Vietnam remains key investment destination for European firms

Tuesday, 17/01/2023 16:19
The confidence of European enterprises in Vietnam’s economy declined for a second quarter but the S-shaped country still remains in the top five global investment destinations for their companies, the latest Business Climate Index (BCI) published by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) showed last week.
 Photo for illustration. (Source: VOV)

According to Vietnam News Agency, the BCI dropped below the baseline to 48.0 in Q4 2022, a drop of 14.2 points compared to three months ago and 25 points from the first quarter of the year.

Though Vietnam’s economy grew over 8% for the whole of 2022, this data comes amid continued global economic volatility resulting from a storms of factors including a slowdown in global growth, interest rate hikes, sustained inflation and bruised consumer confidence.

The number of companies expecting economic stabilisation or improvement in Q4 dropped to 27% from 42% in Q3, while the number of firms with growing sense of pessimism doubled from 19% in Q3 to 38% in Q4.

“Things were definitely less positive in the fourth quarter of 2022 than they were earlier in the year,” said EuroCham Chairman Alain Cany.

However, according to him, this should not be viewed as a cause for concern.

“In fact, Vietnam’s economic opportunities continue to exceed those of its regional and international peers. This is evident from the fact that so many of EuroCham’s members consider Vietnam central to their global investment strategies,” Cany said.

The report said 41% of respondents stated their company is shifting operations from China to Vietnam, up from 13% in the third quarter, while nearly 35% of firms ranked Vietnam among the top five global investment destinations for their company, with 12% stating that Vietnam was their firm’s top investment site globally.

However, the report also pointed out three most significant regulatory barriers to foreign companies operating in Vietnam, including a lack of clarity regarding rules and regulations (51%), administrative issues (41%) and visa and work permit difficulties (30%).

Despite that, 58% were satisfied with the attention of policymakers paid to business needs when setting relevant policies.

In addition, BCI participants reported that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) had a positive effect on the growth of their businesses, their financial health through tariff reductions and the strength of their supply chains.

Travel+Leisure: Phu Quoc is one of 23 best destinations in 2023

The prestigious travel magazine Travel+Leisure (Asian edition) has listed the pearl island of Phu Quoc in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang among the 23 best destinations for travel in 2023.

Ranked 3rd on the list, Phu Quoc was rated as “the new star of Vietnam”.

Tourists snorkeling in Phu Quoc (Photo: NDO) 

According to Travel+Leisure, the better air connection helps foreign tourists, especially Indian tourists, have the opportunity to explore more destinations in Vietnam, not only Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi or Ha Long Bay.

The magazine reviews that Phu Quoc is “an enchanting place with white sand beaches, jade-colored forests dotted with waterfalls, rock pools and caves”.

Known as the “pearl island”, more than half of Phu Quoc’s area is preserved as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Phu Quoc is named among the top 10 most wonderful islands in Asia in 2022, voted by readers of the famous magazine Condé Nast Traveler (USA). (Photo: ShutterStock) 

Luxury resorts on the island are geared towards sustainability, making it a heaven for responsible travelers.

“The best souvenir is the island’s famous fish sauce. Buy this fish sauce at a traditional fishing village like Ham Ninh, and don't forget to enjoy fresh seafood here,” suggests Travel+Leisure.

This list includes other famous destinations with unspoiled ecosystems, scenic beauty or rich cuisine such as Alberta (Canada), AlUla (Saudi Arabia), Fukuoka (Japan) and Malta.

Asia sends most tourists to Vietnam

International visitors to Vietnam are gradually increasing, in which the Asian market accounts for 71%, Europe nearly 14%, and America 10%,  according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Photo for illustration 

Specifically, the Republic of Korea accounted for 37% of the total number of Asian visitors; while Southeast Asian visitors made up 34.7%, mainly from Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia.

In December 2022 alone, Vietnam welcomed more than 707,000 international visitors, an increase of 18.5% from the previous month, the highest number in 2022.

The number of visitors is forecast to increase in January 2023, when many foreign visitors want to come to Vietnam to experience the traditional Tet.

Some countries that continue to be potential markets of Vietnam’s tourism in 2023 are the Republic of Korea, the US and India. Especially, when the largest tourism market, China, reopened its borders, the number of international visitors to Vietnam is expected to increase sharply in the near future.

Vietnam Tet goods week held in France

The Vietnam Trade Office in France has coordinated with importer and retail group Carrefour to organize the Vietnam Lunar New Year (Tet) goods week in 2023.

Events promoting Vietnamese goods and images have been held outside the Paris metropolitan region - Ile de France for the first time. (Photo: Vietnam Trade Office in France) 

The Vietnam Trade Office in France said that the Vietnam Tet 2023 booth was officially opened at Carrefour Part Dieu supermarket in the commercial center of Lyon from January 13, attracting many people to visit and shop.

This is the first time that events promoting Vietnamese goods and images have been held outside the Paris metropolitan area, marking a new step in the trilateral cooperation and opening the next stage in the plan to spread the image of Vietnamese goods, cuisine and culture to a large number of French consumers.

Mr. Vu Anh Son, Head of the Vietnam Trade Office in France, said that this is one of the activities built by the office within the framework of the Scheme to promote Vietnamese enterprises to directly participate in foreign distribution networks.

Mr. Son said that within the framework of cooperation with Carrefour and E.Leclerc, the parties have cooperated with importers to successfully persuade partners to bring rice onto the list of reference goods, which means that the goods can be sold in all Carrefour and E.Leclerc supermarkets throughout France.

Mr. Dinh Toan Thang, Ambassador of Vietnam to France, said that this is the 4th such week organized by the Trade Office, the Embassy of Vietnam in France, in collaboration with Carrefour over the past 2 years of cooperation.

General Director of Carrefour supermarket chain, Mr. Bruno Lebon, said: Carrefour aims to bring more choices to French consumers and Vietnamese cuisine is one of the supermarket’s priorities.

Trilateral cooperation to access major distribution channels and sell directly to consumers in France is a model implemented by the Vietnam Trade Office in France from the beginning of 2021. So far, the cooperation has helped Vietnam approach the 2 largest food retail distribution groups in France and in the top 5 of Europe, which are E.Leclerc and Carrefour./.