European businesses trust in Vietnam’s recovery

By Dat Nguyen   January 17, 2024 | 12:00 am PT
European businesses trust in Vietnam’s recovery
Vietnam EuroCham chairman Gabor Fluit speaks at an event on Jan. 16, 2023. Photo by courtesy of EuroCham
European businesses trust in Vietnam’s potential for recovery and will increase their investment in the country, a representative has said.

European companies have not reduced their investment in Vietnam despite economic challenges, and one example is Nestle Vietnam’s recent announcement of a $100 million expansion, said Gabor Fluit, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).

"This demonstrates the confidence of European companies in Vietnam," he said Tuesday at the release of EuroCham’s 2024 White Book, an annual publication which offers insights of European businesses’ activities in Vietnam.

The most recent Business Climate Index of EuroCham considers Vietnam a rising star in attracting global investment, and European companies expressed higher confidence in the last quarter of 2023.

But Fluit anticipated that 2024 would be a difficult year with slower trade and economic uncertainties.

The key to overcoming these obstacles is an adaptive policy to match with ongoing situations.

EuroCham suggested that Vietnam needed to issue regulations to determined land use time for apartments, houses, offices and hotels.

The country also needs to have a policy to protect investors in case a real estate development company becomes insolvent or goes bankrupt.

It also needs to be transparent in foreign ownership of houses by announcing a list of projects that foreign investors cannot buy and give them title deeds on the remaining projects.

European companies want the approval of construction equipment simplified to reduce project delays. Last year, they faced difficulties in receiving approvals for fire safety equipment.

They also want clearer regulations on merger and acquisition and antitrust so they can make firm investment decisions in Vietnam.

Ngo Hai Phan, head of the Department of Administrative Procedures Control under the Government Office, said that last year 628 regulations had been removed to improve the system.

This year, at least 20% of internal procedures will be cut or simplified.

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