The European Union (EU) will begin a project to establish a center next month to assist European companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), to invest and do business in Việt Nam under an agreement signed in Hồ Chí Minh City (HCMC) on Monday.
The agreement was clinched by Franz Jessen, ambassador and head of the European Union Delegation to Việt Nam, and Pierre-Jean Malgouyres, chairman of CCIFV – the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Việt Nam.
“The signing today is to make sure that further European investment will be coming to Việt Nam.
Particularly, we are trying to increase the investment from European SMEs.”
Jessen told reporters after signing the agreement.
CCIFV is the implementation partner of the project worth 3.8 million euros for the center.
Jessen said this business center would be located in HCMC but would also organize activities in Hà Nội to support European SMEs in this market.
European chambers of commerce will also get involved to bring into play this initiative.
Malgouyres said the center would operate as an open consortium consisted of European partners in order to maximize assistance for the European SMEs to enter Việt Nam.
He detailed this center would operate for least five years but expected that it would be in place for many more years with support from the EU.
European SMEs when facing difficulties related to market access and coping with legal issues when entering and operating in Việt Nam would be helped to address these challenges and find reliable partners, Malgouyres answered a relevant question raised by the Saigon Times Daily after the signing.
Jessen said the business center would officially operate during a visit of a vice president of the European Commission leading a delegation of European companies to HCMC in the next three weeks to promote cooperation between SMEs of Europe and Việt Nam.
With collaboration of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, these European SMEs will meet with local counterparts to explore opportunities for forming joint ventures.
According to the European Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam (EuroCham), the European business delegation will sound out the prospects in a number of areas, including tourism, agriculture and pharmaceutical.
The EU ambassador Jessen said many European companies had asked about the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Việt Nam as this would affect their future decisions.
He added the two sides would convene at the fifth round of negotiation for their FTA in Hà Nội next week and things had progressed very well.
By BINH NGUYÊN
Source: The Saigon Times Daily