ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Da Nang seeks EU investment
The central city of Da Nang has been compiling simplified investment procedures to support European businesses with more transparency and a reduction in informal charges.
Speaking at the Whitebook Briefing 2018 between representatives of EuroCham, European businesses and the city’s leadership on June 14, deputy director of the city’s Investment Promotion Agency Huỳnh Thị Liên Phương said new procedures would be introduced later this year, helping European investors to obtain investment licenses, clear land and understand tax and customs regulations.
She said Da Nang had been working hard on administrative reform while it promoted 2018 as The Year of Investment Attraction.
Phuong said the city would offer co-operative opportunities to European partners and local colleges to boost education, information and communication technology (ICT) and human resources training.
Chairman of the city’s people’s committee, Huynh Duc Tho said the city would create favourable conditions for investors and tourists from the EU.
He said Da Nang and EuroCham had been co-operating well to promote the city’s investment environment.
EuroCham’s co-chairman Denis Brunetti said: “EuroCham and Da Nang have been cooperating closely for the past two years, and that is also due to the excellent work of our local EuroCham central Việt Nam delegates.”
The local government understands that EuroCham members and European business at large could be the best partners for their investment strategy vision over the next few years, betting on excellence in ICT, tourism, education and other value-added sectors – in which European businesses are global leaders, he added.
Brunetti also introduced the focus and content of the Whitebook 2018 at the meeting, highlighting its most important sectoral and cross-sectoral issues and recommendations, ranging from important regulations on distribution and customs, to calls for greater enforcement of sustainable practices among businesses in Viet Nam.
The Whitebook 2018 was officially launched in Ha Noi.
EuroCham member Catherine McKinley, director of Greenshoots International School, raised concerns about how difficult it was for foreign teachers to gain permission to work in Việt Nam.
She said some foreign teachers wasted time and money in order to obtain the necessary paperwork.
Jose Sanchez-Barroso Gonzalez, vice consul honourary of the Kingdom of Spain in Da Nang, suggested more direct flights from Europe to Đà Nẵng with connections to popular destinations in central Việt Nam and Southeast Asia.
He said Da Nang should connect with Hoi An, Hue and Quang Ngai to offer extension stays for European tourists, and Đà Nẵng could also become a base for connections with Siem Reap, Luang Prabang, Bali and Phuket.
Gonzalez said Da Nang should develop a master plan for tourism development that focuses on sustainable business and a ‘green’ environment.
Dang Ngoc Hai, branch director of Axon Active Viet Nam, said the city should consider how it can reduce training times for ICT students while improving the quality of students to meet the increasing demand for manpower in the IT sector.
He also said that English language skills could help IT students get jobs for foreign companies in Da Nang.
Nguyen Hai Minh, the tax and legal partner at Mazars Viet Nam, said local authorites should apply international standards when it comes to tax and transfer pricing to ease pressure on the tax system.
He said support measures for SMEs and start-ups should also be implemented.
There are currently 73 EU-backed FDI projects in Da Nang worth US$219 million. French investors account for 40.5 per cent of FDI investment from the EU, with 21 projects in the city.
Import-export turnover between the city and the EU reached $316 million in 2017.
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