen established networks and discussions on the opportunities offered by the Cambodian legal
services’, tourism and the garment industry.
This event also featured an exclusive presentation on "Building Business in Myanmar" by Mr. Winston Set Aung,
Economic Advisor to the President of Myanmar, and Mr. U Win Aung, President of the Union of Myanmar
Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The popular session has introduced this exciting new market
as a potentially major player within ASEAN.
Photos by Sam Jam / Eurocham Cambodia
EU-ASEAN Business Council: Key partner of
Business Council 2nd ASEAN-EU Business Summit and regionally expanding
PHNOM PENH - The EU-ASEAN Business Council successfully engaged in a dialogue with policy-makers and the
local and regional business community from the ASEAN region and Europe at the 2nd ASEAN-EU Business Summit in
Phnom Penh on 31 March -1 April 2012. It officially welcomed the recently created European Chamber of Commerce
in Cambodia as a full member of the Council and the European Chamber of Commerce of Laos as an observer.
The 2nd ASEAN-EU Business Summit is an important milestone
to support and encourage further ASEAN economic integration.
The EU-ASEAN Business Council is one of the key partners of
the Summit with high-level representatives from the European
business community speaking on the panels as well as submitting
regional position papers that were presented to the ASEAN
Economic Ministers. In a series of private side-meetings, the
Council members met with the EU Trade Commissioner Karel
De Gucht, the ASEAN-Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan,
as well as Ministers of selected ASEAN countries, including the
host, H.E. Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia, to
EU-ASEAn Business Council representatives with EU Trade share their feedback and provide inputs to support economic
Commissioner Karel De Gucht in Phnom Penh on 31 March. growth and integration of the region.
The EU-ASEAN Business Council also met with EU Commissioner for Trade, “The EU-ASEAN Business
Karel De Gucht who said: “The EU-ASEAN Business Council has an important
Council has an important role
role to play in the EU strategy in South East Asia. I welcome its expansion to
include key European businesses operating in Cambodia and eventually Laos.
to play in the EU strategy in
The EU and ASEAN are both real powerhouses in international trade terms. South East Asia.”
And so it makes real business and political sense to see us working more closely - Karel De Gucht,
together as that will see our companies go from strength to strength”. EU Trade Commissioner
During the welcoming ceremony of the Summit, the EU-ASEAN Business Council Chairman, Mr. Stefano Poli,
emphasized the important achievements of the Council since its launch in May 2011 at the 1st ASEAN-EU Business
Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Mr. Poli said: “During 2011, the EU-ASEAN Business Council positioned itself as the key advocacy partner for the
European businesses in ASEAN. This year our goal is now to consolidate what we achieved, enlarging our Council to
new members, continuing our efforts to represent our members interests and help them to grow their operations in the
region (and in new markets like Myanmar), fostering dialogue and increasing awareness of the great opportunities
opening up for both European and ASEAN businesses”.
The Summit confirmed the importance of European businesses in South East Asia to economic growth in the region.
The economic ties between the European Union (EU) and ASEAN are strengthening year by year. In 2010, trade
between ASEAN and the EU amounted to EUR 150 billion. This has further upward potential with the establishment of
Free Trade Agreements and Comprehensive Economic Partnerships between the EU and ASEAN countries.
The EU-ASEAN Business Council is a pan-ASEAN platform for European businesses to advocate their trade and
investment interests in South East Asia. It acknowledges the importance of ASEAN as a market for European companies
as well as a key supply chain centre for trading with the rest of the world and strongly supports its growth and integration.
ASEAN attracted EUR 10 billion worth of European investments in 2010 and high trade volumes between the EU and
ASEAN are making the EU ASEAN’s largest trading partner.
EuroCham Vietnam Chairman Preben Hjortlund stated that: “We welcome the
“It is encouraging to see accession of EuroCham Cambodia to the EU-ASEAN Business Council and the
that the network of European ECCIL in Lao PDR being granted observer status. It is encouraging to see that
the network of European business chambers is growing larger in ASEAN in
business chambers is growing general and in Vietnam’s neighboring countries in particular. We look forward to
larger in ASEAN” working closely with the European business community in both Cambodia and
- Preben Hjortlund Lao PDR. The enlargement of the EU-ASEAN Business Council underlines the
EuroCham Chairman important role of the organization in advocating European trade and investment
interests in the region.”
ASEAN-EU Business Summit
EU and Vietnam move closer to starting trade negotiations
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Vietnamese Minister
for Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang have concluded preparations
for starting negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement.
Meeting in the margins of the 11th ASEAN-EU Economic meeting in
Phnom Penh, they concluded a scoping paper that covered the
topics to be included in the future trade negotiations. The comple-
tion of this preparatory work is an important stepping stone towards
launching trade negotiations with Vietnam because it sets out the
framework for the trade negotiations.
"Today's decision marks a clear desire to deepen trade relations
and improve the business environment between the EU and
Vietnam. The EU and Vietnam are complementary economies with
much to gain from ever closer cooperation. In stepping up our trade
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Minister for relations, we will provide new opportunities for importers, exporters
Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang meeting in Phnom Penh. and consumers as well as contributing to generating growth in both
economies." said Commissioner De Gucht. "The EU is committed
to increasing its engagement with dynamic Asian emerging markets to boost trade and growth."
