|The ASEAN Economic Community that will be established next year. Export turnover to ASEAN in 2013 stood at US$18.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of nearly 7 per cent. .— VNÁ/VNS Photo Tran Viet.
HCM CITY (VNS) — Viet Nam hopes to take full advantage of the ASEAN Economic Community that will be established next year as it further integrates into the regional market, a seminar heard in Can Tho on Tuesday.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu told the seminar titled "ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and Free Trade Agreements" that the establishment of the AEC would mark comprehensive integration of Southeast Asia's economies.
It would be a united production, trade, and investment bloc in a region that has a huge population of 600 million and an annual GDP of around US$2 trillion, he said.
Organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project, the workshop was aimed at helping businesses and the Government better understand the AEC and the free trade agreements that Viet Nam has signed.
Bui Huy Son, chief of the Trade Promotion Agency, said amid the unstable regional situation, it is important to enhance solidarity and co-operation between ASEAN and other nations.
Hoang Van Phuong of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department spoke about Viet Nam's commitments with regard to trade, services, and investment under FTAs it signs.
Tran Thi Thu Huyen of the Ministry of Finance's International Cooperation Department spoke about the commitments on import tariffs under FTAs and the time frames agreed for tariff cuts.
Vu Hung Thinh of the Import-Export Department urged businesses to follow the preferential rules of origin when exporting to preferential-tariff markets.
He spoke about various tariff preferences, preferential rules of origin, and procedures for obtaining certificates of origin and verification of origin.
The 2008 ASEAN Charter seeks to build an ASEAN community based on three fundamental pillars: the AEC, the ASEAN Political Security Community and the ASEAN Social and Cultural Community. ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Since 2004 the bloc has signed FTAs with countries like China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and India.
In 2008 Viet Nam signed the Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan and a bilateral FTA with Chile. Viet Nam is currently negotiating on FTAs with the EU Customs Union; the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership; and EU Free Trade Bloc; and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
ASEAN is one of Viet Nam's leading trade partners, accounting for 15 per cent of its total trade and quadrupling over the last decade to $40 billion last year. — VNS