GBA Co-Chairmen Letter | Third Quarter 2023

Quarterly Co Chairmen Letter Q12023 1

Ho Chi Minh City, October 5th, 2023

Dear GBA members,

It’s time to raise your glasses high!  We are thrilled to announce that the 5th season of the year is upon us – the GBA Oktoberfests 2023!

We are delighted to inform you that our GBA Oktoberfests have received an overwhelming response so far. The Oktoberfest in Hanoi was sold out for three nights, attracting a record-breaking crowd of 5,100 people. Similarly, the Oktoberfest in Ho Chi Minh City has now also sold out for three nights, with over 4,000 tickets sold. In total, we had 32 corporate sponsors for the festivals. The GBA Oktoberfest in Hanoi will be followed by the event in Danang on the 6th of October at the Furama Resort Danang, and the grand finale of Oktoberfest will take place in Ho Chi Minh City from the 12th to the 14th of October at Hotel Nikko Saigon. We can’t wait to celebrate and have a blast together with our members and friends.

But that’s not all! We want to take a moment to reflect on the significant progress we have made in the 3rd Quarter of 2023. There have been numerous highlights that have propelled us forward, and we are excited to share these with you.

On August 1st, we successfully recruited an experienced and capable Executive Director, Mrs. Quynh Anh Le, who will bring fresh perspectives and valuable initiatives to our organization. This strategic appointment will further strengthen our leadership team and enable us to better serve our members. Click here>>> to get to know about Quynh Anh and her background.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that Mr. Ly Tan Can, Head of Technical Product Management Vietnam at Dräxlmaier Group, has officially assumed his role as GBA Ambassador for the Central Region of Vietnam effective from August 1st, 2023. With this role, he will leverage his unique perspective to foster connections and collaborations in the Central Vietnam Region for our members. More details here>>>

Furthermore, we are also thrilled to share that we have inaugurated our new office premises on the level 4 of the prestigious Deutsches Haus Ho Chi Minh City. The new office will enable GBA to serve its members better and strengthen its role as a bridge between the German and Vietnamese business communities. You can find more photos of our cherished moments here>>>

Another key aspect that we would like to emphasize in this letter is that the GBA conducted a mid-year membership survey in July/August, and we are very impressed by the level of participation and engagement from our members. The survey provides us with valuable insights into the current business-situation and challenges our members have, as well as their expectations and suggestions for the GBA. This mid-term survey provided us the necessary information for more prioritized action to support our GBA Members.

It is important to acknowledge and appreciate the optimism and resilience of our members, especially in these difficult times. 39% of them are optimistic or very optimistic about their experience so far this year, while only 34% are pessimistic or very pessimistic. This shows that our GBA members have a positive outlook and strong confidence in their business potential. You can find the survey statistics here>>>

However, it is crucial to address the specific challenges or problems that our members have faced with the Vietnamese administration in their province, such as lengthy administrative procedures, difficulty in obtaining necessary permits/licenses, lack of transparency in regulations, and inconsistent enforcement of regulations. We are glad to see that most of our members find our government relations activities/efforts somewhat effective or very effective in supporting their business interests in Q1/Q2 2023. That will be the steppingstone for us, to continue voicing our opinions and suggestions directly to the local authorities, and to foster a constructive and collaborative relationship with them.

In addition, we agree with the majority of our members that the GBA should focus on or do more of the following till end of the year: facilitating networking and business opportunities, addressing specific industry-related challenges, business matchmaking opportunities, advocate for business-friendly policies, enhance information sharing on regulatory updates, offer additional industry-specific events, increase collaboration with government authorities, regular GBA Board updates and engagement with GBA members, and support in navigating local regulations. These are all relevant and important areas that help us to improve our services and activities for our members.

Through our collaborative efforts, we have actively established strong partnership with EuroCham Vietnam, and diversity of chambers of commerce and business associations. These collaborations have allowed us to leverage the collective expertise, resources, and networks of multiple organizations, resulting in more impactful events. Lately, the GBA also showed a strong presence in a series of working meetings of H.E. Julien Guerrier, the new EU Ambassador to Vietnam from the 20th to the 22nd of September 2023. These engagements aimed to reinforce economic cooperation and strive for more opportunities for European companies in Vietnam.

We deeply appreciate your active participation and the valuable feedback you provide, which plays a crucial role in shaping our future events and activities. As we look forward to the 4th quarter, we are excited about the new opportunities that await us. Your continued support fuels our commitment to create the best possible market environment and operating conditions for our members.

Sincerely yours,

Elmar Dutt & Torben Minko

Co-Chairmen of the Board

German Business Association