Both sides have agreed on ambitious targets for the areas to be covered in the upcoming negotiations for a free trade
agreement. The negotiations will cover a broad range of issues including elimination of import tariffs, trade in services,
nontariff barriers to trade (such as technical barriers or the rules on foodstuffs) and the trade aspects of rules relating
to intellectual property and competition. The aim of the preparatory work is to make sure that both parties go into the
negotiation with the same objectives. The EU has conducted similar preparatory work, known as "scoping exercises", with
other countries, which have proven useful for subsequent negotiations as basic parameters are set from the beginning.
The Commission will now consult with Member States before the European Union and Vietnam launch the negotiations.
Vietnam would be the third partner of the EU in the ASEAN region, after Singapore and Malaysia, with whom it has
started negotiations on a free trade agreement.
EuroCham Vietnam Chairman Preben Hjortlund commented: “EuroCham welcomes the successful completion of the
scoping exercise and looks forward to formal negotiations to conclude a Vietnam – EU free trade agreement. EuroCham
is ready to advise on specific contents of a future FTA, and assist the authorities with the recommendations from the
private sector side."
Vietnam is one of the 10 members of the Association
of South East Asian Nations. The ASEAN countries
together are the EU's third largest trading partner
outside Europe with annual bilateral trade in goods
and services of some € 175 billion.
After FTA negotiations between the EU and a group
of ASEAN countries stalled, EU Member States
in December 2009 gave the green light for the
Commission to pursue negotiations towards free
trade agreements with individual ASEAN countries,
beginning with Singapore in March 2010, followed
by Malaysia in October 2010. At the same time, the
EU has not lost sight of the ultimate goal of achieving
an agreement within a regional framework.
In 2011, EU-Vietnam trade in goods was worth over € 18 billion, with almost € 13 billion in exports from Vietnam to the
EU, resulting in a € 7.6 billion trade surplus in Vietnam's advantage. Vietnam's key export items include footwear,
textiles and clothing, coffee, seafood, leather furniture; while the EU exports were high tech products including electrical
machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles, pharmaceutical products and iron and steel.
Vietnam is the EU's fifth largest trading partner within ASEAN (and 35th out of the EU's total trade). Conversely, the
European Union is Vietnam's 3rd largest trading partner (after China and the US). The European Union is one of the
largest investors in Vietnam (approx. US$ 1.767 billion which represented more than 12% of Vietnam's total committed
FDI in 2011 according to Vietnamese sources). The European Union and Vietnam initialled a Partnership Cooperation
Agreement in 2010, as a first step towards establishing closer economic and political ties.
On the occasion of the visit of the Belgian economic mission led by HRH Prince Philippe accompanied by more than 250
delegates and the local Belgian community to Vietnam. BeluxCham organized a breakfast seminar at Sheraton Hotel for the
delegation. The seminar brought more than 100 participants informative and insightful topics about “Retail & Distribution in Vietnam”.
A special thanks to two speakers Mr Kristof Claes - Brand Marketing Director of Brand Partner and Mr Bart Verheyen - Procurement
& Merchandising Director Food of METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam.
◄ In the evening of the same day, we organized the “Vietnam Business Achievement
Awards” for the second time to honor outstanding and successful Belgian/Luxembourg
enterprises and leaders. The ceremony, held at the Sheraton Hotel in the presence of
HRH Prince Philippe, the Ambassador, Honorary Consul and hundreds of official delegation
participants. The Saigon River Factory Vietnam won the award for the best company. Dinh
Vu Industrial Zone, a joint won a special award for long-standing business achievement.
The Prize “The best senior manager award” went to Bart Verheyen, Procurement &
Merchandizing Director at Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam. Jan De Nul NV won the best
company award for a firm active for less than three years in Vietnam.
On 29th March, Beluxcham successfully held the Annual General Meeting, in which Mr. Michel Goetghebeur officially became a
new member of BeluxCham Board of Directors after receiving the majority vote.
Connecting: To enhance connections between French business people and other businessmen
in Vietnam, CCIFV organises Thursday networkings. In Ho Chi Minh City these networkings
take place every last Thursday of the month, whereas in Hanoi they are every second Thursday
of the month. The theme is different each time, to maximize reach to many industries.
Promoting: CCIFV is always looking to expand its communication to be able to promote members
in a more efficient way. A new partnership with Le Courrier du Vietnam, the main French
language newspaper published in Vietnam was set up in February. Le Courrier will now
regularly diffuse information from CCIFV on their website and weekly newspapers.
Supporting: Helping French companies to develop their activities in Vietnam is one of CCIFV’s
main missions. Today, CCIFV supplies French/English-speaking employment reference,
support in prospecting and implementing human resources. The Recruitment service, offered
only to members, provides thorough knowledge about companies needs in terms of recruitment
CCIFV Events in April: April 18th: New Entrepreneurs Committee “The Business Plan”
(HCMC&Hanoi/FR) – April 20th: Breakfast with CCIFV’s members (HCMC/EN) – April 24th:
Building and Civil Engineering Committee with INSA Lyon (HCMC&Hanoi/FR) – April 25th:
Sourcing Committee “Purchasing methods” (HCMC/FR) – April 26th: Debate Luncheon with the
French Ambassador “Which place for Vietnam in the global economy after its WTO entry”
(Hanoi/FR/Members only) – April 26th: Monthly networking (HCMC).
