EVFTA promotes French business interests in Vietnam

VOV.VN - After being in effect for almost one year, the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has been continuing to open up plenty of fresh opportunities for trade exchanges between the nation and France, thereby attracting French firms to do business in the Vietnamese market.

This comes following the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Saône-et-Loire province and the Vietnamese Embassy in France co-hosting a seminar on the EVFTA in Mâcon city in Saône-et-Loire province on September 16, with the event attracting the participation of representatives of nearly 50 local enterprises.  

Upon addressing the event, Michel Suchaut, chairman of the CCI of Saône-et-Loire province, said that Vietnam is currently undergoing economic, industrial, and social changes. Its consumption growth, along with the emergence of a middle class which is expected to account for about 50% of the population by 2035, will create an increasingly strong demand for firms operating in the fields of transport infrastructure, energy, environment, and logistics. 

For those reasons, the Vietnamese market has strong potential for French importers, exporters, and businesses in general, especially for those from Saône-et-Loire province, he said.

Suchaut added that the country has similarities with Saône-et-Loire which can contribute to developing the mutual relationship, adding that Vietnam is strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia, while Saône-et-Loire is also a strategic crossroads in the centre of Europe. 
In response, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang underscored the potential and opportunities for foreign investment and international trade activities in the nation. 

Along with the EVFTA, the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), once officially approved, will create a framework that will boost stable and long-term economic, trade, and investment co-operation. It will also ensure the implementation of trade liberalisation commitments between the country and the EU, particularly with France, thereby creating an impetus to boost the strategic partnership between the two sides, he said.

Participants were updated on the investment and trade development environment in the Vietnamese market, the potential and opportunities that the EVFTA brings to French companies, as well as regulations and issues that businesses must focus on when promoting trade and investment activities. 

Thibaut Giroux, president of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam (CCI France-Vietnam), noted areas which are in high demand in the Vietnamese market. This is in addition to sectors which can be considered French strengths, including food, wine, industrial products, machinery, healthcare, technology, energy, and banking. 

He went on to highlight the nation as an attractive market for foreign investors, adding that developing trade and investment relations with the country also means expanding trade with Southeast Asia, a dynamic market that accounts for 10% of the world's population. 

France now represents the third largest EU investor in the Vietnamese market with a total registered capital of over US$3.6 billion, primarily in the fields of industry, manufacturing, processing, waste treatment, and real estate.

It was the fifth biggest importer from the country in the EU last year, with total Vietnamese export turnover to the European nation reaching approximately EUR5.38 billion, equivalent to over US$ 6.3 billion.

During the event, Vietnamese trade and investment representatives also introduced in detail the areas of export strength that Vietnam can fully meet for French importers, such as electronic components, consumer goods as well as unique agricultural products.