Implementing Roundtables on Economic and Business Development in the Context of a world Post Covid-19 and of the EVFTA

[2 September 2020] — 2020 witnesses the relationship between EU-Viet Nam being closer than ever. The two sides just ratified the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which will bring our bilateral relations to an all time high. The agreement comes into force in the context that the Covid-19 continues to take toll on the global economy, including that of Vietnam and the EU. Undetered by the pandemic, the governments in Vietnam and in EU member States have strengthened their commitments to promote economic growth and to strengthen investmnet and trade cooperation between the two sides.

The trade agreement is an historic milestone in the EU Vietnam cooperation. It is expected to be helpful for both Vietnam’s and EU’s economy. Especially for Vietnam, from day one of the effectiveness of the agreements, the reduction in tariffs which are in some cases very significant at about 25% will be applicable to 65% of EU exports to Vietnam and 71% of EU imports from Vietnam. Almost all other tariffs will be eliminated after 10 years. Any reduction in and elimination of tariffs will act like an effort to restart and boost economic development post Covid-19. Therefore, the EVFTA will be an important factor to nurture opportunities for economic recovery. 

Together with EVFTA and EVIPA, the current disruptions of GVCs can be the opportunities to reshape the trade and investment cooperation of Vietnam. Vietnamese businesses may like to consider if they can diversify the GVCs and their participations in such chains. Vietnam can become more diversified and less vulnerable to similar shocks in the future.  

In such a context, the EU Delegation in Vietnam 03 roundtable events on cconomic and business development in the context of a world Post Covid-19 and of the EVFTA. The three roundtables will cover the following topics:

  • Roundtable 1: “The EVFTA and Vietnam’s integration in global value chains in a world of post post-Covid 19
  • Roundtable 2: “Digital economy, digital transformation of the Vietnamese economy and actions by authorities and business
  • Roundtable 3: “An enabling environment for European and Vietnamese Start-ups and SME development in Vietnam

The three roundtables are implemented by EU Delegation in Vietnam in association with Eurocham, VCCI and/or with other local business association or chamber under the framework of the EU-Vietnam Partnership Facility (EVPF). Economica Vietnam is a partner of EVPF in implementing the three roundtables.  

The Roundtable “The EVFTA and Vietnam’s integration in global value chains in a post-Covid 19 world” has been organized on 28 August 2020. This is the first of a series of three roundtables which are organized in this context. The roundtable aims for (i) Increasing understanding among Vietnamese enterprises, business associations, policy makers about the EVFTA and recommendations on how to best utilize EVFTA to support Vietnam to benefit from further integrating into the GVCs post-Covid 19; (ii) strengthen the position and visibility of the EU as a strong supporter of Vietnam in development of the business sector (especially SMEs), in global economic integration, and in the development of digital economy and in a post-Covid world; and (iii) initiate exchange of expertise between the EU and Vietnam in policy and action to support Vietnamese businesses to participate in and upgrade in GVCs.

Economica Vietnam is commissioned by the EVFP to develop the concepts, agenda, contents and to work with speakers and panelists for the event. Economica Vietnam also developed a background information reader, the key reading material, for the roundtables. Experts of Economica Vietnam also contributed to the moderation of the panel discussions and the overall flow of the roundtable. The firm also provide overall technical backstopping for the three roundtables.

Two other roundtables will be organized in October and then December 2020.

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