On Friday 16 March DBAV organized a "DBAV & Dutch Embassy Event" in the Intercontinental Hotel
Saigon. The Dutch Ambassador Mr. Scheffers spoke about bilateral trade relations between the
Netherlands and Vietnam including the follow up after the successful trade visits in 2011. In addition
Mr. Kelkes, First Secretary Economic & Commercial Affairs pointed out the various Trade Services
offered through the Embassy in Hanoi as well as the Consulate General in HCMC to Dutch
In February a company visit was organized for the DBAV members to the Mercedes factory in Ho
Chi Minh city and the DBAV Hanoi Branch organized a visit to the Pepsi factories on 11 February. ►
Upcoming events: On 30 March the DBAV Hanoi branch has arranged another company visit and
on 21 April the National Day - Queens Day - will be celebrated by the Dutch in Vietnam. The Dutch
Network Drinks will traditionally be held every 3rd Friday in HCMC and every 2nd Thursday in Hanoi.
Announcement: Mrs. Hyunju Santen- Park will take over the DBAV office from Mrs. Felicia Loudon
per 16 April 2012, all DBAV contact details will remain unchanged.
GBA Business Meeting, 05th March: GBA was pleased to welcome Louis Taylor, EuroCham Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of Standard Chartered Bank and Ralf Matthaes, Regional Managing Director of TNS Vietnam, as guest speakers at the
Business Meeting in March. Mr. Taylor shared some key Vietnam economic issues as well as the outlook on banking and financial
markets, while Mr. Matthaes gave an overview of market in 2011 and a forecast in 2012.
As usual, GBA together with NordCham are going to organize this annual event on Saturday, 21st April. Once again, the event will
serve with imported Flensburger beer, live band, the amazing pom pom girls and a sumptuous Northern European buffet.
Oktoberfest in Saigon 2012
GBA and its co-organizer Windsor Plaza Hotel are preparing for this biggest event of the year, the Oktoberfest Saigon 2012. The
festival will run from October 5th to October 13th (with a break on October 7th and 8th) and will again offer the foot-stomping
music, refreshing German brew and delicious food which everyone has come to expect. More than 15,000 people are expected to
participate. The Oktoberfest Saigon this year promises to bring a lot of amazing activities to mark its 20th Anniversary in Vietnam.
Please sign up before 1st of May as the 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:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit GBA website: www.gba-vietnam.org for more information.
On February 27, ICHAM’s General Assembly was held: 2011 activities were introduced, the financial statement 2011 was approved
and the new Icham Council (that will take office for the next 2 year period) was approved as follows: Michele D'Ercole, Fabio
Albanese, Paolo Fornari, Leonardo Buscaroli, Van Tinh Tra Le.
On February 29, during the first ICHAM Council, the following responsibilities have been assigned: President: Michele D'Ercole, Vice
President: Fabio Albanese (Datalogic Scanning Vietnam), Treasurer: Van Tinh Tra Le (Tran Le & Partners), Councillor: Paolo Fornari
(Viet Y Trading service and Technology), Councillor: Leonardo Buscaroli (Interglobo Far East)
On March 6, ICHAM co-organized with the Italian Embassy a meeting with the
Vietnamese Customs at the Italian Ambassador's Residence in Hanoi. The aim of
the meeting was to help Italian companies to solve some issues with the customs
On March 30, in Bologna (Italy), the Icham Chairman, Michele D'Ercole. joined as
speaker the "Roadshow Vietnam". The Roadshow was sponsored by the Italian
Embassy in Vietnam together with the UNIDO project "SME Cluster Development"
(funded by the Italian Cooperation), and aimed to inform Italian entrepreneurs
about the investment and market opportunities in Vietnam. An important initiative
in a difficult moment for Italian companies. The "Roadshow Vietnam", that stopped
off in Milan, Padova, Bologna and Pesaro from March 26 to 30, aimed to provide
Italian entrepreneurs with essential information not yet widespread, to get to know
and evaluate investment opportunities in the country.
Nordic Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Hanoi Branch)
On January 13th, Nordcham Hanoi organized a New Year Dinner for its members at the Saigon Restaurant at InterContinental Hotel.
25 people had a joyful evening with good food and atmosphere. A great way to kick-off the New Year.
On 7 February, Nordcham Hanoi organized a dialogue on intercultural communication at Press Club. The Moderator who was Anna
Pia Hudtloff pinpointed some of the ongoing challenges related to internal communication in Nordic companies operating in Vietnam.
On February 3rd, representatives from Nordcham Hanoi returned to the National Pediatrics Hospital in Hanoi to donate a total of
VND 20 million to five poor families with children fighting serious pediatric diseases such as blood cancer.
On March 16th, Nordcham Hanoi launched a new type of activity – company visits. The first company visit was organized at Carlsberg.
Members visited the new brewery in Me Linh. After a factory tour, the members listened to Carlsberg’s strategy for the Vietnamese
For an update on coming events in April and May, please visit the Nordcham Hanoi website - www.nordchamhn.org.vn.
HCMC 10 th January - Business Luncheon on Talent Management in a Volatile
Environment & 2011 Vietnam General Industry Compensation Survey Results
Talent management remains one of the most pressing and challenging
issues for business leaders globally. With Asia Pacific being one of the
fastest growing regions and in the context of an uncertain and volatile
business climate, the need for effective talent management is more important
than ever to organizations in the region. Yet many organizations are
struggling to find the right approaches and solutions to implement a
successful talent management strategy. Bob Charles, Regional Leader at
Towers Watson Asia Pacific and Jessica Lu, Senior Consultant at Towers
Watson Vietnam shared their insights on talent management. They also
provided the latest market trends including salary increases, staff
turnovers and other HR issues in the market to help attendees with their
HCMC 13th January - Business Luncheon on European CEO’s Vietnam Outlook 2012
in comparison with a dynamic ASEAN
Vietnam’s major strengths are its stable political
environment, high degree of personal security,
and a stable government and political system.
