Scene at the mid-term Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) 2018 (Photo: baodautu.vn)
Co-hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and management board of the VBF Alliance, the event featured three sessions, focusing on value chain, response to technological challenges, and financial resources for sustainable development.
In his opening speech, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the year 2018 marks 30 years of foreign investment attraction in Vietnam. The VBF has supported Vietnam’s efforts in improving business climate over the past 21 years.
The minister noted that the business community in Vietnam, comprising of both foreign-invested and domestic enterprises, have grown over the years in both number and strength, becoming an important driving force for the country’s economic development.
He stressed that the foreign-invested sector has made considerable contributions to Vietnam’s economic achievements. So far 128 countries and territories have invested in about 26,000 projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of US$326 billion with more than US$180 billion disbursed.
The FDI sector has contributed about 25% to the total social investment and roughly 20% of the GDP. As much as 58 percent of FDI was poured into manufacturing and processing, creating 50% of total industrial production value, 72.6% of the total export, and 3.6 million direct jobs and 5-6 million indirect jobs.
However, Dung said linkage between foreign-invested and domestic firms remains below expectation while support industry development and technological transfer are limited.
VBF Co-Chair and Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vu Tien Loc said Vietnam has made important steps towards trade liberalisation and economic openness via the government’s signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, completion of legal review for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and implementation of the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.
In addition, the 10 other FTAs that Vietnam has signed have opened up more doors for Vietnamese goods to many important markets and stimulated its efforts to improve economic institutions and build a sustainable, stable and attractive business environment in the eyes of domestic and foreign investors.
At the same time, Loc voiced several concerns, saying that trade tension is likely to increase, resulting in unforeseeable changes in the world markets, thus complicating competition in Vietnam and other markets. Capital, currency and securities markets are also face the risk of uncertainty.
He also noted that though Vietnam’s export revenue has not reduced, the export growth is dropping over months. Vietnam’s exports, especially aquatic products, are meeting with new barriers in major markets.
The US has imposed anti-dumping tax on Vietnamese tra fish and basa while the EU has issued yellow card warning and inspected all batches of imported Vietnamese aquatic products, he said, adding that timely response is needed before the situation worsens.
The forum serves as a dialogue mechanism between the Government of Vietnam and the national and international business communities to improve business conditions necessary to foster the development of private enterprises, facilitate investment environment, and contribute to sustainable economic growth.