The Hanoitimes - Following the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community more than one year ago, Vietnam gained the advantage from the community in terms of peace, stability and the formation of a joint economic, trade and production facility.
The ASEAN Economic Community was founded by the end of December, 2015, opening up an opportunity to market access with some 625 million people and nearly 3 trillion dollars of combined GDP. The AEC has shown its active cooperation between the ASEAN and its partners. As a result, Vietnam has promoted its participation in the regional and global supply chain for economic restructuring, industrialization and modernization.
The AEC aimed to develop a unified market and production facility, a competitive economic zone, an equally developed region in global economic integration. ASEAN member countries have focused their liberalization efforts on trade, service, investment, finance and labor. Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung said the ASEAN countries have geared up their tariffs reduction, customs procedures simplification for trade facilitation.
This will be a driving force for Vietnam’s renovation, adaptation and further integration with the economic community. “The ASEAN Economic Community’s biggest achievement is realizing its economic cooperation plans, especially in the negotiation of a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement with Asia Pacific countries, an initiative on ASEAN economic connectivity to promote cooperation in finance, investment, trade and labor,” Mr Trung noted.
The AEC aims to build up competitive policies, consumer protection, intellectual property and infrastructure development towards a competitive economic area. The ASEAN support the growth of small and medium sized enterprises while accelerating negotiation on various free trade agreements and comprehensive partnership deals to engage more vigorously in global supply chain.
The AEC has offered Vietnam wider market access in and outside the ASEAN thanks to its cooperative agreements. “This is an obvious opportunity for Vietnamese businesses as they could gain access to market of more than 600 million people. They are right next to us geographically if we compare to the US, the EU or Japan,” said Dr Trinh Thi Thu Huong from the Hanoi Foreign Trade.
The AEC has fostered connectivity between the ASEAN members for peace, security and stability for each member’s national interests. New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, Haike Manning, said the ASEAN’s significance has attracted its partners in the world. “In terms of the relationship between New Zealand and ASEAN of which Vietnam is an important member, we have recently moved to a strategic partnership between New Zealand and ASEAN. And it really shows New Zealand’s commitment to this region, which is central to our prosperity and our security in future,” Ambassador Haike Manning emphasized. A comprehensive integration AEC will bring benefits to Vietnam as it proactively propose initiatives to narrow development gaps for industrialization and modernization.
At the reception in Hanoi for chief representatives of diplomatic agencies from countries who extended Lunar New Year (Tet) greetings to the Party, State and people of Vietnam, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong thanked the diplomats for the New Year wishes, noting that 2017 is a year full of important events, including the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN and the second year of the ASEAN Community.
The diplomats, from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Myanmar, expressed their delight to take office in Vietnam on the threshold of Tet, the largest traditional festival of the country. They affirmed their determination to contribute to fostering the friendship and cooperation between their countries and Vietnam as well as other ASEAN members for the sustainable development of the ASEAN Community and for peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
Since Vietnam joined the association, Vietnam has always worked hard to affirm its active role and contributions to ASEAN’s growth, he said, highlighting the Party and State’s constant policy of attaching importance to developing multi-faceted ties with member countries of the ASEAN Community. Vietnam hopes that ASEAN members will support Vietnam in hosting the APEC Year 2017, contributing to enhancing the prestige and position of ASEAN in the international arena.
By Tuan Minh