However, EuroCham members also have several
concerns with Vietnam, involving its infrastructure,
cost of borrowing, inflation and forex stability.
Companies are satisfied with the availability of low
cost labor, but are concerned with the availability
of skilled personnel. What is the outlook for
Vietnam for 2012? How does it compare to other
ASEAN countries? The speakers Marc Townsend -
Managing Director of CB Richard Ellis Vietnam, Louis Taylor - CEO Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos of Standard Chartered
Bank and JV Raman - Chairman of Unilever Vietnam shared their perspectives on these topics and their expectations for
the year 2012.
HCMC 14th February - Vietnam-EU Relations: Achievements and Prospects 2015
The European Union (EU) is seeking to broaden and diversify the
agenda of its relationship with Vietnam, beyond development
co-operation and trade, to increased political co-operation on issues
of global concern. The EU works closely with Vietnam under the
framework of the Cooperation Agreement to ensure an effective
environment for trade and investment relations. Relations will soon be
further strengthened through a new Partnership and Cooperation
Agreement (PCA) which will extend the areas of cooperation. Especially
now, with the impending start of official negotiations on a free trade
agreement, the relations between Vietnam and the EU are set to
deepen further. The incoming Ambassador and Head of Delegation of
the European Union to Vietnam Franz Jessen took this opportunity to
introduce himself and answer questions of the European business
community in Vietnam.
Hanoi 23rd February – Business Luncheon on Vietnam’s Economic Outlook
When most of the world is still in less than favorable economic conditions, Vietnam
appears to have continued GDP growth in 2011. But what kind of growth and
development figures does the year 2012 hold for businesses? EuroCham started
year 2012 with a business luncheon on Vietnam’s economic outlook in which Ms.
Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s Vietnam country director was invited as special
guest speaker to give an insight on the business climate in Vietnam in the year of
Dragon. In addition, many other issues were discussed, such as how the government
will balance growth and inflation, the best policy to achieve the nation’s economic
reform and the other priorities that the government should focus on this year were
brought into discussion. The event drew a large number of participants.
Hanoi 28th and HCMC 29th February – Business Luncheon on Sustaining Vietnam’s
Growth: The Productivity Challenge
Vietnam’s economy is transforming and growing fast. However, along with the
growth, the country is facing more challenges. Labour productivity growth needs to
speed up in order to uphold the country’s current development. Mr Maco Breu –
Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company discussed the productivity challenge
in Vietnam, an agenda for sustaining growth and implications for business. The
event was held in both Hanoi and HCMC. Turn to pages 8/9 of this Newsletter for
an in depth look at Vietnam’s productivity challenge.
HCMC 2nd March - Business Luncheon on Vietnam’s New Economic Policies - Impact
on FDI Enterprises
The 12th Vietnamese Communist Party Congress XII has finished with a new
management system together with changes to political and economic polices.
These changes will have an effect on business operation of foreign enterprises in
Vietnam. During our luncheon, Mr. Tran Du Lich - Economic Committee Member
of the National Assembly and Mr. Sumit Dutta - Chief Executive Officer of HSBC
Bank Vietnam commented on the impact and efforts of Vietnamese government
to improve the investment environment in the country.
HCMC 15th March - Special Dialogue with MoIT Deputy Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong
This special event gave EuroCham members the rare opportuity to interact directly with and raise their questions to The
Ministry of Industry and Trade Deputy Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong, a key decision maker in the Vietnamese Government.
Among the issues discussed were Energy, Fuel and Trade.
Hanoi 16th March – Business Luncheon on Leading Teams with Cultural Intelligence
Cultural awareness is one of essential elements of doing business overseas. Ms
Pui Yee Chan – our guest speaker from MDF IndoChina Training delivered a
comprehensive presentation on how the difference in cultural settings would
affect the working approach, communications in daily work and management
styles. Participants took part in a small evaluation task and were encouraged to
share their experience while working with people from different cultures and
different countries, especially in Vietnam.
Hanoi 23rd Mar – Business Luncheon on Foreign Direct Investment in Vietnam – Key
Findings and Implications for Businesses from the latest PCI/FDI Survey
EuroCham invited Dr. Jim Winkler – Project Director of USAID – Vietnam
Competitiveness Initiative, to a business luncheon to give a talk about the current
situation based on findings from the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI/FDI)
Survey and possible implications for businesses that operate in Vietnam. His
presentation highlighted the profile of existing FDI in Vietnam, the key policy and
regulatory issues that are facing investors, government, and also FDI contribution
to economic growth. In addition, he explained more about the key issues related
to trade and investment such as customs and informal charges. To find out more
about the PCI/FDI survey turn to page 4-6 of this Newsletter.
Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) Secretariat transitions to Consortium jointly led by
EuroCham, AmCham and VCCI
For more than a decade, the VBF has served as a not-for-profit,
non-political channel for nurturing public-private dialogue with the aim of
developing a favorable business environment that attracts domestic and
foreign private sector investment and stimulates sustainable economic
development in Vietnam.It has done so primarily through specialized
working groups as well as general forums preceding the semi-annual
Consultative Group Meetings. The objective of the VBF is to provide a
public-private dialogue channel to develop a favorable business
environment that attracts private sector investment and stimulates
sustainable economic growth in Vietnam. The objective of the VBF is to
represent and promote the interests of the national and international
New VBF Secretariat Launching Ceremony held business community in Vietnam as well as to promote investment and
in Hanoi on February 8th. trade between Vietnam and the respective countries/regions.
