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Date 28/09/2020-13:52:00 PM
Pushing up investment attraction from France to Vietnam in the post-Covid-19 period
(MPI) - This is the topic of the Vietnam - France Online Seminar jointly organized by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Embassy of Vietnam in France and the French Trade Union (MEDEF) on September 28th, 2020. Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong and Chairman of the Vietnam - France Business Council and MEDEF Vice Chairman Francois Corbin co-chaired the seminar.

The seminar was attended by the French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery, the French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs, the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, representatives of more than 70 big French corporations and companies, members of MEDEF, representing all economic sectors of France such as: Total Group, ADP Ingenierie Group, EGIS, MICHELIN. On the Vietnamese side, there were the participation of the Vietnamese Ambassador to France, Government Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Transport, and representatives of many local departments and line ministries nationwide.The seminar took place in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, where global enterprises tend to restructure their production chains and supply chains to multilateralize and diversify investments to avoid reliance on one country or one partner, and searching for new, safe and effective investment locations.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong speaking at the Seminar.Photo: MPI

Speaking at the seminar, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong said that Vietnam still ensured its normal operation and prevented economic disruption occurring.GDP in the first 6 months of 2020 increased by 1.81%, and is expected to increase by 4.1% in 2020 thanks to proactive and effective solutions to the fight against Covid-19.Vietnam is one of the few countries in the world achieving positive growth.Major financial, monetary and credit balances were basically maintained.In the first 8 months of 2020, CPI was controlled at below 4%.Import and export was estimated at over 174 billion USD, up by 1.6% over the same period. Vietnam expects GDP growth to reach 6.7% towards 2021. Vietnam is considered as an attractive destination to shift investment flows from major countries around the world. This depends on many factors, in which political, economic, social and political stability, policies and legal corridors being built, revised and gradually perfected in the direction of creating favorable conditions for foreign investors in Vietnam, are the core contents, creating national credit and gaining confidence of domestic and foreign businesses.

Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Phuong said that Vietnam - France relationship was in the best stage of development since the two countries signed the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership in 2013. Vietnam is the second ASEAN country after Singapore and the first developing country in Asia signed a Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), an Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) with the EU, opening more opportunities for Vietnamese investors to approach each other's markets.Accordingly, the attraction of foreign investment to Vietnam will be proactively and selectively implemented, with quality, efficiency, technology, and environmental protection being the key evaluation criteria. Vietnam’s foreign investment cooperation strategy in the coming period will give priority to projects of advanced technology, new technology, high technology, clean technology, modern governance, with high added value, spillover effects and connecting with global production and supply chains.

Chairman of Vietnam - France Business Council, Vice Chairman of MEDEF Francois Corbin.Photo: (MPI)

Speaking at the seminar, Chairman of the Vietnam - France Business Council cum Vice Chairman of MEDEF assessed that a very large number of French and Vietnamese corporations and businesses participating in this online seminar were the best and clearest proof of the interest of the French or Vietnamese business community.This interest primarily comes from the internal characteristics of Vietnam such as: the country is at the center of ASEAN which is expected to be the most promising region in the world in the next few years.Vietnam has for several years taken steps to open up and reform to achieve an encouraging growth rate.It is worth noting that Vietnam is likely to maintain a positive growth rate in 2020, despite the significant impact of Covid-19 on economic activities.These internal characteristics make Vietnam a bright candidate for value chain transformation in Asia.

Speaking at the seminar, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Thiep said that this online investment promotion conference showed great interest and expectation of the French business community to Vietnam and vice versa.This is an opportunity for Vietnamese policy makers to have dialogues with French businesses, sharing about new investment trends and solutions to reform Vietnam's investment environment, and proposing ideas and recommendations to improve the efficiency of cooperation towards success when investing and doing business in Vietnam.

