Update: 15:56 | 15/05/2021
The foreign investment consulting firm Dezan Shira & Associates’ Vietnam Briefing website has published an analysis on a trend of increasing EU investment in Vietnam and the reasons why the nation has become a formidable competitor in attracting foreign investment in Southeast Asia.
According to the article, with a foreign trade volume of about US$41.3 billion, the EU is currently among Vietnam’s largest trading partners. Meanwhile, Vietnam is the EU’s 16th and 2nd world largest trade partner in ASEAN, respectively, according to the European Commission.
Vietnam has become a formidable competitor in attracting foreign investment in Southeast Asia, according to Dezan Shira & Associates’ Vietnam Briefing website.
The EU’s main exports to Vietnam are high tech products, including electrical machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles, and pharmaceutical products, while Vietnam’s main exports to the EU are telephone sets, electronic products, footwear, textiles and clothing, coffee, rice, seafood, and furniture.
The article said the in-effect EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) with its liberalisation of customs duties and the deepening of trade and business relations, represents a great opportunity for EU companies. It will provide greater access to an emerging market with almost 100 million people, including about 55 million workers. In addition, the agreement opens opportunities for partnership, dialogue, and cooperation and creates stronger relations with the Southeast Asian region.
Thanks to the current ratified investment agreement EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), it should be easier for EU companies to invest in the previously highly restricted sector, the article added. It cited an example that the maximum foreign shareholding in commercial banks has been increased from 30% to 49%.
It also mentioned that the EuroCham’s Business Climate Index (BCI) Q1 2021 in a survey revealed that European business leaders remain confident in Vietnam’s economy, anticipating that Q2 performance will further improve. Apart from international travel restrictions, it’s business as usual in Vietnam. The BCI Index hit 73.9 points in Q1 2021 – the highest since Q3 2019. The business leaders also see benefits of the EVFTA, with more than 60 percent benefitting from the agreement.
An international trade research institute under the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) has also released a report saying that Vietnam has been noticed as an attractive investment destination in Southeast Asia. The Republic of Korea's direct investment in the nation reached US$8.3 billion in 2019, accounting for 21.4% of its total direct investment overseas.