On the 8th February, the consortium members celebrated the transition of the VBF Management, and not the VBF as
such in Hanoi. There will be no change in the nature and quality of the VBF. In particular the working groups and their
work on the business issues will remain as the “heart” of VBF’s advocacy activities. What will change, is merely the
management: The Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) Secretariat
transitions to a 16 members strong consortium jointly led by Euro-
Cham, AmCham and VCCI, and supported by the Worldbank
Group, and a broad number of 12 associated business chambers
including in particular the Asian chambers represented in
Vietnam, such as Japan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, as
well as VASEP, HBA and LEFASO on the Vietnamese side. A new
Management Board of the VBF was elected today, at the venue
of the new VBF Secretariat, composed of 7 members, including
AmCham, EuroCham, VCCI, Japan, Korea. Two Co-Chairmen
were elected, Alain Cany, Chairman of EuroCham, and Vu Tien
Loc, Chairman VCCI. The new Management Board will manage
the new VBF Secretariat at the EuroCham office in Hanoi. VBF
Secretariat Officer, Ms. My Tra Vu (Tramy), former IFC staff, was
EuroCham Chairman Preben Hjortlund with VCCI Chairman
hired by the consortium to make sure the transition goes Vu Tien Loc in Hanoi.
smoothly in the coming months.
Vietnam Business Forum Secretariat: G/F, Sofitel Plaza Hanoi, No. 1 Thanh Nien Road, Hanoi Tel: (84 4) 3715 2223
Email: email@example.com Contact point: Vu Tra My (Tramy@vbf.org.vn) (0904 061 387)
Hanoi and HCMC 7th March - EuroCham Annual General Meeting
The EuroCham Annual General Meeting
was held on the 7th March in Hanoi and
HCMC simultaneously. At the meeting,
members voted on the EuroCham
accounts and new membership fee in
VND for 2012 as well as the allocation of
money to the EuroCham social responsibility
fund. EuroCham members also cast their
votes for the 2012 Executive Committee
members. Please see overleaf for details.
The Executive Committee hosts 16 members from ten countries representing a diverse range of business and industry
interests. The new Executive Committee aims to provide a stronger and more unified voice on behalf of our members
over the coming months and new 2012 Executive Committee looks forward to interacting with EuroCham members
over the course of the year!
Outgoing Chairman Alain Cany, who has been
leading EuroCham for the last 7 years was
thanked by current board members for his
tremendous achievements with EuroCham,
turning the organisation into what it is today. He
received a big round of applause from members
in Hanoi and HCMC.
2012 EuroCham Executive Committee
The EuroCham Annual General Meeting was held on the 7th March in Hanoi and HCMC simultaneously.
At the meeting, members voted for the 2012 EuroCham Executive Board.
It consists of the following members:
Chairman Vice Chairman Vice Chairman Vice Chairman
Preben Hjortlund Tomaso Andreatta Christophe Hirtz Thanh Le
Managing Director Chief Representative General Manager Country Chairman
Hanoi International Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A Sanofi Shell in Vietnam
Technology Centre-HITC Ltd.
Vice Chairman Vice Chairman Treasurer Committee Member
Louis Taylor Andreas Stoffers Tom van der Lee Nicolas Audier
General Director Head Business Development Finance Director Managing Partner
Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam, PCAM - Private & FrieslandCampina Vietnam Audier & Partners
(Vietnam) Limited Business Clients Vietnam LLC
Deutsche Bank AG, Vietnam
Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member
Simon Johannes Britsch Jean-Michel Caldagues Luc Cardyn Kristof Claes
Finance Director Vice President, Country Head Partner Marketing
Bayer Vietnam Ltd. Chief Representative BNP Paribas - Vietnam Brand Partner Co., Ltd
Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member
Nicola Connolly Erdal Elver Costantino Sambuy Vo Quang Hue
General Director President & CEO President & General Director Managing Director
Adecco Vietnam Siemens Ltd Piaggio Vietnam Co., Ltd. Robert Bosch
Joint Stock Company Vietnam Co., Ltd.
To contact a member of the EuroCham Executive Committee please email
firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall forward your message
Leadership and Organisational changes at EuroCham
After the EuroCham Executive Committee 2012 (ExCo) was voted in at the Annual General Meeting on the 7th March,
Preben Hjortlund was elected as EuroCham Chairman by the ExCo during its first meeting. This almost coincided with
the appointment of Paul John Jewell as a the EuroCham Executive Director. Paul is taking over the role from Dr. Matthias
Duehn, who left EuroCham in mid-March after a two year term as Executive Director. Both Preben and Paul are looking
forward to working together closely with all EuroCham members in organizing a wide range of activities to provide a
stronger and more unified voice on behalf of European Businesses in Vietnam.
Preben Hjortlund, Paul John Jewell,
EuroCham Chairman EuroCham Executive Director
After gaining his Masters Degree in After graduating from Imperial College,
Economics, Preben underwent 3 years London, Paul joined BP where he had
of further education in Denmark and a variety of roles in finance, mergers
the U.S., before he joined the United and acquisitions, business development
Nations in Bangkok in 1987. From and management in a variety of
1990-93, Preben was the country industries including oil, coal and FMCG
director in Vietnam for the United spread over 20 years; then joining
Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO. In Totals management team.
