Paris eager to boost Vietnam investment and trade

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HCMC, April 14 – Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP) leaders met with Ho Chi Minh City businesses last week to evaluate economic opportunities and express their strong desire to help the French invest in Vietnam, as well as to boost bilateral trade between France and Vietnam.

Acknowledging that France already had a strong business presence in Vietnam, Christian Pepineau, the VP of CCIP, stated that Vietnam had some of the best long-term prospects for medium-sized French companies, offering low-priced but high quality human and natural resources, and a large market of over 80 million people.

CCIP’s Jean Blachie offered the opinion that Vietnamese businesses had significant opportunities for export and growth not just in France, but across Europe. To suggestions that the EU’s protectionist policies still posed a serious obstacle to Vietnamese companies with European ambitions, Blachie pointed to the success of Japanese products and Chinese goods in Europe, citing high quality for the former, and cost for the latter.

Pepineau went on to compliment Vietnam’s progress in its legal environment, especially as it pertains to foreign investment. He recommended that Vietnam focus on developing its infrastructure, which he named the most critical element in attracting foreign business.

To worries about inflation hurting Vietnamese exports, the CCIP said that as far as they were concerned, the Vietnam dong to US dollar rate commonly used to assess inflation was not appropriate to gauge prospects for French-Vietnamese trade. Further, the CCIP believes that the VND-Euro rate will be stable for the foreseeable future.

All CCIP members were unanimous in expressing their confidence that Vietnam could successfully tackle the many challenges facing it, create stable growth, and cement its role as a growing Southeast Asian powerhouse.