INTERVIEW WITH MR. JAVIER MÉNDEZ REPISO – INDIVIDUAL MEMBERAugust 16, 2021
1.Kindly tell us something about your work profile/business including yourself.
I have 20 years of experience in different countries and with almost the same company, I started working in Paris as Process Engineer for Technip one of the world leading Engineering & Construction companies, where I moved to different positions as project engineer, proposal manager, sales manager, commercial director and general manager, in both offices and construction sites and different countries such as France, US, Yemen, UAE, Spain and lately in Vietnam. In between I worked also for Repsol during one year in Madrid. A very exciting career with increased responsibilities leading to management roles.
2. When did you first start your business in Vietnam and how has your professional career or your company’s career developed since then?
Technip started building plants for Clients in Vietnam 20 years ago and open its office in 2010, focussing in designing and building O&G upstream facilities, refining and petrochemicals plants. I moved to HCMC in 2019 as General Manager. Since then, we sailed these unchartered waters of the covid outbreak with resilience but a difficult decision was taken to stop operations in Vietnam and leading to closing the office in 2021.
3. How do you think EVFTA will benefit EU and Vietnam companies after this pandemic? Are there any new strategies that you’re adapting for this new situation?
One of the challenges in Vietnam is to attract investment to support the development of the country, so EVFTA will attract companies to increase their presence in Vietnam. But EVFTA has to come along with a clearer administrative roadmap and enhanced securities from Vietnamese government for those investment. There is still a long way to increase European presence in Vietnam and increase the balance of trade. Other economies are moving fast with similar agreements such as the existing BTA or the recently signed CPTPP or RCEP.
4. What do you think are the biggest challenges in your industry in the future with EVFTA?
Energy industry will need a great development in Vietnam to support country growth and thus PPP and foreign investors will rely on the country guarantees and long-term agreements such as gas supply agreements and PPA. So key words will be guarantees, stability and commitments. In the other hand the garment industry in Vietnam in which I am moving into, is a world class industry and #2 world biggest exporter, which will made of apparel and clothing industry one of the motors of the trade agreements and most of the opportunities can come from it, e.g. activating the imports of European fabrics and exporting to Europe manufactured apparel.
5. In relation to the current pandemic (CoVid-19) that the world is facing, how has your company been affected and what actions do you propose to better the situation?
Covid-19 has impacted financial markets, and the sharp decrease in commodity prices due to the demand/supply downturn, have led to extremely challenging conditions for the global economy and specifically for the Oil & Gas Industry. This has led to difficult decisions. But I also believe that this down turn is a time to seize opportunities. Inaction is the riskiest response to the uncertainties of an economic crisis, so I decided to take a break from my corporate work and start a new business in Vietnam.
6. Please tell us a little about future plans
I am completely (and happily) busy now in the completion of the business plan and launching of this new project in the garment industry while I continue to follow up Energy and O&G industry where I can continue to share my knowledge and take advantage of my network. I hope to share more with you in the coming future.
Many thanks to Mr. Javier for sharing your experience with us.