1994 he became CEO of the Schmidt Group of Companies In Asia, Paul has worked in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong
activities in both Vietnam and Thailand. Kong, India, and for some 13 years in Vietnam. Paul came
Preben has been appointed Chairman and board member to Vietnam first in 1991 where he negotiated and then
of numerous Danish and foreign joint ventures, as well as subsequently managed BPs first onshore joint venture
Vietnamese companies registered at the Stock Exchange. based in HCMC; and then returned for Total to manage joint
He is also the initiator of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce, ventures in Dong Nai and then Haiphong. For the last 2
where he was Chairman for 6 years. In 2007, Preben was years Paul has been based in Hanoi as the only foreigner
appointed as Copenhagen’s Goodwill Ambassador. In 2009 employed by Petrolimex, where he advised the Board on
he received the Danish Export Association’s diploma and
restructuring issues relating to equitisation.
His Royal Highness Prince Henrik’s Medal of Honor.
This is Preben’s second time as EuroCham Chairman. In With this experience Paul has an appreciation of the potential
2004 he first became Chairman of EuroCham for a period of of Vietnam, but also of the problems and frustrations, and
time and he has been serving as Vice-Chairman on hopes to bring this understanding to his new role as
EuroCham’s Executive Committee since 2005. Executive Director of Eurocham.
EuroCham Executive Committee 2012 initiatives
The 16 members of the EuroCham Executive Committee are going to take more active roles in 2012 an d have each been
given responsibility for upcoming EuroCham activities and events. Please see the table below for details on who will be driving
specific EuroCham initiatives this year:
Treasurer VEUBF VBF EU-ASEAN National MNC Group Sector
Business Business Committees
Lead Tom Tomaso Louis Taylor Thanh Le Thanh Le Preben Nicola
van der Lee Andreatta Hjortlund Connolly
Support Andreas Stoffers Paul Jewell Erdal Elver Nicolas Audier
Luc Cardyn Louis Taylor
Project 30 SRF Sub Green-Biz Food Festivals Award/ MNC Group General
Committee 2013 Gala Dinner Events
Lead Nicolas Quang Hue Vo Erdal Elver Tomaso Andreatta Kristof Claes Preben HCMC:
Audier Hjortlund Luc Cardyn
Quang Hue Vo
Support Nicola Connolly Tomaso Andreatta Costantino Sambuy Kristof Claes Tom van der Lee Erdal Elver HANOI:
Paul Jewell Andreas Stoffers Thanh Le Andreas Stoffers Paul Jewell Louis Taylor Nicola Connolly
Simon Britsch Simon Britsch Thanh Le
Sector Committee (SC) Report January - March 2012
Please see below an update on the activities of various EuroCham Sector Committees. To find out
more about our sector groups, please visit www.eurochamvn.org
CropLife SC: EuroCham CropLife Vietnam SC continues to work closely with the Plant Protection Department, Ministry
of Agriculture and Rural Development to promote the safe use of pesticides, under its Stewardship Project. Acknowledging
CropLife Vietnam’s remarkable achievements and devotion, CropLife Asia continues to commit its support to CropLife
Vietnam through both Stewardship Project and Anti-Counterfeiting Project 2012.
Human Resources (HR) and Training SC: in February, EuroCham HR SC organized a meeting with other Chambers,
including AmCham, CanCham, Hong Kong Business Association, BBGV, aiming for a joint effort and better coordination
on HR and Training issues. On the 24th March, EuroCham HR SC presented its position paper at the dialogue on
revised Labour Code with the Social Affairs Committee of Vietnam’s National Assembly and MOLISA..
Information Technology Sector Committee: established in October 2011, the IT SC quickly set out its prioritiy activities
for 2012, namely IT-related legislation, data protection, IT employee skill set and IT business development. The IT SC
has also developed its own Code of Conduct, aiming to assist members in their work and to set standards for being a
role model for (European) IT Industry in Vietnam.
Multinational Companies (MNCs) Group: as one of its efforts to raise the visibility of the EuroCham Whitebook 2012,
the MNCs group is cooperating with the VITV channel for a talk show named EU-VN Biz. The talk show serves as a
dialogue channel between European companies and Vietnamese experts/decision makers on issues mentioned in the
Whitebook. On the 15th March, EuroCham MNCs organized a dialogue with the MoIT Vice Minister Hoang Quoc
Vuong, focusing on energy and power issues. Also, another dialogue on the revised Labour Code is going to be held in
April in Hanoi with the participation of MOLISA Vice Minister Mr. Pham Minh Huan.
Nutritional Foods Group: EuroCham Nutritional Foods Group (NFG) continues to have Price Law, Food
Regulations/Standards and Decree 21 as its priorities in 2012. In March, EuroCham NFG sent its position paper to the
Office of Government and Ministry of Health, to raise its concerns on the draft Law on Food Safety. Meanwhile, EuroCham
NFG is cooperating with AmCham to send a joint-letter to the Ministry of Finance to put forward constructive comments
on some critical issues in the draft Price law, i.e. price registration, list of essential goods subject to price stabilization.
