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APEC business advisors to talk integration, investment

Update: July, 05/2012 - 10:30

HA NOI — This year's 3rd session of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) will take place in HCM City from July 16-19 to discuss regional economic integration and trade and investment liberalisation.

President Truong Tan Sang will be present at the event.

According to ABAC Viet Nam Chairman Hoang Van Dung, major content will include: developing new service programmes, promoting supply chain connection, intensifying food and energy security, spurring technology transfer and hi-tech investment, stimulating infrastructure investment, supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), spurring regional financial market integration, and sponsoring creative ideas and initiatives.

At the four-day event, officials from Viet Nam, the US, Mexico, Chile and Peru will hold forums to introduce investment environments and projects, besides working to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. A forum for female APEC business leaders will also be organised.

"During current tough economic conditions, this will be a good opportunity for domestic firms to promote their images and products, approach big APEC groups and investors and expand cooperation with regional partners," Dung said.

He added that Viet Nam's participation at APEC has shown its increasingly important role over the last few years.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from APEC countries now represent 80 per cent of total FDI in Viet Nam, while trade values with these countries accounted for half of the nation's total trade.

The US, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were important markets for the country, he said.

Among issues of cooperation, Dung urged Viet Nam to focus on supporting SMEs by providing preferential interest, tax exemption and human resource training assistance.

As up to 90 per cent of APEC businesses are SMEs, this is a matter "APEC leaders are very interested in", he noted.

"This is also what the Government should especially do in the current context so as to maintain tax revenues and reduce unemployment," he added.

Dung said increasing cooperation, investment and technology application in agriculture "was very important for Viet Nam, as 70 per cent of the nation's population are dependent on agriculture and 30 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) comes from this sector".

The ABAC was established in November 1995 by APEC economic leaders with the aim to give advice about top business issues in the 21-economy region.

Russia, chairing the council in 2012, has theme this year's event "Aspirations to Reality". The 4th ABAC session will be held in this country in September. — VNS

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