Vietnam among 12 leading potential markets of Czech Republic

Thursday, 2016-11-24 16:15:38
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President of the Czech Management Association Ivo Gajdos talks about investment opportunities in Vietnam at the seminar. (Credit: VOV)
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NDO – The Czech Republic is on the list of Vietnam’s strategic export markets during 2010-2020, while the Southeast Asian country is also seen as a one among 12 leading potential markets of its European partner.

The information was provided by Ivo Gajdos, President of the Czech Management Association (CMA) during a seminar on promoting trade and investment in Vietnam co-organised by the Vietnamese Embassy and CMA in Prague on November 23.

The event gathered representatives from Czech companies seeking investment opportunities in the Vietnamese market, as well as several Vietnamese companies operating in the host country.

Speaking at the conference, Ivo Gajdos expressed his support for the early conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Union (EU). According to him, Vietnam's market, which boasts dynamic development and a population of over 90 million people along with its open investment policies, is rather attractive for Czech businesses looking to invest overseas.

Vietnam’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic Truong Manh Son briefed the host representatives on the nation’s socioeconomic development at present, as well as the status of bilateral trade and investment between Vietnam and the Republic Czech.

The diplomat said that in recent years bilateral trade turnover grew significantly, reaching over US$755 million in 2015.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Truong Manh Son speaks at the event. (Credit: VNA)

Particularly, in the first six months of 2016, bilateral trade increased by 22% against last year, reaching US$680 million. However, bilateral investment and cooperation was not commensurate with the traditional relationship and potentials of the two, he stressed.

According to the latest statistics, by the end of June 2016, the Czech Republic had 35 investment projects in Vietnam with a total capital of nearly US$100 million. Meanwhile, Vietnam has a mere four projects invested in the European country with a total capital of about US$5 million.

The figure was relatively modest compared with their potential of the two countries, Son said, adding that one of the causes for the situation was due to the lack of detailed information on investment policies and business environments of each other.

From the same point of view, Tran Hiep Thuong, a commercial attaché at the Vietnamese Embassy in the Czech Republic, said that the lack of information about the business environment was one of several barriers hindering Czech and Vietnamese companies from establishing partnerships and implementing investment activities in each other’s market.

According to him, the workshop, which introduced Vietnam’s policies and laws, would help Czech businesses solve part of this problem and erase stereotypes and fears about the risks of investing in Vietnam.

Thuong also noted that in the coming time the embassy would hold a range of practical activities to assist Czech investors with more opportunities to access Vietnamese market.

Representatives from the two countries’ business communities exchange ideas at the event. (Credit: VOV)

The seminar also introduced agreements signed by both governments on encouraging and protecting investments between Vietnam and the Czech Republic, the agreement on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion with respect to taxes on revenue between the two, as well as the Vietnam-EU FTA and the Investment Law of Vietnam.

Czech enterprises welcomed Vietnam’s investment encouragement policies with a revised legal system and more favourable preferential policies and investment protection mechanisms. However, one of their concerns when deciding to invest in Vietnam was whether they could compete, survive and effectively do business in the country or not.

Aless Bastin, director of marketing and commercialisation at AVANT, a company specialising in providing capital support for Czech businesses to invest in infrastructure in Vietnam, said that businesses should spend more time exploring the investment environment in the country before making investment decisions as it was a crucial stage in preparations for business strategies.

Meanwhile, Milan Triska, CEO of the Czech Industry Company Limited, praised Vietnam’s improved laws for foreign enterprises and creating favourable conditions for investment and business activities. He said that Czech businesses needed to learn about the business culture in Vietnam before deciding to invest there.

At the workshop, the two sides also discussed issues related to the investment environment, investment incentives and mechanisms to preserve capital when potential risks are present.