FRIDAY, March 01, 2024

72% of EU businesses plan to expand in Vietnam

72% of EU businesses plan to expand in Vietnam

HÀ NỘI — A majority of European businesses in Việt Nam expect to increase their operations in the country, the sixth Business Sentiment Survey of the EU-ASEAN Business Council released on Thursday shows.

A total of 72 per cent of respondents in Việt Nam have plans to expand, while 63 per cent of respondents in the country are satisfied with the Government’s COVID-19 response, the survey states.

According to the survey, 56 per cent of EU businesses also have plans to expand operations in ASEAN as they see the region offers them the best economic opportunities.

“This year’s survey confirms that ASEAN is still seen as the region of best economic opportunity, but as would be expected during the COVID-19 crisis, the outlook for increased trade and investment shows signs of softening,” Donald Kanak, chairman of the EU-ASEAN Business Council, said.

This year’s survey asked which regions in the post-COVID-19 era would be the candidates to attract more investment in supply chains. While ASEAN received the most votes, others such as Europe and China also received many.

“Almost half expect supply chains to be reorganised following COVID-19. That makes the unfinished business on the ASEAN economic integration and progress on trade facilitation crucial to ASEAN’s sustainable recovery from the economic downturn,” Kanak said.

Executive director of the EU-ASEAN Business Council, Chris Humphrey, added: “The message from the survey is clear: ASEAN economic integration appears to be at a standstill. ASEAN and its constituents need to pick up the pace to meet the AEC Blueprint 2025 goals. European businesses are now adjusting their business strategy to local environments, rather than waiting for substantial progress in regional economic integration.”

However, Humphrey noted: “European businesses are also very concerned about the lack of progress on further FTAs with the ASEAN region, and in particular the long talked about region-to-region FTA which eight out of 10 see as potentially delivering more benefits than a series of bilateral FTAs.”

The survey was conducted from April to July during the height of the pandemic and lockdowns in the region. In total, 680 respondents were recorded from European businesses in the 10 ASEAN member states. Respondents were either in the services or manufacturing industries, ranging from hospitality and tourism to the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment. — VNS