Pharmaceutical Group SC: Pharma Group has worked devotedly to promote Code of Ethics in the Pharmaceutical
industry. In February, Pharma Group has strongly supported the Ministry of Health’s campaign in promoting good
behaviors in Vietnamese hospitals nationwide. Internally, Pharma Group is going to finalize its own Code of Ethics for
all 24 members. Pharma Group continues to work closely with the Drug Administration of Vietnam to enhance the
capacity of Vietnamese health staff. The upcoming training course is planned to be organized in June 2012.
Tourism & Hospitality SC: In January, EuroCham Tourism and Hospitality SC sent a congratulatory letter to the Ministry
of Culture, Sport and Tourism on their new logo and tagline. In March, the Sector Committee also cooperated with some
law firms to address members’ concerns on the implementation of Decree 95 for the tourism and hospitality sector. The
SC is planning to establish its sub-law committee, serving as the focal point for members’ legal concerns.
“VN-EU Biz” brings business issues to the TV screen
“VN-EU Biz” is a breakthrough
program sponsored by the
European Chamber of Commerce
in Vietnam and arranged by JJW
& VITV Channel. It is a series of
panel discussion programs
broadcast bi-weekly, supported
by special reports on off-weeks,
focused to recognize improvements
and call attention to remaining
challenges in Vietnam's business
environment across various sectors.
It is breakthrough in nature as the panelists (guests) are leaders and decision makers from the European
business community as well as local government, ex-government, business leaders, and experts. The program is
bilingual – broadcast in Vietnamese and English following the native language of the speaker, then subtitled in
English and Vietnamese.
All programs broadcast on VITV (VTC8/SCTV8) on cable systems in Hanoi (VCTV & BTS) & HCMC (SCTV). Additionally,
all programs broadcast via website in real-time @ www.vitv.vn.
CSR Calendar Forum held in
Hanoi and HCMC
The SWITCH project “Helping Vietnamese SMEs adapt and adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) for improved
linkages with global supply chains in sustainable production” aims to improve the environmental and social performance
of Vietnamese SMEs and enhance their international competitiveness through better understanding of corporate social
and environmental standards and strengthened cooperation between Europe and Asia. The lead partner is UNIDO and
there are 8 partners in this project including VCCI, EUROCHAM, LEFASO, VITAS, VEIA, ILLSA (Institute of Labour
science and social affairs), STAMEQ (Directorate for standards and quality), MTEC (National Metal and Materials
Technology Center - Thailand) and SEQUA (Germany).
CSR Calendar Forum on Consumer Issues “Protecting Consumer – Searching the dialogue improving business”
was held in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi on the 12th and 13th January, 2012
As a consumer of goods and services, have you ever been disappointed about what you buy and use? Have you
complained about products with producers and got what you asked for? How a company should react on consumer’s
concerns? What can business learn from its clients? Recent cases show that Vietnam consumer’s rights are more and
more violated. Whether the recent release of Law on Consumer Protection can improve the situation? Business has to
respect the law and should be aware of protecting consumer’s health and safety in order to develop sustainably and
become a trustful part of national economy.
Main topics in this event were:
The responsibility of producers (is it limited to warranty?)
The rights of consumers
The legal framework on consumer protection
What are YOUR experiences, suggestions and expectations?
Speakers of this event came from Consumer protection Department of Vietnam Competition Authority in Hanoi. There
are four representatives of Vietnamese companies from Bitis, Hanoi Rubber Company, Garco 10 and Dong Xuan
knitting Ltd share experience in this event.
CSR Calendar Forum on Intellectual Property Rights was held in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi on the 6th and 4th
What does the term “Intellectual Property” remind you of? Patents, industrial designs, trademarks or geographical
indications? How about branding? Does it mean simply logo, slogan or trademark? Imagine that you are a business
owner producing a typical product. You have your own famous design and trademarks which attract a lot of customers.
Then your competitors copy your product and sell with cheaper price. Do you think your customers will buy this fake
product? If Yes, how do you protect your brand? This event was held in line with the ceremony of 10 years of the World
Intellectual Property Day - April 26.
Beside the keynote speech delivered by Mr. Nguyen Van Bay, National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam, we
also invited company representatives to share their experience in protecting company brands.
For more information please visit the project webpage www.csr-vietnam.eu
Privacy Law -
Is there privacy law in vietnam and is it compatible with international models?
Vietnam is gradually developing relevant privacy law that will enhance confidence in privacy protection.
At present, Vietnam does not have comprehensive privacy legislation, but it does have short
privacy sections in their laws and regulations on a scattered basis.
Vietnam’s privacy principles are very short, and do not appear
to be based on an international model. However, as a member
of APEC, Vietnam’s short privacy principles are compatible
with the APEC Data Privacy Framework (2004) at this stage.
Noticeably, the current Law on E-Transactions, which represents
one of the e-commerce laws in place, is based on the
UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996).
What will constitue privacy and how is it protected by law?
Vietnamese privacy law sets forth no definition of privacy. However, there appear some vague rights and provisions
under Vietnam’s 1992 Constitution (as amended in 2001), the 2005 Civil Code and a number of relevant laws and
regulations cover privacy and protection thereof. We examine hereunder selected rights and provisions in these legal
instruments with a view to giving a background of Vietnamese privacy law.
In light of the Constitution, privacy protection is only extended to (i) places of residence and (ii) correspondence,
telephone and telegraph communications. Indeed, Article 73 of the Constitution provides that citizens have the right to
be inviolable in their places of residence; no one is allowed to enter into another person’s home without the latter’s
consent, unless otherwise authorized by law; the confidentiality and safety of citizens’ correspondence, telephone and
telegraph communications are guaranteed; and only authorized persons have the right to conduct residence searches,
to open, check and hold citizens’ correspondence and telegraph communications and then only as regulated by law.
