A European delegation comprising 30 business executives from environmental and water technologies companies met their Vietnamese counterparts in HCM City on Thursday to network and explore business opportunities.
Speaking at the event, Võ Tân Thành, director general of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HCM City, said the EU has been one of Việt Nam’s most important trade partners for the past two decades.
Bilateral trade last year was worth US$41.4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent.
Since European and Vietnamese products and services are more complementary than competitive, the two sides could continue to increase trade, Thành said.
Talking about water and the environment, he said in recent years combating global warming and protecting the environment had been among the most significant concerns the world over, including Việt Nam, he said.
Việt Nam had to deal with many disasters caused by El Nino and climate change, he said.
“Therefore, both our Government and people are trying their best to build a green economy and ensure sustainable development.”
With its strengths in technology, “The EU is a significant partner for us in this.”
Tom Corrie, deputy head of the co-operation and development section at the EU Delegation to Việt Nam, said “it is now an interesting time to do business in Việt Nam.”
“Its economy is very dynamic, growing at 6-7 per cent a year,” he said, adding that free trade agreements, in particular the EU-Việt Nam FTA, which takes effect in 2018, would create opportunities for businesses in the two countries to work together.
The business mission came to HCM City as part of the EU Business Avenues in South East Asia programme (EUBA) to help SMEs tap business opportunities in the fast-growing region.
The programme will see 20 targeted week-long business missions to Southeast Asia for up to 1,000 European SMEs in a range of sectors over the next five years, with the inaugural mission focusing on environmental and water technologies visiting Singapore and HCM City.
In HCM City, the visitors introduced a broad range of solutions to address the acute problems faced in Asia – the lack of clean water and environmental degradation.
Trần Thị Hiếu Hạnh, deputy director general of the city’s Department of External Relations, said “HCM City always welcomes and creates favourable conditions for foreign investors to invest and do business in the city”.
The event was organised by the VCCI’s HCM City branch, EUBA and some other partners