Belgian – Vietnamese Alliances Business Meeting 2019

Their Excellencies Mr. Bruno Angelet, EU Ambassador in Vietnam, Mr. Paul Jansen, Ambassador of Belgium to Vietnam and Mr. Vu Anh Quang, Ambassador of Vietnam to Belgium meet some of our corporate members & BVA takes this opportunity to launch itself as official associated member of the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce

At the debut event in Brussels, BVA President Andries Gryffroy said with its new functions, the entity will become a trustworthy partner of institutions and enterprises to develop an international business network and offer useful links for legal, economic and investment information.

Noting the alliance’s focuses in 2019, he said it will continue helping businesses learn about the content, signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA), along with business and investment opportunities for both sides’ firms. The BVA will also provide language support for Belgian companies that want to invest and do business in Vietnam.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg and head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the EU Vu Anh Quang said after being signed and ratified, the EVFTA and the IPA will open up more chances for Vietnamese businesses to strengthen partnership with those of Belgium and other EU member countries.

Echoing the view, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Ambassador Bruno Angelet said 90 percent of transactions between Vietnam and the EU will be exempted from different taxes after 10 years, so there is huge potential for promoting bilateral trade and investment.

Founded in 2011, the BVA has made efforts to strengthen cooperation between Belgium and Vietnam in economic, cultural and social aspects. With its new functions, the alliance is expected to better serve as a bridge linking businesses of Vietnam, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Watch full news video on VTV4 here.

EU’s new program: SWITCH-Asia and Central Asia II – Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production

The EU has just launched a new Call for Proposal in promoting sustainable consumption and production (SCP). The title of the call: “SWITCH-Asia and Central Asia II – Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production”

Website:  The call will be advertised as soon as possible also at the home page of the programme (

SWITCH-Asia and Central Asia Program focus on:

  • Many developing countries in Asia and Central Asia find themselves in the midst of a rapid industrial transformation (the fastest growing source of new greenhouse gas emissions in the world)
  • Need to decouple economic growth from the environmental degradation and natural resources depletion
  • Several countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters
  • The focus in Vietnam is on: Agri-food processing; wood processing ; sustainable tourism and waste management

Main objectives of the program:

  1. Promote sustainable production (development of less polluting and more resource efficient products, processes and services) and sustainable consumption patterns and behaviours in Asia and Central Asia, through an improved understanding and strengthened cooperation between Europe and Asia/Central Asia, notably by supporting SMEs and MSMEs in adopting SCP practices and getting access to finance, and by mobilizing the private sector, financial intermediaries, retailers, producers and consumer organisations and groups, along with relevant public sector authorities.
  2. Create an enabling environment to strengthen the implementation of national SCP policies in target countries and assist stakeholders (government, private sector, citizens, civil society) in harvesting the benefits of Sustainable Consumption and Production.

The priorities of this call for proposals are:

– Priority 1: address sustainable supply chains management with a focus on green trade and on facilitating the integration of MSMEs into supply chains.

– Priority 2: support sustainable consumption and consumer awareness on SCP.

– Priority 3: focus on either large industrial parks and large economic zones or clusters of SMEs in order to produce bankable projects

The overall indicative amount made available under this call for proposals is EUR 45.700.00 of which:

– Lot 1 Asia: EUR 32,700,000

– Lot 2 Central Asia: EUR 13,000,000

Any grant requested under this call for proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts:

– Minimum amount: EUR 1,000,000

– Maximum amount: EUR 3,000,000

The deadline for the submission of concept notes is 28/02/2019 at 12:00 (Brussels date and time).

An information session will be organised next week in Brussels (Thursday 17th January, 09:30-11:30 Brussels time) and it will be accessible via web-streaming at:

All questions related to the call should be sent to: Regular FAQ will be published at the webpage of the call.

Download detailed information here.

If you have interest, please contact directly to Mr. Ivo Hooghe at the Belgian Embassy, email:

BeluxCham membership renewal in 2019

BeluxCham is honored to have you as our member and looks forward to continue working together with you to make 2019 another successful year. 2018 was the year where some changes started and where we focused more on business-related events where our members could join:

  • Belgian Beer Festivals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh;
  • Business-seminars with Solvay Business School;
  • Co-hosted events with the other Business Associations in Vietnam (‘Share and learn’ – ‘Business Thursday’ in Hanoi…)
  • Business meeting with the Belgian Ambassador
  • Meetings with Belgian Federal and Regional ministers.
  • Besides that, we also organized our social events like the Belgian networking drinks and supported the Belgian Football Team during the World Cup in Ho Chi Minh (at BELGO) and in Hanoi (different places).

For 2019 BeluxCham is aiming higher more business related events; better contact with and between the Belgian companies based in; or doing business with Vietnam, starting up a discount program for our members.

We could not organize all of this without your support in 2018 for which we are grateful and we would like to continue to have your support in 2019.

What we would offer you when joining BeluxCham:

How to renew your membership in 2019: Downloading Company template or Individual template , fill this form and send the completed file to

The 22nd EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) affirmed the commitment to enhancing bilateral comprehensive cooperation at the 22nd ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Brussels on January 21.