These would require significant expansion of items eligible for privacy protection to align Vietnam with international
The Civil Code has a separate chapter governing personal rights, which
are defined as civil rights personal to each individual and may not be
transferred to other persons, except where otherwise provided by law.
In general, when the personal rights of an individual are infringed, such
person is entitled to (i) make his or her own denial, (ii) demand, or
request a competent body or person to compel, the infringing party to
terminate the infringing act and to issue a public apology and retraction,
and (iii) demand, or request a competent body or person to compel, the
infringing party to compensate for damage.
Personal rights include, among others, the right to secrets of the private
life of an individual and the right to safety of place of residence. No
definition is provided of information relating to secrets of the private life of an individual, and therefore the phrase may
be widely interpreted by the competent authorities. Although both rights are not expressly defined they are also to be
respected and protected by law.
Certain mechanisms of protection of the right to secrets of the private life of an individual are stipulated in the Civil
Code. Firstly, the collection and publication of information and data about the private life of an individual must have the
consent of that person or, where that person has died, has lost the capacity for civil acts or is not yet fifteen (15) years
of age, the consent of a parent, spouse, adult child or representative of that person must be obtained, except where the
collection and publication of information and data is required pursuant to a decision of an authorized State body.
Secondly, the safety of the mail, telephone, electronic mail and other forms of electronic information of an individual
shall be ensured and kept confidential. Finally, control of the mail, telephone, electronic mail and other forms of
electronic information of an individual may only be conducted in cases provided by law and pursuant to a decision
issued by an authorized State body.
The Civil Code also requires the service providers to keep confidential with respect to the information of which it has
had knowledge during the period of providing the service as agreed or as provided by law.
Laws on Other Sectors
The Commercial Law is silent on what constitutes privacy. However, like the Civil Code, it introduces a general obligation
of the commercial service providers that they must keep confidential any information made known to the service
provider during the process of provision of the services if so agreed or required by law.
Law on E-Transactions
When conducting e-transactions, a State body must process to ensure not
only (i) the integrity, security and confidentiality of e-transactions but also
(ii) confidentiality of information related to e-transactions. The law further
obliges the State bodies not to use information related to e-transactions for
other purposes contrary to the regulations on use of such information as
well as not to disclose such information to any third party as stipulated by
A body, organization or individual shall also not be allowed to use, provide or disclose any information on privacy or
information of another body, organization or individual which the former has accessed or controlled in an e-transaction
without the consent of the latter, unless otherwise stipulated by law.
Law on Credit Institutions
The Law on Credit Institution prohibits employees, managers and executives of a credit institution or foreign bank
branch from disclosing the business secrets of such credit institution or foreign bank branch.
Credit institutions and foreign bank branches are prevented from providing information to any other organization or
individual about accounts, deposits, deposited assets or transactions of clients conducted at such credit institutions or
foreign bank branch, except when requested by a competent State body in accordance with law or the client consents.
Law on Information Technology
The Law on Information Technology disallows organizations and
individuals to perform any of the following acts: (i) hacking into, modifying
or deleting information of another organization or individual in the
network environment; (ii) preventing access to information by other
organizations and individuals in the network environment, unless the
law so permits; (iii) cracking, stealing or using passwords, codes and
information of another organization or individual in the network
environment; and (iv) other acts causing loss of safety or confidentiality
of information of another organization or individual which is exchanged,
transmitted or stored in the network environment.
Law on Post
As a postal service provider, it burdens the obligation to guarantee letter secrecy in accordance with the law and not to
disclose information about the use of postal services, opening or destroying postal articles in contravention of law.
Law on Telecommunications
In light of the Law on telecommunications, confidentiality of personal information about any organization or individual
which is transmitted via a public telecom network shall be protected. Telecom enterprise must not disclose personal
information about telecom service users comprising the user’s name and address; number and location of transmitting
or receiving server, times of calls and other personal information supplied by the user when entering into a contract with
such enterprise, unless otherwise provided by law.
VB Law (formerly known as DC LAW)
Welcome to our new Corporate Members
Tran Le Investment
Mr. Fabrice Carrasco
Ms. Catherine Dulude
Mr. Roberto Ferrero
Mr. Vandevoorde Glenn
Mr. Bart Ziemerink
EuroCham Membership Directory 2012 Discount Handbook 2012
Enjoy the latest discount offers exclusive to EuroCham
members at some of Vietnam’s leading lifestyle venues
in the new 2012 pocket-sized annual EuroCham
Discount Partner Handbook, which is delivered to all
members throughout Vietnam in April 2012.
The latest 2012 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
The European Food Festival 2012 will be held in Hanoi on the 26th of May and in HCMC at the end of June.
Don’t miss this great family event with fine food, and drinks from all over Europe and a wide variety of
entertainment for the whole family.
Please note that the EuroCham offices in Hanoi and HCMC will be closed from April 30. - May 1. 2012 for
Vietnam Country O ce:
Germanischer Lloyd Industrial Services Vietnam Co., Ltd
Address: Unit 1001, 10th Floor, 77 Hoang Van Thai St., Tan Phu Ward
District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Phone: +84 8 5416 0252 Fax: +84 8 5416 0254