Vietnamese, French businesses discuss free trade prospects

Quang Dung, VOV’s reporter in France
Chia sẻ
(VOVWORLD) - 50 businesses in Saône-et-Loire province gathered for a seminar on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on Thursday in Mâcon city.
 Vietnamese, French businesses discuss free trade prospects  - ảnh 1Participants at the seminar on the EVFTA in Mâcon city of France’s Saône-et-Loire province on September 16, 2021 (Photo: VOV)

Addressing the event, Michel Suchaut, Chairman of Saône-et-Loire’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that Vietnam and the locality share a similarity of being at important strategic trade crossroads for Southeast Asia and Europe.

According to Suchaud, with a population of nearly 100 million people and the emergence of a middle class expected to account for half of the Vietnamese population by 2035, Vietnam's demand for consumption, infrastructure, energy, environment and logistics will grow strongly.

Saône & Loire side is the 6th largest province in France by area and famous for high-quality agricultural products including Bourgogne wine, cheese, beef, and for large enterprises in pharmaceutical, wood processing, and water transport.

Suchaud said he believes that Saône & Loire can offer Vietnam many solutions, adding, “We’ve identified several of France’s export priorities to Vietnam such as high-end consumer products, wine, and transport or medical equipment. These are the areas that businesses of Saône & Loire have advantages. We’ve seen many improvements brought by the EVFTA. We as investors don’t have any financial and legal concerns about investment in Vietnam,” according to Suchaud.

Participants were updated on the investment and trade environment in Vietnam, and priorities in the country’s investment and trade strategy.

Thibault Giroux, representing the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry and having 20 years of experience studying and working with the Vietnamese market, said, “The epidemic has some impacts, but only in the short term. I think it doesn’t affect the EVFTA overall and trade exchange between Vietnam and France. It’s currently difficult for French and Vietnamese investors to go back and forth to learn each other’s market."

"But I strongly believe that Vietnam will soon get out of its medical difficulties. In the next few months, we’ll see Vietnam  reopen to welcome investors and allow Vietnamese exporters to move to France and Europe. We'll soon return to a new normal.” said Giroux.