The event offered a chance for Belgian businesses to learn more about the Vietnamese market, and thus fully tap into the opportunities brought by the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) when it is enforced.
The EVFTA, which will take effect from August 1, is expected to bring positive impacts to Belgian exporters with Vietnam's economy still witnessing a promising growth outlook despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Vu Anh Quang, the EVFTA is the most modern, comprehensive and ambitious agreement to have ever been signed between the EU and a developing country. It will create a strong momentum for the trade relations between Vietnam and the EU in general, and Vietnam and Belgium in particular.
He expressed his hope that Vietnam and Belgium would expand their bilateral trade and investment ties in areas of mutual benefit, such as smart agriculture, food safety, environmental technology, and logistics, towards the common goal of sustainable post-pandemic growth and development.
The diplomat stated that Vietnam is capable of facilitating Belgian export and investment activities in terms of seaports, digital technology, and rail and sea transport networks.
In their speeches, EU and Belgian attendees praised Vietnam's achievements in the fight against COVID-19 along with the country’s effective measures to help recover its economy.
Deputy head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Axelle Nicaise highlighted the advantages of the EVFTA, saying that the agreement opens opportunities for European businesses to compete fairly with other countries that have signed FTAs with Vietnam.
Vietnam’s commitments to sustainable development will be realised when the agreement takes effect, creating an increasingly favourable business environment, she said, adding that, thanks to the EVFTA, EU firms are likely to relocate their production lines from other countries to Vietnam, thus generating more jobs for the Vietnamese side.
During the event, participants shared useful information about the opportunities and challenges for Belgian businessmen in investment and business in Vietnam .
Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) Nicolas Audier stated that Vietnam could become a hub for direct investment from the EU to ASEAN.