Officials of foreign affairs of the 10 ASEAN nations and 24 EU countries attended the meeting. Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung led the Vietnamese delegation to the event.

At the meeting, participants emphasised the two blocs’ special relations as “partners in integration”.

ASEAN valued the EU as a leading partner, especially in economy and development. The EU is currently the second biggest trade partner of ASEAN with bilateral trade reaching 261 billion USD in 2017, up 11.9 percent from the previous year. It is also the largest source of foreign investment of ASEAN when its direct investment here hit 25.4 billion USD in 2017, accounting for 18.6 percent of the total foreign direct investment in the region.

The EU also reiterated its support for ASEAN’s central role and that it considers ASEAN as an important partner sharing many interests and strategic visions.

Ministers recognised the progress in bilateral relations since the 21st ministerial meeting in 2016, particularly the success of the ASEAN-EU 40th Commemorative Summit in 2017 and the approval of the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action 2018-2022.

At the meeting, they agreed to bolster cooperation in the fields of shared concern and interest like economy-trade-investment, connectivity, climate change response, sustainable development, counter-terrorism, trans-national crime prevention, cyber security, and maritime security. The two sides also agreed to step up efforts towards an ASEAN-EU free trade agreement on the basis of the bilateral deals between the EU and ASEAN member countries.

They also reached a consensus in principle of upgrading ASEAN-EU relations to a strategic partnership, and adopted the joint statement of the meeting.

Regarding international and regional issues, the ministers exchanged views on complex and unpredictable developments of the global economic and political situation. They agreed to keep coordinating in the promotion of multilateralism and open, fair and rules-based multilateral trade systems, while working closely together to resolve global challenges, enhance dialogue, build trust and prevent conflicts.

As for the East Sea issue, participants continued to underline the importance of maintaining peace, stability, maritime security and safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight, and respecting the rule of law. They called on the sides relevant to make self-restraint, not threaten to use or use force, and settle disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The countries voiced support for ASEAN and China’s efforts in effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and working towards the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters.

Additionally, they welcomed the recent progress on the Korean Peninsula, affirming their support for and readiness to assist efforts towards sustainable peace and stability and complete denuclearisation on the peninsula. They also emphasised the continuation of the serious and full implementation of relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.

On behalf of the ASEAN, Deputy Minister Dung delivered a speech on the cooperation priorities between the two sides in 2019. He proposed orientations and measures to intensify substantive cooperation in the areas matching the ASEAN’s demand and the EU’s strength such as climate change response, counter-terrorism, trans-national crime prevention, cyber security, border management, illegal fishing prevention and sustainable development.

He also reaffirmed the ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea issue and highlighted the strides in the building of the COC between ASEAN and China. The official added that the bloc supports the EU to contribute to its efforts to maintain regional peace, security and stability.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Dung had bilateral meetings with officials of Belgium, Romania, Greece, Hungary, the European Council and the European Commission to promote the signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the bilateral investment protection agreement, and discussed other issues of bilateral relations.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

CPTPP workshop clarifies rules of origin

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will remove 95 per cent of current tariff lines among the partners, but goods must satisfy the rules of origin (ROO).

Taking place on January 18, the workshop about the CPTPP themed “Benefits or challenges for Vietnamese enterprises” specified many important definitions regarding ROO.

So far, Vietnam has signed 12 FTAs and has implemented 10 so far, while one (the CPTPP) has just been ratified, and another (the ASEAN-Hong Kong-China FTA) has been signed but has yet to be implemented.

The 10 FTAs that are already in effect include the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN-India, ASEAN-Australia, New Zealand, ASEAN-Japan, Vietnam-Japan, Vietnam-Chile, Vietnam-Korea, and Vietnam-EAEU.

Once the CPTPP takes effect, one of the benefits will be that 95 per cent of current tariffs among partners will be removed. However, the only way to access this benefit will be to satisfy the ROO designed for each FTA.

The WTO defines rules of origin as the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. Their importance is derived from the fact that duties and restrictions in several cases depend upon the source of imports.

According to the WTO, ROOs are used to implement measures and instruments of commercial policy such as anti-dumping duties and safeguard measures, to determine whether imported products shall receive most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment or preferential treatment, for the purpose of trade statistics; for the application of labelling and marking requirements; and for government procurement.

To qualify the goods’ origin, imported items must either be wholly-obtained (WO) or produced entirely from one or more parties in an FTA member country; or must have undergone a “substantial transformation.”

The words “one or more parties” really make a difference between WO ASEAN and WO CPTPP, and it makes it easier for small- and medium-sized enterprises to export.

To better understand tax reductions, it would be interesting to compare non-WTO members, WTO members, and FTA members:

Non-WTO members WTO members FTA members
Tax applied on textile and raw materials 30 per cent Average 12 per cent Average 0-5 per cent
Tax applied on garments 37.5 per cent Average 25 per cent Average 0-5 per cent

Bui Kim Thuy, representative of the US-ASEAN Business Council for Vietnam said in her presentation about ROO’s importance that ROO will contribute to the sustainable development of exports and improve access to the preferential rates. Also, ROO will help to direct FDI flows into countries that are party to the FTAs, and adjust regional supply chains, limiting the benefits to countries outside of the CPTPP.

Source: VIR