|Deputy Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh (centre) talks with local and foreign guests at the CEO forum. — Photo VNA
HCM CITY (VNS)— Companies have been urged to embrace the opportunities presented by the ASEAN Economic Community, which will take effect by year-end, and not be afraid of the challenges that a more competitive environment will bring.
Speakers at the Viet Nam CEO Forum held in HCM City on Thursday said that the establishment of the AEC would create free movements of goods, services, investment, capital and skilled labour among ASEAN countries.
Dr. Hans-Paul Burkner, chairman of Boston Consulting Group, said that local companies' advantages include understanding of their own market and consumers, and relations with suppliers.
They also know how to interact with the government, and are flexible and fast in their operations.
He advised domestic enterprises to identify their strengths and enter overseas markets only after establishing a strong position in the local market.
Minister of Justice Ha Hung Cuong said businesses must comply with all laws and consult with lawyers. Vietnamese firms' competitive capacity and human resources must also be improved, he said.
Tran Tuan Anh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, said that domestic firms must change their mindset as the market was no longer just 90 million people in Viet Nam, but at least 600 million in ASEAN.
Viet Nam had completed 94 per cent of its commitments for the AEC, he said, adding that it had removed 90 per cent of tariff lines on imports from ASEAN countries. By 2018, seven important tariff lines related to sensitive sectors will be reduced.
This would have a strong impact on certain industries, including automobile, sugar and husbandry, forcing them to make more reform efforts, he said.
Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, chairwoman and CEO of Phu Nhuan Jewelry JSC, said AEC would offer great opportunities if companies had the right orientation.
Despite challenges, innovative and hard-working Vietnamese firms would find openings to exploit the vast market, Dung said.
Delegates said the Government should create a sound legal framework to facilitate operation of enterprises.— VNS