|President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc delivers a speech at the Summit. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
BANGKOK — Ensuring a fair, transparent and efficient international trading system is crucial in a global “playground”, stated President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc while highlighting major requirements and characteristics of trade and investment activities.
Addressing a discussion on the future of Asia-Pacific trade and investment during the APEC CEO Summit 2022 which was convened in Thailand on Thursday with the participation of more than 850 leaders of global and regional businesses, the Vietnamese President said that digital transformation is an inevitable and objective trend that is taking place very strongly and extensively, positively affecting cross-border trade and the global economy.
Stemming from difficulties and challenges in the past two years, the world and the region are establishing new, resilient and sustainable supply chains, with diversified supply sources, effective monitoring mechanisms and traceability, he said.
The President held that under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, some areas such as health, biotechnology, clean energy, and carbon emission reduction will strongly attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
Mentioning Việt Nam’s policies and achievements in socio-economic development, he said that amid many difficulties, Việt Nam has maintained macro-economic stability, while keeping inflation under control and ensuring major balances in energy and food.
According to forecasts of many international organisations, Việt Nam will be among the countries with high gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the Asia-Pacific region, with expansion reaching 7.2 per cent in 2022 and 6.7 per cent in 2023.
As one of the dynamic economies with a high level of openness and a destination for many multinational groups, Việt Nam has signed and implemented nearly 60 agreements on investment promotion and protection, along with 15 free trade agreements, including new generation agreements with high standards such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Việt Nam's recent economic achievements are clear evidence that increased trade and investment cooperation at the regional and global levels can benefit all stakeholders, he stressed.
President Phúc also made known Việt Nam’s priorities in investment attraction, including quality, efficiency, technology, and environmental protection.
Việt Nam wishes to attract FDI projects with high technology, helping promote innovation and development research, creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to participate in regional and global value chains, and boosting the digital, green and circular economy, he underlined.
The country attaches importance to the significance of accompanying businesses, putting them in the core position, and sharing, listening and solving their difficulties under all circumstances, along with the reform and simplification of administrative procedures. Việt Nam hopes that the APEC business community will uphold the spirit of cooperation, overcome difficulties and challenges, and continue to promote investment and business activities in the region, he stated.
Along with President Phúc, major keynote speakers of the APEC CEO Summit 2022 included Chinese President Xi Jinping, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, French President Emmanuel Macron, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and US Vice President Kamala Harris.
US-APEC Business Alliance
Việt Nam advocates switching from attracting FDI to cooperating with foreign investors in the spirit of equality for mutual benefits and development, with priority given to hi-tech and eco-friendly projects, said President Phúc at a high-level seminar with the US-APEC Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs in Bangkok on the same day.
President Phúc said with macro-economic stability and controlled inflation, Việt Nam has been named among the world’s top 20 economies in terms of trade, with GDP growing by 8.83 per cent in the first nine months of this year.
International organisations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund predicted growth at about 7.5-8.2 per cent this year. The UN Conference on Trade and Development listed Việt Nam among the top 20 FDI destinations globally.
He suggested US firms enhance connectivity, and make it easier for Vietnamese enterprises to join their manufacturing supply chain, thus turning Việt Nam into one of the value chain hubs in the region and the world.
Representatives from US firms and economic groups spoke highly of Việt Nam’s economic growth in recent years, especially the FDI attraction policy, COVID-19 response, and political and economic stability.
Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council and former US Ambassador to Việt Nam, recalled that the US firms and investors always receive support from President Phúc in his different positions as well as relevant Vietnamese agencies.
Quint Simon, representative of Amazon Web Services, said he hopes Việt Nam will offer more incentives to develop digital economic services such as cloud computing and cyber security. He also committed to partnering with Việt Nam in the digital transformation process.
Representatives from US firms and corporations vowed to continue expanding investment in Việt Nam and bring new products and modern technology to the country in healthcare, population, digital transformation in finance-banking, smart agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure building, hi-tech, information technology, and research and development.
The Vietnamese leader stressed that Việt Nam will step up green growth, digital economy, sci-tech, innovation and deeply join the global investment structure, trade order and supply chain.
Việt Nam will further open its economy, switch to quality and focused FDI cooperation; help domestic enterprises improve production capacity to join the supply chains of foreign-invested firms, he said, adding that the country will also strive to create a transparent and favourable business environment in line with new-generation free trade agreements and toward practices of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
These include maintaining socio-political and macro-economic stability; removing economic bottlenecks related to legal institutions, infrastructure and human resources; develop supply chains, reduce transaction costs, especially logistics and administrative costs; and building an environment with stable policies, transparency and accountability.
He wished that with their pioneering roles, US firms will expand their operations in Việt Nam to contribute to its socio-economic development in the near future. — VNS