Panorama of the Seminar.Photo: MPI

Giving presentation on environment, policies and orientations for foreign investment cooperation in Vietnam at the Seminar, Director General of Foreign Investment Department, Ministry of Planning and Investment Do Nhat Hoang said, Vietnam's GDP growth was 1.81% in the first 6 months of 2020. GDP is expected to increase by 2-3% in 2020 to 262 billion USD. GDP per capita was nearly 1,715 USD and trade turnover reached 517 billion USD in 2019. Foreign exchange reserves of Vietnam by March 2020 reached 84 billion USD, inflation was controlled and maintained at a reasonable level.In the first 9 months of 2020, realized investment capital of foreign investors is 13.76 billion USD, down by 3.2%.However, the rate of decrease has slowed down gradually compared to the first months of the year.The total newly registered and adjusted capital, and capital contribution and share purchase is 21.2 billion USD.Export of foreign invested sector including crude oil, fell by 4.5%, excluding crude oil down by 4.3%.The positive point is that the adjusted capital up by 6.8% (5.1 billion USD), and the trade surplus of the foreign investment sector offsetting the trade deficit of the domestic sector.

According to data from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, France is currently ranked 15/138 investment partners in Vietnam, 2nd among EU countries in terms of investment in Vietnam with 605 FDI projects worth 3.62 billion USD.Foreign investors are interested in the Vietnamese market as it has safe political environment, open society, high and stable economic growth, competitive production costs, abundant human resources, golden population, potential market, comprehensive international integration, open policies with various competitive incentives and strategic positions.

Regarding the orientation to attract foreign investment, Vietnam proactively and selectively attracts foreign investment, taking quality, efficiency, technology and environmental protection as the main assessment criteria in the coming period.Projects with advanced technology, new technology, high technology, clean technology, modern governance, high added value, spillover effects, technology transfer, and linking with global production and supply chain will be prioritized.To prepare for the FDI inflow shifting, Director General Do Nhat Hoang said that the Government of Vietnam has recently revised the Enterprise Law and Investment Law to speed up and simplify procedures, and creating an open legal corridor, favorable conditions for foreign investors to come to Vietnam for investment and business cooperation.To prepare for the wave of foreign investment, Vietnam is reviewing the industrial park's land reserve, training human resources, developing action plans, promoting supporting industries, and connecting with big FDI projects. In particular, to remove difficulties and speed up the process of creating an open legal corridor for investors, the Government has established a Working Group to promote investment cooperation led by Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, in which Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung is the standing deputy leader to focus on removing bottlenecks in investment, attracting large-scale, technology-intensive and quality projects.

Regarding updates on EVFTA Agreement, specific investment facilitation mechanisms for Vietnam in the coming time, and Investment Law, Deputy Director of Department of Legislation, Ministry of Planning and Investment Vu Thi Chau Quynh said that Vietnam has signed bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements (BIT) with 66 countries and territories as of September 2020. The first BIT was signed as early as in 1990. In which, 21 BITs are signed with EU member countries.

Ms. Vu Thi Chau Quynh said that the promulgation of the revised Investment Law in 2020 has offered foreign investors with transparency in market access through the Government's announcement of the lists of sectors and trades in which foreign investors’ market access is limited or not allowable. In addition to these sectors and trades, foreign investors have the same access to the market as domestic investors.The Law ensures property ownership and business freedom through a commitment not to expropriate, nationalize assets by administrative measures, guaranteeing freedom of business, right to transfer capital and profits abroad, and stable investment incentives in case of legal changes.It also provides provisions to attract selective investments and offering special investment incentives for projects with a great impact on socio-economic development up to 50% more than the current highest incentives;encouraging R&D, production and trade of products as results of scientific research, innovation activities, production of goods or supply of services to create or join value chains and associated industrial clusters, developing environmental industries;enhancing new business models, in which the Government is assigned to detail new forms of investment to ensure adaptation to new ways of organizing business that are rapidly developing under the impact of the fourth Industrial Revolution.

The seminar took place openly, in which French businesses sent many questions about priority investment projects of Vietnam in the coming time.French businesses and corporations expressed their strong support and confidence in the opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the context of signed EVFTA and EVIPA agreements, highly appreciating Vietnam’s achievements in socio-economic development, especially its breakthroughs and openings in institutions and policies.Along with that are good signs of the constantly increasing bilateral trade turnover. The cooperation and investment relationship between enterprises of the two countries also gains positive development.The two sides also agreed to continue exchanging information with each other on issues that need to promote bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and France, creating an open legal corridor to attract French investment in areas where both sides are interested, in which, focusing on the fields with high technical content and high technology in accordance with the strengths of prestigious French corporations in the international arena./.


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